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Invitation to an International Conference


Traditional Values and Virtues in Social Life Today



Remin (People's) University of China

Beijing, P.R. China

June 2-3, 2012




The transition from traditional to modern society which has lasted some four centuries draws different regions of human society into an almost synchronous process of globalization. Compared to traditional society, however, modernization is also a utilitarian pursuit of material interests and desires, which inevitably has led to a loss of traditional morality.


Alasdair MacIntyre has even described our times as coming 'after virtue'. Thus the process of globalization inevitably raises such questions as


- the relation of values and virtues

- the relation of both to culture and religion,

- whether in contemporary society traditional moral virtues have lost their vitality, and if so

- how to renew these by values as foundations for a contemporary moral life.


With him, since the 1980s many ethicists in the West have gone back to Aristotle to advocate a ‘virtue ethics’, which has now become an important contemporary school. For China this raises the question of the position of traditional values and virtues in contemporary social life; do they respond to the moral issues of modern society; and to what extent do changing values provide the additional resources needed for a global ethics.


All this calls for research in ethics that looks not only back to the tradition in response to issues of modernization and globalization, but must examine the human predicament in contemporary society and rediscover the significance of human values and virtues for life today.




The conference will be organized by the Center for the Study of Ethics, Renmin University, Beijing, China, where it will be held, and the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP). Scholars of different cultural traditions, East and West, are invited to come together to discuss the status and fate of traditional values and virtues in contemporary society, and how to evolve them for our global times.


The selection of conference papers will be conducted on the basis of one page English abstract which should be submitted as soon as possible via email to Professor Gong Qun (gongqun@ruc.edu.cn or gongqun2001@yahoo.com) with copy to cua-rvp@cua.edu. Responses will be sent to the applicants soon after the reception of your abstract and at least by the end of April, 2012. Full paper should be sent by May 15, 2012.









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