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Tang Chun-I Visiting Professorship Public Lecture: Sailing Past the Island—When Karl Löwith, Hung Yao-hsun, Mou Tsung-san, and Tang Chun-i Met Heidegger in East Asia

Please register by 7 October 2022 to attend the public lecture.


From the perspective of the history of diaspora (what Mr. Tang Chun-i called “Drifting Petals”), this public lecture talks about the philosophical narrative related to the island of Taiwan through the history of the wars in Europe, the Pacific War, and the Kuomintang-Communist war from the early 1930s to the mid-20th century. Philosophical narrative is also a piece of philosophical meditation about what my generation has witnessed. At the end of 1936, Karl Löwith (1897–1973), one of the “Children of Heidegger,” went into exile in Japan when Hitler came to power to persecute the Jews. He stopped at Keelung during his voyage and visited Taipei. Hung Yao-hsun (1903–1986), an assistant in the philosophy department of the colonial Taihoku Imperial University at that time, was enlightened by the Kyoto School’s contact with the existential philosophy in early Heidegger, and had already responded to the philosophy of early Heidegger and his Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. Unfortunately, the two missed the chance to meet. After the war, I bought and read Mou Tsung-san’s Intellectual Intuition and Chinese Philosophy (1971) when I was in my fourth year of college, and began to understand the interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy in the Chinese philosophical circle. In the 1970s, Mou and Tang came to Taiwan to give lectures when I was doing my master’s degree. They had a great influence on Taiwan’s philosophical circles. After half a century, from the diasporic perspective of the East Asian waters and islands, let us go back to Europe (Germany) and East Asia (Japan, colonial Taiwan and Hong Kong) in the 1930s, re-narrate how Löwith, Hung, Mou and Tang—all of whom had once sailed past the island—responded to the philosophy of early Heidegger, especially Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, and ask in this narrative context: What is a human being? How can one be in peaceful dwelling?

Delivered in Putonghua
All are welcome