Neformální sinologické kolokvium

Duben 9, 2015 § Napsat komentář

Srdečně zveme na sinologické kolokvium, kde Oliver Weingarten, M.A., Ph.D. (OÚ AV ČR) promluví na téma Courage in Early China.

V pátek 17. dubna ve 13:00 v místnosti 118, Celetná 20.


Abstract: The phenomenon of courage is of fundamental anthropological significance. Displays of courageous behaviour and ascriptions of courage as well as allegations of cowardice relate to such issues as violence, conscience, morality, family obligations as opposed to public duties, self-preservation and self-sacrifice, collective solidarity and struggles for dominance within and between groups, pressures to conform to social norms and expectations, and the desire to hold one’s ground in the face of adversity. Whenever an individual is confronted with a decision between conformity and conflict in his interactions with the surrounding society, the issue of courage comes to the fore. At the same time, courage can be potentially disruptive and may be considered to be in need of control. The social and moral complexity of courage makes it an excellent instrument to plumb the collective value system and ethical convictions of a society.

On the basis of selected sources from the Warring States and Western Han periods, this talk will explore some of the issues surrounding the concept of courage in early China, though without necessarily arriving at a systematic analysis or conclusive results. Among the questions addressed will be the following: How was one of the most frequent terms for courage, yong 勇, used and glossed in early texts? Were there physiological explanations of courage? Was there a tension between martial and civil, or moral, concepts of courage? What role did courage play in military thought? Was it supposed to be an invariant quality, or was it thought to be open to fluctuation or even manipulation? Given the frequent connection with violent behaviour, was there a sense of ambivalence about courage? Was it possible to show too much courage? And what was the relationship between courage and gender?

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