FAH/PHIL Guest Lecture – “What Does ‘Successful Aging’ Mean?: A Confucian/Daoist Alternative” by Prof. Geir Sigurdsson, FAH Distinguished Visiting Scholar


Prof. Geir Sigurdsson, FAH Distinguished Visiting Scholar


21 Mar 2019


17:00 - 18:30





In the history of Western philosophy, scarce attention has been given to the notion of aging. Certainly, death has always been a popular topic, both as a mystical/religious and more recently an existential issue, but, with some notable exceptions, the chronological process leading to natural death has been for the most part neglected. However, in classical Chinese philosophical writings, aging has always featured rather prominently as a natural aspect of life to be pondered and discussed no less than others. In this lecture, I want to outline mainly two seminal approaches to aging by classical Chinese philosophers, which rather neatly portrays the main focal distinction between the Confucian and the Daoist schools. I will argue, first, that the underlying importance of temporality in Chinese philosophy necessarily brings about a keen awareness of aging as a part of life, and, secondly, that the scope and different foci of the Confucian/Daoist views offer together an alluring alternative to the current notion of ‘successful aging’.


Geir Sigurðsson (PhD philosophy, University of Hawaii) is professor of Chinese studies at University of Iceland. He is author of Confucian Propriety and Ritual Learning (SUNY Press, 2015) and of a forthcoming annotated translation into Icelandic of Master Sun’s Art of War (Hernaðarlist Meistara Sun).


All are welcome




Philosophy and Religious Studies Programme
Tel: (853) 8822 4768
Email: fah.philosophy@um.edu.mo