Philip J. Ivanhoe

Most Influential Person

American historian

Why Is Philip J. Ivanhoe Influential?

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Representing a different philosophical tradition than most of the other names on this list, Philip J. Ivanhoe serves as a professor and chair of Georgetown University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Before that, he held the title of Distinguished Chair Professor in the College of Confucian Studies and Eastern Philosophy at Sungkyunkwan University Korea. Ivanhoe earned his BA in philosophy at Stanford University in 1976 (while also studying the Chinese language), and later, and in 1987, a PhD. Ivanhoe was also the director of the Sungkyun Institute for Confucian Studies and East Asian Philosophy, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture in Comparative Perspectives. Ivanhoe has also taught at Stanford University, the University of Michigan, Boston University, and City University of Hong Kong.

Ivanhoe is a scholar of Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism, and is mainly known for two influential claims. Not without controversy, Ivanhoe has argued that Neo-Confucian philosophers (including himself) have misinterpreted Confucius and, consequently, their own intellectual tradition, with a more significant influence from Buddhism that had been generally acknowledged. Additionally, Ivanhoe has argued that Confucianism can be understood as a kind of virtue ethics, and that it promotes a discovery model of ethical cultivation.

For his work, Ivanhoe has received awards such as The President’s Award from the City University of Hong Kong, and numerous grants.

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According to Wikipedia, Philip J. Ivanhoe is an historian of Chinese thought, particularly of Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism. He is a professor and chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Georgetown University. Ivanhoe is perhaps best known for two claims: that Neo-Confucian philosophers such as Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming have systematically misinterpreted earlier Confucians such as Confucius himself, and Mengzi; and that Confucianism may usefully be understood as a version of virtue ethics.

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Philip J. Ivanhoe's Published Works

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