Monday, February 27, 2017

The Value of Eastern Philosophy in the Battle Between Nativism and Cosmopolitanism

A wise person once reminded us that “we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”  Therefore to begin to change the world, or even better understand our place in it, we need first begin to see ourselves and change ourselves.

But how do we do that when all around us the constraints of convention sometimes reinforce the limits of our perception. The answer in part, according to my guest Harvard Professor Michael Puett, is to turn East and look at the accumulated wisdom of Chinese and Eastern philosophy.

It doing so we broaden our worldview and take a clear stand in what Puett sees as the oncoming battle between nativism and cosmopolitanism.

This approach as made Michael Puett's undergraduate class at Harvard - Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory - the third most popular course on campus.

Professor Puett has now distilled that wisdom in The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life.

My conversation with Michael Puett: