East meets West: Symposium on Field-Being draws philosophers from around the world


East meets West this weekend at the "Third Symposium on Field-Being and the Non-Substantialistic Turn," being held at Fairfield University. The five-day event is attracting some 50 philosophers from around the world to discuss the blending of western and eastern philosophies.

Dr. Lik Kuen Tong, a professor of philosophy who is renowned in China for his scholarship, established the International Institute for Field Being (IIFB) at Fairfield three years ago, "in response to the spirit of our time." Since then interest has grown in Field-Being modes of thought and the closely allied Non-Substantialistic Turn in twentieth century science and philosophy, believed by some to be the defining characteristic of contemporary thought.

The Symposium will feature 36 related presentations with special attention given to the implications of the Neo-Substantialistic Turn for East-West comparative philosophy.

Participants include Dr. E. V. Altekar from the University of Pune in India, Prof. Claudia Bickmann from the University of Bremen in Germany, Dr. Arjuna De Zoysa from The Open University of Sri Lanka, Dr. Eiko Hanaoka from Osaka Pretecture University in Japan and other professors from Taiwan, London, Thailand, South Africa, and Hong Kong.

Within the United States, representatives will be arriving from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Xavier University in Cincinnati, Temple University in Philadelphia, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, California State University, Fordham University, University of Toledo, and Boston University among others.

Sessions begin Friday morning at 8 a.m with a welcome by Dr. Orin Grossman, acting academic vice president of Fairfield University and Dr. Tong. Keynote Speaker Beth J. Singer of Brooklyn College will present "Non-Substantialism and the Metaphysics of Justus Buchler," followed by Prof. Lewis Edwin Hahn of Southern Illinois University speaking on "Contextualism and Field-Being" and Prof. Yong Huang speaking on "Tian, Li, and Sheng: Cheng Hao's Neo Confucian Understanding of the Ultimate Reality." Prof. Hahn, who is 90 years old and a distinguished American philosopher, is also one of the most hardy, attending each and every session.

The sessions continue through Tuesday morning.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 16, 1999

Vol. 32, No. 47