On the afternoon of May 6, Professor Kailin Tang , well-known ethicist, doctoral supervisor in Hunan Normal University Moral and Cultural Research centre, chief editor of Studies in Ethics, winner of ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ of CAES, was invited to our college to deliver an academic speech entitled ‘Three Dimensions to Cognize Confucianism’. The vice president Lulu Wang presided over the speech and many teachers and students in both our college and others were present.
Professor Tang emphasized that if traditional culture can be probably understood, the methodology must be established first. In this regard, he distinguished Confucianism with ‘original meaning’, ‘derived meaning’ and ‘contemporary meaning’. He indicated that Confucianism differed at different times, but its basic framework, route, value and aim were fixed during the millennia and so called ‘original meaning’ of Confucianism. Moreover, the relationship between ‘original meaning’ and ‘derived meaning’ could be regarded as that between source and flow, constancy and change, and fundament and incident. ‘Derived meaning’ implied latter meaning during the development process of Confucianism and it may extend or deviate from the original one. ‘Contemporary meaning’ of Confucianism was a new annotation and endowed with era significance. Tang stressed that only if using these dimensions to understand Confucianism could we form proper epistemology and methodology to treat, inherit and further promote it.
Professor Lulu Wang summarized the report that we should grasp original meaning correctly, analyse and identify derived meaning and innovate contemporary meaning. Teachers and student present praised Tang for not only introducing fundamental ways to understand Confucianism but also helping them enrich knowledge, broad horizons and enjoy the charm of the famous scholar.