Dr. Mieke Matthyssen paskaitos Vilniaus universiteto Orientalistikos centre

Mieke inter2017 m. spalio 30–31 d. Vilniaus universiteto Orientalistikos centre paskaitas skaitys Gento universiteto Rytų kalbų ir kultūrų katedros mokslinė bendradarbė, dėstytoja dr. Mieke Matthyssen.

Spalio 30 d. (pirmadienis) 15.00 val. paskaita „Indigenous psychology lecture for Sinologists“ (VU OC sinologams, Konfucianizmo kursas)

Spalio 30 d. (pirmadienis) 17.00 val. paskaita „Intercultural Communication lecture for Sinologists“ (VU OC sinologams, Tradicijos ir modernybės kursas)

Spalio 31 d. (antradienis) 17:30 val. vieša paskaita „The wisdom of (pretended) foolishness: from the Daoist sage to Confucian self-cultivation“ (J. Kovalevskio auditorija, VU Orientalistikos centras, Universiteto g. 5)

The wisdom of (pretended) foolishness: from the Daoist sage to Confucian self-cultivation

Ancient Chinese philosophy displays a strong inclination to, and even an appreciation of, an ignorant, foolish or muddled attitude in life. The philosophical foundations of this inclination emphasize the virtue of being emotionally and rationally indifferent, with the Daoist sage fool as its prominent example. In Confucianism, (pretended) foolishness or ignorance can be used to express modesty and tolerance in social relations, and is as such considered a moral virtue that is part of one’s self-cultivation. Far from merely representing ancient philosophical wisdom, these philosophies of life are still very popular in contemporary society. They are particularly present in popular proverbs that often – as it suits Chinese philosophy - dialectically oppose wisdom to foolishness, and clarity to muddledness. In their contemporary interpretation, these wisdoms of life on the one hand embody individual coping strategies for dealing with conflicts, failure, grief and feelings of powerlessness. On the other hand, they offer advice on how to behave ethically in interpersonal relations (zuoren). This lecture addresses the philosophical roots of a few of such proverbs, and at the same time highlights their usefulness in contemporary society.

Dr. Mieke Matthyssen is a teaching and research assistant at the Department of Eastern Languages and Cultures, Ghent University. Her research has mainly been dealing with the philosophical, psychological and sociological dimensions of popular Chinese philosophies of life related to (non-)wisdom, happiness and wellbeing. Her broader research interests focus on Chinese health strategies and indigenous psychology, from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy, and how they are interpreted in contemporary society.


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