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Professor Sam Crane Discusses "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dao: Ancient Chinese Thought in Modern American Life"

Sam Crane of Williams College talks to USCI about his book examining contentious social issues in the US (abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia) using concepts drawn from pre-Qin Confucianism and Daoism.
October 31, 2014
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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dao: Ancient Chinese Thought in Modern American Life introduces the ideas and arguments of the ancient Chinese philosophies of Confucianism and Daoism to some of the most intractable social issues of modern American life, including abortion, gay marriage, and assisted suicide.
  • Introduces the precepts of ancient Chinese philosophers to issues they could not have anticipated
  • Relates Daoist and Confucian ideas to problems across the arc of modern human life, from birth to death
  • Provides general readers with a fascinating introduction to Chinese philosophy, and its continued relevance
  • Offers a fresh perspective on highly controversial American debates, including abortion, stem cell research, and assisted suicide

Sam Crane is the Chair of the Political Science Department at Williams College where he teaches, among other topics, contemporary Chinese politics and ancient Chinese philosophy. He blogs at The Useless Tree. He gave a talk at USC titled "Teaching Confucius in Beijng" on October 16. 2014. Click here to watch the video.

Click here for the full list of book interviews.

 

This video is also available on the USCI YouTube Channel.

 

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Events

April 26, 2018 - 4:00pm
Los Angeles, California
Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute and USC professor Brett Sheehan for a discussion on the evolution of Chinese capitalism chronicling the fortunes of the Song family of North China under five successive authoritarian governments.

 

June 5, 2018 - 7:00pm
Los Angeles, California

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute, the East Asian Studies Center, and the USC School of Cinematic Arts for a screening of the 1993 Chinese film Woman Sesame Oil Maker (香魂女). It tells the story of a woman in a small village who buys a peasant wife for his mentally disabled son after her sesame oil business becomes unexpectedly successful. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director, Xie Fei (谢飞).