On March 19, the 142nd On Tao Forum was held in School of Public Administration in Xingmin Building, Room 634-A. The theme of the lecture was ‘The Accomplishment and Future Development of Ethics in New China’. We were honored to invite Professor Jiang Chang from Hubei University, Professor Li Ping from Sun Yat-sen University, Professor Wang Ying from Hebei University of Economics and Business, Professor Wang Shuqin from Capital Normal University and Professor Yang Yiqin from Tianjin Academy of Social Sciences to be the guests and Professor Wang Xiaoxi from School of Marxism, Nanjing Normal University to be the reviewer. Professor Wang Lulu hosted the forum.
At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Jiang made a brief introduction about the meaning of the word ‘Ethics’ and the origin of the subject. He supposed that Ethics switched for four times after its origin: from the traditional form to the Western form, the Soviet form after liberation, the Western form after Reform and Open and back to the traditional form after the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC. Professor Jiang also pointed out that the basic principle of Ethics was changed from Collectivism to Pluralism. Professor Jiang raised his suggestions about the future development of Ethics and encouraged the young scholars to innovate during the research of Ethics, breaking the boundary between reality and tradition, mixing the ethic theories of Chinese Philosophy, Western Philosophy and Marxism Philosophy and building an original system of Ethics.
Then, Professor Li made an introduction about the boundary of the subject of Ethics. She focused on the research of the boundary of Western Ethics and believed that there was a tradition of Rationalism while in Chinese traditional thoughts. Ethics and Morality were strictly distinguished. She believed that Ethics was defined by Ontology, while Morality was defined by Epistemology. Professor Li introduced the two important debates on Ethics in the 20th century and regarded them as the herald of the great change of Chinese history. At the end of her speech, Professor Li claimed that the pace of Ethics is slower than our society, and we must concentrate on the latest problems so that we could make a real impact on the real ethical life. Professor Wang Ying made an introduction about the symbiosis of law and morality. She claimed that Laws and regulations should include moral values in guiding opinions and we should transform the basic principles of morality into Laws and regulations.
Next, Professor Wang Shuqin pointed out that the future direction of Ethics would be the balance of the theory of Virtue and the normative theory, the high order and low order of human nature. Professor Wang also introduced the problem of moral community, moral stratum and the differences between different people’s moral awareness and moral state. She advocated the positive flow of social morality and pointed out that the social and cultural diversity reflected the basis of the growth of different moral theories. Professor Yang Yiqin made a detailed introduction on the five stages of the Ethics and concluded the experience of moral construction for over 70 years. She pointed out that we must pay attention to the construction of the disciplinary system of Ethics and moral norms under the Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Finally, Professor Wang Xiaoxi made a conclusion and raised his opinions. He highly praised the introductions of the accomplishment and future development of Ethics made by the professors.
The lecture helped the students understand the history and trend of Ethics in New China, and benefitted them of their academic professionalism.
(Li Cenqian, Wang Tiancheng)