Philosophical Perspectives on Harmony

Country: Singapore

City: Singapore

Abstr. due: 30.11.2018

Dates: 15.07.19 — 17.07.19

Area Of Sciences: Philosophy;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Nanyang Technological University


This international workshop aims to bring together scholars to explore conceptions of harmony and closely related ideas in various philosophical and cultural traditions. 

Harmony or similar ideas can be found in virtually all traditions of thought. Yet, its meaning varies greatly, ranging from pure concord to a transformative process for accommodating diversity and minimizing conflict. Greek philosophers Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and Plato presented competing conceptions of harmony; whereas Heraclitian processive harmony presupposes ongoing opposites, tension and conflict, Pythagorean harmony and Platonic harmony are founded on a pre-determined order. In China, various schools of thought took harmony/harmonization as an effective way to optimally coordinate differences and productively transforming reality, yet their conceptions diverged. In modern times, especially in the West, the concept of harmony has been taken almost exclusively as concord rather than a dynamic process. Mainstream Western philosophical discourse seldom includes the idea or ideal of harmony. Is harmony still relevant in the world today? If yes, what form of harmony is desired and how should harmony be constructed in contemporary contexts? Careful studies of harmony and closely related ideas are needed to address these fundamental questions.   

The workshop presents a platform for scholars to explore a broad range of philosophical perspectives on and cultural traditions relating to harmony, from harmony as agreement, peace, to a dynamic, integrative transformation for new relationships and new reality through mutual engagement. In addition to historical studies, we are particularly interested in papers that directly engage contemporary issues and address the relation of harmony with other moral and social ideals. We seek extended abstracts (500-800 words) that examine the conception(s) of harmony in a thinker, a philosophical school, and a cultural tradition, or explore the relation between harmony and other philosophical concepts. Examples of topics include:

• Harmony and the Good

• Harmony and Diversity

• Harmony and Justice

• Harmony and Human Rights

• Harmony and Mathematics

• Harmony in African Philosophy

• Religious Harmony

• Aesthetic Harmony and Logical Harmony

• Aesthetic versus Ethical Harmony

• Harmony and Process

• Harmony and Evolution


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