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Potentials, Problems, Research Fields
Transcultural Conceptual History Between Asia and Europe

7-8 June 2013
Zentrum fur Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Schutzenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Seminarraum 303

レポート

Workshop “Transcultural Conceptual History Between Asia and Europe: Potentials, Problems, Research Fields” was held in the Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin on June 7-8, 2013. Organizers such as Tobias Cheung, Ernst Muller, and Georg Toepfer are interested in possibilities to enhance German “Conceptual history” in East Asian context. This is a project to fit the aim of CPAG to make a conceptual mapping in a new way by referring to “New Universality.”

On the first day , Hwang Jung-A (Hallym University, Korea) gave a talk about her research activities in HK (Humanities Korea) program at Hallym university, which are based upon “Conceptual History” and reconsider East Asian philosophical resources in comparison with western concepts. Ernst Muller (Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Germany) introduced his research activities at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research, which are realized in digital dictionary about interdisciplinary conceptual history. We can find them in this website: http://www.begriffsgeschichte.de/doku.php?id=startseite. Nakajima Takahiro gave a talk about CPAG and other related organizations to match “Conceptual History” in Japan and presented a conference of “How Can East Asia Consider Science and Religion as the Universal Concept?” in order to share our concept of “New Universality” without falling into some sort of “particularism.” Through discussion, we came to understand that “New Universality” is not aiming a construction of universal ethics as an abstract concept, but a disembedding of concepts from traditional contexts to find some universalizable values.

On the second day, Wu Guosheng (Beijing University, China) gave a talk about scientism in modern China. Scientism was widely spread as an ideology to support both liberals and leftists. We can distinguish scientific-critical attitude as what is universalizable from scientism. Gerog Toepfer (Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Germany) explained the background of his three-volume books Historisches Worterbuch der Biologie and showed us multilingual database of conceptual history in biology. We can find the latter in this website: http://www.biological-concepts.com/views/search.php. Nawata Yuji (Chuo University, Japan) introduced his interest in Chinese intellectual Han Yu to redefine the concept of “humans” in a constellation with heaven and earth. Tobias Cheung (Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Germany) presented his research interest in history of life science in East Asia, by referring to Japanese reception of Darwinism and social Darwinism and the shift from anatomy to physiology.

Thanks to those presentations and discussions, we can share a concrete image to make our research on “Conceptual History” together in global context. CPAG will be able to contribute it as a Japanese partner.

(Report:Takahiro Nakajima)

Transcultural Conceptual History Between Asia and Europe. : Potentials, Problems, Research Fields

Organizers: Tobias Cheung, Ernst Muller, Georg Toepfer

Friday, 7 June
14.15 Welcome
14.30 Takahiro Nakajima (Tokyo University)How Can East Asia Consider Science and Religion as the Universal Concept?
15.30 Coffee
16.00 Ernst Muller (Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin)Current Projects and Publications Aiming at an Interdisciplinary Conceptual History at the Zentrum fur Literatur und Kulturforschung
16.30 Jung-A. Wang (Hallym University, Chuncheon)Korean Conceptual History Research (via Skype)
17.00 Discussion: Comparison between the East Asian Basic Concepts Programme at Hallym University and the Center for Literary and Cultural Research
19.00 Dinner

Saturday, 8 June
9.30 Guosheng Wu (Beijing University)A Study in Scientism in modern China
10.30 Georg Toepfer (Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin)Methods and Problems of the Conceptual History of Basic Scientific Concepts
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Tobias Cheung (Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)Some Perspectives on Life Sciences Orientated Research Schemes between East and West
12.00 Final Discussion: Cooperations, Projects, Fundings
13.30 Lunch

Ziel des Workshops ist es, exemplarisch Potentiale, Problemstellungen und Forschungsfelder des Ansatzes einer kulturubergreifenden Begriffsgeschichte zwischen Asien und Europa zu diskutieren. Wahrend des Workshops werden nicht nur neue inhaltliche Perspektiven begriffsgeschichtlicher Forschung erschlossen, sondern auch eine mogliche Eurozentrik tradierter begriffsgeschichtlicher Methoden mit Besonderheiten der fernostlichen Sprachkulturen und des Wissenstransfers zwischen heterogenen Kulturen konfrontiert. Insbesondere am Beispiel des Schlusselbegriffs ?Leben“ lasst sich zeigen, dass es im ostasiatischen Raum zu spezifischen Problemkonstellationen des Begriffstransfers, der Ubersetzung und der Lemmatisierung gekommen ist. Konfuzianistisch gepragte Lebensbegriffe, die in Kosmologien, Ethik und Medizin zwischen China, Korea und Japan bis in das neunzehnte Jahrhundert hinein in einem relativ homogenen Beziehungsgeflecht zirkulierten, wurden durch den zunehmenden Einfluss der europaischen, insbesondere auch deutschen Wissenschaftssprache der Anatomie, Physio- logie und Evolution aus ihren tradierten Ordnungsmustern gedrangt. Fur zentrale Begriffe und Differenzen, die sich im europaischen Raum entwickelt hatten, wie fur den Begriff des Organismus oder die Differenz zwischen Lebendigem und Unlebendigen, gab es oft keine oder nur unscharf ausgewiesene diskursive Positionen.

Folgende Fragen sind fur den Workshop zentral:

1) Wie lasst sich eine europaisch tradierte Begriffsgeschichte auf den asiatischen Raum ubertragen?
2) In welchem Ausmas besteht bereits ein begriffsgeschichtlicher Diskurs in Ostasien?
3) Welche Transformationen, Schnittflachen, Begriffsubertragungen und metaphorischen Felder charakterisieren den ?Lebens“-Begriff in China, Japan und Korea?
4) Inwiefern konnte eine systematisch entwickelte kulturvergleichende Begriffsgeschichte den Dialog sowohl zwischen China, Japan und Korea als auch zwischen Europa und Asien unterstutzen und fortentwickeln?

Tobias Cheung is Associate Professor at the Institute of Cultural Studies of the Humboldt-University and visiting scholar at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science (Berlin). He is interested in history of science, philosophy, literature and East Asian cultural studies. His publications include Res vivens. Agent Models of Organic Order 1600-1800 (2008), System, Microoperator and Transformation: Leibniz’ Monadic Order of Living Things (2009), Transitions and Borders between Animals, Humans and Machines 1600-1800 (2010), Limits of Life and Death: Legallois’s Decapitation Experiments (2012), Organisms: Agents of Inner and Outer Worlds 1780-1840 (2013), and Kisho Kurokawa’s Metabolic Space (2013).

Ernst Muller, Dr. phil., Privatdozent at the Department of Philosophy at Humboldt University Berlin. Since 2005 leader of a project about the History of Concepts at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin. Publications about the history of philosophy and aesthetics. Studies about the methodological framing of an interdisciplinary account of historical semantics. Conceptual history of romanticism, religion, myth, information, etc. Publications: (ed.) Begriffsgeschichte im Umbruch? (Hamburg 2005), (ed.) with Falko Schmieder, Begriffsgeschichte der Naturwissenschaften. Zur historischen und kulturellen Dimension naturwissenschaftlicher Konzepte (Berlin and New York 2008), Transferences in the concept of information, in: Jutta Weber (ed.): Interdisziplinierung? Zum Wissenstransfer zwischen den Geistes-, Sozial- und Technowissenschaften (Bielefeld 2010) 143-166, ?Ubertragungen’ in der Wissenschaftsgeschichte, In: Matthias Kross, Rudiger Zill (eds.): Metapherngeschichten. Perspektiven einer Theorie der Unbegrifflichkeit (Berlin 2011) 34-51.

Takahiro Nakajima (b. in 1964, nakajima@ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp) is associate professor of Chinese philosophy at the University of Tokyo. After graduating from the department of Chinese Philosophy, the University of Tokyo in 1991, he was assistant professor at the University of Tokyo (1991-1996), lecturer and associate professor in Ritsumeikan University (1996-2000), associate professor in the department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, the University of Tokyo (2000-2012), and now is associate professor of Chinese philosophy in Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo. Since 2001, he has been a member of UTCP (University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy). His publications include The Philosophy of Evil: Imaginations in Chinese Philosophy (Tokyo: Chikuma Shob?, 2012), Practicing Philosophy between China and Japan (Tokyo: UTCP, 2011), Praxis of Co-existence: State and Religion (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 2011), Deconstruction and Reconstruction: The Possibilities of Chinese Philosophy (Tokyo: UTCP 2010), The Zhuangzi, (Iwanami Shoten, 2009), Philosophy in Humanities (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2009), The Reverberation of Chinese Philosophy: Language and Politics, (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 2007), The Chinese Turn in Philosophy (Tokyo: UTCP, 2007) . He got two prizes; the 1st of Nakamura Hajime Prize (1993): the 25th of Watsuji Tetsur? Cultural Prize (2013). He is now interested in the phenomenon on Confucian revival in East Asia.

Georg Toepfer, Dr. phil. Dipl. biol., is head of the department “Knowledge of Life” at the Centre for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin. He studied biology and philosophy in Wurzburg, Buenos Aires and Hamburg. He is interested in the history and philosophy of biology, with a special focus on conceptual history. From 2005 to 2011 he was at the Collaborative Research Centre “Transformations of Antiquity” at the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin. Main publications: Zweckbegriff und Organismus. Uber die teleologische Beurteilung biologischer Systeme (2004), Philosophie der Biologie (ed. with Ulrich Krohs, 2005), Historisches Worterbuch der Biologie. Geschichte und Theorie der biologischen Grundbegriffe (3 vols., 2011), Evolution (2013).

Jung-A. Wang studied English literature (BA, MA, and PhD) at Seoul National University. Currently she is an HK (Humanities Korea) professor at Hallym Academy of Sciences, Hallym University, working on the project for "Intercommunication of East Asian Basic Concepts." Her recent publications include Between Survival and Freedom: Hannah Arendt's Concept of Politics (2013), Violence of Law, Violence beyond Law (2012), The 'Equation' of Human Rights and Civil Rights: Criticisms of 'Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen' (2011), Transnational Paradigm in literature : Issues in Discourses of National Literature and World Literature (2010).

Guosheng Wu, Professor and Director of Center for History and Philosophy of Science in Peking University, was born in September 5, 1964 at Hubei Province. He graduated from Department of Geophysics with Bachelor of Science, Peking University in 1983, and graduated from Department of Philosophy, Peking University with Master of Philosophy in 1986. In 1998, He got Doctor’s Degree of Western Philosophy from Department of Philosophy, Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Since 1986, He has been focusing his work on two fields, The Intellectual History of Science, Phenomenology of Science and of Technology. He did some topical research on a series of concepts such as Nature, Universe, Time, Space, etc. He is now the Vice President of Chinese Society for the History of Science and Technology. Main Publications: Greek Spatial Concepts (1994), Ideas of Time (1996), Lectures on Philosophy of Technology (2009).