On November 19, the 134th On Tao Forum was successfully held in School of Public Administration in Xingmin Building, Room 634-A. The theme of the forum was ‘Modernization of National Governance and the Development of Applied Ethics’. We invited four guests to the forum in the form of salon. They are Professor Zang Fengyu, dean of School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China, Renmin University of China; Professor Cao Gang, director of research center of ethics and moral construction, Renmin University of China; Associate Professor Zhang Xiao, vice dean of School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China, vice director of research center of ethics and moral construction, Renmin University of China and Associate Professor Wang Fuling, office manager of research center of ethics and moral construction, Renmin University of China. Professor Wang Xiaoxi, leader of ethics doctoral program of Nanjing Normal University, held the post of reviewer. Professor Wang Lulu hosted the forum and some teachers and students from School of Public Administration took part in this salon.
Professor Zang believed that distinct from Western Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy was free from physics to metaphysics, which reflected the ethical spirit. It could be a new direction to research the ethical gene of Chinese culture and the basic path of its formation. He said that to understand the applied ethics in the aspect of national governance modernization, we need to think how to turn Chinese excellent traditional virtues and Chinese excellent traditional culture into institutional civilization with Chinese characteristics, which contributes to form the public ethical spirit of a fair and just society, and offers an ethical and cultural support to the construction of the modern socialist country in an all-round way.
Professor Cao believed that we need to pay special attention to three bonds of community when considering the problems of national governance modernization in the aspect of ethics: sense of worth as the spiritual bond, common interests as the practical bond and the warm feeling the community brings us as the sentimental bond. Professor Cao pointed out the contemporary problems in our society based on the three bonds. The first one is the problem on the sense of worth. The change of social structure and cultural exchange brings value diversity, which makes the original spiritual bond not so stable; The second one is the problem on the common interests. The rule of survival of the fittest followed by market economy leads to social differentiation; The third one is the problem about the fragility of the spiritual bond.
Professor Zhang believed that the cultural modernization and ethical modernization were extremely significant in national governance modernization. He noted the significance of the research of profession ethics. He pointed out that the applied ethics and the profession ethics are two sides of a coin, so we must regard them as one.
Professor Wang pointed out that the research of applied ethics is not simply the application of traditional ethical theories, but a challenging task. The applied ethics is practical, which means it must directly deal with the contemporary challenges, especially those the latest technology brings. Therefore, the applied ethics is a significant and necessary subject rises contemporarily.
In the interactive session, the students participated in the interaction actively and raised many questions. The scholars answered these questions. Finally, Professor Wang concluded the lectures, he remarked that the four lecturers had their own characteristics, clear logic, and deep understanding of applied ethics. What it more, he praised the students who raised the questions and encouraged the audience to think, suspect and raise questions.
This salon deepened the students’ understanding of the development and latest achievement of applied ethics based on national governance modernization and achieved good academic influences.
(Graduate Association of the School of public administration of Nanjing Normal University, Shi Wenjuan)