GIP Lecture 25: Daisuke Kamei

-Tuesday 31 January, 12 pm CET (UTC+1)

Prof. Dr. Daisuke Kamei, Ritsumeikan University Kyoto, Japan: "Jacques Derrida and Shūzō Kuki: On Contingency and Event"



 I would like to do an attempt of comparative consideration between Japanese philosopher Shūzō Kuki (1888-1941) and French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930-2004). In his essay titled "Metaphysical Time"(1931), Kuki says that "the once-only and infinite life is worth living". In my view, this apparently paradoxical term "the once-only and infinite" expresses the core of the time theory of Kuki. On the other hand, Derrida uses a similar expression. For example, he says, "the event cannot appear to be an event, when it appears, unless it is already repeatable in its very uniqueness", that is, he proposes the "idea of uniqueness as immediately iterable" (in his essay in 1997, "A Certain Impossible Possibility of Saying the Event"). It seems that these two formulations share something in common in the fact that both have the same philosophical task to think at the same time the singular uniqueness and the infinite iterability.

 How can we bring these two formulations together? Although both have different shades of meaning, couldn't we argue that the two correspond to one another very profoundly? I would like to make clear the measurable proximity between the philosophy of Kuki and the thinking of Derrida. For this purpose, I would like to make a correlation between Kuki's contingency theory in his book The Problem of Contingency (1935) and Derrida's thinking of the event, which is also no other than the thinking of contingency.

GIP LECTURE 26: Mathias Obert

-Thursday, 23 Feb 2023, 12:00 CET (=UCT+1)

Prof. Dr. Mathias Obert, National Sun Yat-Sen University Taiwan: „Als Phänomenologe unterwegs in japanischen Gärten“

The Lecture will be given in GERMAN

GIP Lecture 27: Eric Nelson

-Tuesday, 18 April, 12 pm CEST (=UTC+2)

Professor Dr. Eric Nelson (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology): "Daoist wuwei in the Anthropocene"


Wei wu wei 為無為 has been interpreted as indifference and inaction, minimalism and adaptability, and responsive resonance and releasement. Despite the depoliticization of wuwei as a mystical state, a flexible knack, or a reflexive flow, its early meaning was ethical, political, and social. In the Daodejing 道德經, wuwei concerns the art of rulership and the ways in which peoples and things “anarchically” organize and nourish themselves. “Nature” (ziran 自然) consists of the interactive self-patterning and participatory self-ordering of the myriad things (wanwu 萬物) correlated with wuwei and the shared nourishing of life (yangsheng 養生). Daoism has been criticized as opposing action vs. inaction, complexity vs. simplicity, culture vs. naturalness, hierarchical society vs. “primitive” freedom and equality. Its point is participatory relationality: it fosters simplicity in complexity, naturalness in culture, responsive attunement in activity, and reciprocal self-ordering. Daoist wuwei concerns the appropriate uses of things and technologies, indicating an alternative response to the Anthropocene.

Eric S. Nelson is Professor of Philosophy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He has published on Chinese, German, Jewish, and intercultural philosophy. He is the author of “Heidegger and Dao: Things, Nothingness, Freedom” (Bloomsbury, 2023), “Daoism and Environmental Philosophy” (Routledge, 2020), “Levinas, Adorno, and the Ethics of the Material Other” (SUNY Press, 2020), and “Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought” (Bloomsbury, 2017).


GIP Lecture 28: Fabian Heubel

-Tuesday, 9 May, 12 pm CESTR (= UTC+2)

Professor Dr. Fabian Heubel (Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan / Visiting Professor, Institut für Philosophie, FU Berlin, Germany): “Being Between: Comparative and Transcultural Philosophy”

Professor Dr. Fabian Heubel (Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan / Visiting Professor, Institut für Philosophie, FU Berlin, Germany): “Being Between: Comparative and Transcultural Philosophy”


This essay argues that comparative and transcultural philosophy are interdependent, and so opting for only one of the two is an impossibility. The comparative approach persists as long as we distinguish identities and make differences. As long as people do not speak only one language, the need to move between different languages and to translate, and thus the need to relate and compare different possibilities of philosophical articulation, will remain. Any attempt to free oneself from the problem of cultural identity is doomed to failure, as it leads to further entrapment in the very same problem. Comparative philos­ophy works with more or less fixed identities, transcultural philosophy transforms them and thereby creates new identities. Those two approaches combined constitute what I call intercultural philosophy.

In this essay I try to explain the relation between comparative and transcultural philos­ophy by connecting François Jullien’s “comparative” and Martin Heidegger’s “transcul­tural” understanding of “Being” (Sein) and “Between” (Zwischen). In part 1 I argue that by turning Between and Being into opposing paradigms of Chinese and Greek thinking, respectively, Jullien causes both to become more or less fixed representatives of different cultural identities within a comparative framework: Greek thinking ossifies into tradi­tional metaphysics, and Chinese thinking ossifies into the non-metaphysical thinking of immanence. Part 2 argues that Heidegger takes a decisively different direction. He explores the Between in Being, and even makes an attempt to think of Being as Between. Heidegger’s invocation of “Greekdom” is undoubtedly Eurocentric. But, ironically, Hei­degger’s “Greek thinking” is less Eurocentric than Jullien’s “Chinese thinking”, because he discovers the “Chinese” Between in the midst of “Greek” Being. Part 3 touches upon the task of speaking about European philosophy in Chinese terms. While modern Chinese philosophers frequently speak about Chinese philosophy in European terms, Heidegger’s work points to the possibility of speaking about European philosophy in Chinese terms. Because Jullien and Heidegger both connect Greek and Chinese thought, it seems to me that the discussion of their different approaches is helpful in clarifying perspectives for intercultural philosophy between China and Europe.



Professor Heubel is Research Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C). Before that he has been professor at the Institute for Philosophy of National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (R.O.C) and adjunct professor at the Tainan National University of the Arts. He has taught at several Chinese universities as well as Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main and Freie Universität Berlin.

Currently he is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Philosophy of Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

His research is on transcultural philosophy, contemporary Confucianism, Zhuangzi, Chinese Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, Critical Theory, Frankfurt School of Philosophy, Taiwan Studies, Jullien, Foucault, Nancy, Heidegger and Hölderlin.

GIP Lecture 29: Ali Asghar Mosleh

-Thursday, 29 June, 6 pm CEST,

Prof. Dr. Ali Asghar Mosleh, Professor of Philosophy, ATU/ Tehran, Head of Iranian Association for Intercultural Philosophy, Research Institute Director for Contemporary Culture. "Human and the Future of the Earth"


The present research will focus on the relation between human and the Earth in terms of their physical/natural and theoretical/metaphorical aspects. Subsequently, two kinds of reactions are introduced, to what is now called the perils to, and crises of the Earth. To comprehend and confront the Earth in the contemporary world is essentially technical/scientific, whereas philosophers comprehend the Earth and its relation to human on another level, by the grasp they have on mankind's fundaments of life. With reference to notions of a few philosophers, particularly Nietzsche's and Heidegger's, and to opinions of some contemporary scientists about the future of the Earth, the present research explores the gaps and challenges between philosophical attitude and technical attitude. The main purpose of this study is to encourage reflection on the future of the Earth by relying on philosophical methods and traditions, and also to stimulate cooperation in discussions and controversies surrounding the topic. The desired end is the reconciliation of opposing orientations and to propose an intercultural treatment for the future of the Earth. 

GIP Lecture 30: Kwok-ying LAU

-Wednesday, 19 July, 6 pm CEST (=UTC+2)

Prof. Dr. Kwok-ying LAU, The Chinese University of Hongkong: „Cultural Flesh and Intercultural Phenomenology: Theory and Practice” (Hybrid)




In contrast to Eurocentric conceptions of philosophy, the present author will explain in what sense and in what way his apprenticeship and practice of philosophy in Hong Kong since the very beginning is an intercultural affair: serious philosophical practice is necessarily a matter of intercultural understanding. Not satisfied with Derrida’s deconstruction of the Eurocentric pretention of Husserl’s Idea of philosophy as “pure theoria”, the present author tries to make sense of the intercultural nature of contemporary philosophical practice by the concept of “interworld” (“inter-monde”) suggested by Merleau-Ponty. The paper will also explain the necessity of intercultural understanding in the establishment of philosophical truth. It will go on to explain the relevance of the concept of flesh (la chair, 肌膚存在 ) and cultural flesh , proposed by the present author, in providing the ontological basis of the inter-world and inter-cultural understanding. The paper will highlight some of the results of the author’s research in intercultural understanding in philosophy from the phenomenological approach, published in his 2016 book Phenomenology and Intercultural Understanding. Toward a New Cultural Flesh (Springer), with which the author was awarded the Edward Goodwin Ballard Prize in Phenomenology for the best book in phenomenology by the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, USA, 2019. 


Prof. Kwok-ying LAU 劉國英教授

PhD, University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne

Emeritus Professor, Department of Philosophy

Senior College Fellow, New Asia College

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Shatin, NT

Hong Kong

GIP Lecture 31: Masatake Shinohara

-Tuesday, 31 October, 12pm CET,

Prof. Dr. Masatake Shinohara, Kyoto University: "An Undecided Dimension of Depth: On the Question of the Place in the Thought of Kitaro Nishida"

Der GIP-Vortrag von Masatake Shinohara am 31.10. findet hybrid statt – er trägt in Tübingen in Präsenz vor (Keplerstr. 2, Raum 003), man kann sich aber auch online zuschalten (Anmeldung bei N.Weidtmann)


In my lecture, I will attempt a certain kind of address to the dimension of depth that exceeds our present possibilities, the dimension that remains hidden all along. Such dimension belongs to the place in which we always already find ourselves but simultaneously transcends our conscious grasp. Thus, in its concern with the ontological ground upon which the human artifice as the condition for human existence has been built, this presentation tries to problematize the idea that the place where humans are emplaced is solid and stabilized. In contrast to the common understanding that the human condition is sustained as solid and durable, what I am proposing is that we are now challenged with the realization of the radical uncertainty that is always just underfoot. 

In this respect, the work of Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida (1870-1945), one of the founders of the modern Japanese philosophical tradition of thought, can be reformulated in its formulation of the question concerning the dimension of depth that is rooted within the profound vastness of place. Yet, Nishida also characterizes the place as that which is not merely external to the self but determines the mode of existence of the self. By way of the engagement with the thought of Nishida, I will proceed with a question of place that is characterized as the contradictory dimension that is not merely external to the self but is not continuous with the self. First of all, the place within which the self is emplaced is characterized as the hidden dimension that is expected to be revealed at the depth of the active self. This is also a dimension of alterity that simultaneously embraces and transcends the self who inhabits it. More specifically, the place as the dimension of alterity can be understood in the interest of the earthly dimension that environs humans but is irreducible to the human artifice.  Thus, being uncontained by the boundaries that constitute the realm of the human artifice for the everyday life, it would be assumed to go beyond the limited horizon of everyday experience in a way that announces the possible futural dimension in which the imaginal form of coexistence among humans would emerge. 



Masatake Shinohara was born in 1975 in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from the Faculty of Integrated Human Studies, Kyoto University, he went on studying at the Graduate School of Human and Environment Studies of the same university for a doctoral program. He currently serves as a specially appointed associate professor at Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University. His publications include Kokyo Kukan no Seiji Riron [Political theory of public space] (Jimbun Shoin, 2007), Kukan no tame n i : Henzaika suru Suramuteki Shakai no Nakade [For spaces: In omnipresent slum-like world] (Ibunsha, 2011), Zen-Seikatsuron: Tenkeiki no Kokyo Kukan [All theories of living: public space in transformation] (Ibunsha, 2012), and Ikirareta Nyu Taun: Mirai Kukan no Tetsugaku [New town that would have survived: philosophy of future space] (Seidosha, 2015). In 2016, he participated in Venice biennale as a vice-curator of Japan pavilion. He contributed to formulate the main conception of “En”, and to become a mediator through which plural architects communicate and share the idea.