Harmony 2019



July 15 - 17, 2019
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

View Call for Paper | Programme

This international workshop aims to bring together scholars to explore conceptions of harmony and closely related ideas in various philosophical and cultural traditions. 

Harmony or similar ideas can be found in virtually all traditions of thought. Yet, its meaning varies greatly, ranging from pure concord to a transformative process for accommodating diversity and minimizing conflict. Greek philosophers Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and Plato presented competing conceptions of harmony; whereas Heraclitian processive harmony presupposes ongoing opposites, tension and conflict, Pythagorean harmony and Platonic harmony are founded on a pre-determined order. In China, various schools of thought took harmony/harmonization as an effective way to optimally coordinate differences and productively transforming reality, yet their conceptions diverged. In modern times, especially in the West, the concept of harmony has been taken almost exclusively as concord rather than a dynamic process. Mainstream Western philosophical discourse seldom includes the idea or ideal of harmony. Is harmony still relevant in the world today? If yes, what form of harmony is desired and how should harmony be constructed in contemporary contexts? Careful studies of harmony and closely related ideas are needed to address these fundamental questions.   

The workshop presents a platform for scholars to explore a broad range of philosophical perspectives on and cultural traditions relating to harmony, from harmony as agreement, peace, to a dynamic, integrative transformation for new relationships and new reality through mutual engagement. In addition to historical studies, we are particularly interested in papers that directly engage contemporary issues and address the relation of harmony with other moral and social ideals. We seek extended abstracts (500-800 words) that examine the conception(s) of harmony in a thinker, a philosophical school, and a cultural tradition, or explore the relation between harmony and other philosophical concepts. Examples of topics include:

Harmony and the Good

Harmony and Diversity

Harmony and Justice

Harmony and Human Rights

Harmony and Mathematics

Harmony in African Philosophy

Religious Harmony

Aesthetic Harmony and Logical Harmony

Aesthetic versus Ethical Harmony

Harmony and Process

Harmony and Evolution

Workshop Convener:

Prof Chenyang Li (Nanyang Technological University-Singapore)

Workshop Advisory Committee:

Prof Asma Afsaruddin (Indiana University)

Prof Robert Neville (Boston University)

Prof Philip Pettit (Princeton University/Australian National University)

Prof Brook Ziporyn (University of Chicago)