1st Unit : Workshop

Panel Presentation about Inoue Enryo at the Annual Conference of the Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia "Inoue Enryo's Role during the Early Reception of Western Philosophy in East Asia"

8   The 1st Unit of the Ircp organized a panel at the fifth annual meeting of the Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia, which was held in Hong Kong on May 10 and 11, 2013. The participants of the panel about "Inoue Enryo's Role during the Early Reception of Western Philosophy in East Asia" were Wang Ching, from the Institute of Philosophy of the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing, and Miura Setsuo (Ircp Researcher), Shirai Masato (Ircp Research Associate), and Rainer Schulzer (Ircp Visiting Researcher), from Toyo University.

   After the opening ceremony on the first day, two keynote lectures and a special research presentation were given, which addressed the spread of East Asian Culture from the perspectives of language, arts, and history. Between lunch and photo shooting in the evening, the panel sessions took place between lunch and the photo shoot.

   On the second day, the panel about Inoue Enryo was scheduled for 10時40分 a.m. It became a lively session with a large audience and many questions. The first presentation was given by Rainer Schulzer about Inoue Enryo's theory of conscience. Schulzer spoke about the origins of the Western concept of conscience, which was translated into Japanese by Mencius' term meaning "Good Heart" (ryoshin). Schulzer suggested that evolutionary theory, which Enryo used to criticize Mencius' ideas, also led him to an argument against egoism as put forward by Thomas Hobbes. 9

  Wang Qing spoke about Inoue Enryo's influence on the reception of Western thought in modern China. By including Kant next to Socrates, Buddha, and Confucius into the Four Sages and by his philosophical discussions of Buddhism, Enryo influenced modern Chinese thinkers in different ways. Among the modernizers of the late Qing and early republican period, who had read Enryo's works, were Liang Qichao, who first introduced Kant to China, and Zhang Binglin, who called for social reforms in the name of a philosophically modernized Buddhism. 

 Miura Setsuo's presentation was about nature and the extent of Inoue Enryo's lecture tours through East Asia. Miura gave detailed information about the routes and audiences of Enryo's six tours covering Taiwan, Korea and China. Finally, Miura pointed to several opportunieties for future research.

The last paper was given by Shirai Masato, who spoke about Inoue Enryo's reception of evolutionary theory as part of a cosmology in which evolutionary progress was complemented by evolutionary digression. He pointed out that, while in Enryo's understanding of evolution traditional East Asian notions played an important role, at the same time evolutionary theory provided a critical standpoint towards the East Asian heritage.

    Following the presentations, questions from the audience allowed helped to further deepen various points. After the panel was closed, there were many opportunities to continue discussions and exchange ideas with other East Asian researchers. The panel was not just a good opportunity to continue research about Inoue Enryo, but it also served to introduce the thought of Inoue Enryo to other East Asian researchers.

    The program, abstracts, and proceeding papers of the fifth conference of the Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia can be downloaded from http://www.sciea.org/meeting05.10