Professor Yang Xiao


Kenyon Courses
Curriculum Vitae

Yang Xiao


Yang Xiao is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Kenyon College.

Prof. Xiao received his BA in theoretical physics, MA in philosophy from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and PhD in philosophy from the Graduate Faculty of The New School for Social Research. In 1989 he was a visiting student at Wolfson College at Oxford University, where he studied with Sir Peter Strawson. He worked with Prof. Richard Bernstein at the New School, and in the late 1990s, he studied with Prof. Bernard Williams at Berkeley. Prof. Xiao has been teaching in the philosophy department at Kenyon College since 2003. In 2010-11 he was a visitor at Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Prof. Xiao has been the Book Review Editor of Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy since 2005. In 2011 he was elected the Vice President of the International Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy (ISCWP), 2011-14.

Research Interests

Ethics and Moral Psychology, Chinese Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, and Political Philosophy.


Post-Doctoral Fellowship, the Fairbank Center, Harvard University, 2002-2003.
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Center for Chinese Studies, UC Berkeley, 1999-2000.

Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, The New School for Social Research, 1999.

Work in Progress
Book Manuscript:
The Art of Observing Water: Moral Psychology and Practical Philosophy of Mencius

Publications: Guest Editor of Special Issues of Journals

Special Issue on “Moral Psychology in Early Chinese Philosophy”
Guest Editor, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2006.

Special Issue on “Political Philosophy and Political Reform”
Co-Editor with Nicholas Bunnin of Oxford University, Contemporary Chinese Thought, Vol. 34, No. 3, Spring 2003.

Publications: Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Holding an Aristotelian Mirror for Confucian Ethics?”
Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, volume 10, No. 3, 2011: 359-375.

Ethical Thought in China.” 
The Routledge Companion to Ethics, ed. John Skorupski, London: Routledge, 2010.

Ideal Interpretation: The Theories of Zhu Xi and Ronald Dworkin.”
Co-author with A. P. Martinich.
Philosophy East and West: A Quarterly of Comparative Philosophy, 2010.

Practical Reasoning and Agency in the Analects and the Mencius.”
Journal of Chinese Philosophy, volume 36, No. 4, 2009: 629-641.

How Confucius Does Things with Words: Two Paradigms of Hermeneutic Practice in the Analects and Its Exegeses.”
Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 66, No. 2, May 2007.

Reading the Analects with Davidson: Mood, Force, and Communicative Practice in Early China.”
Davidson’s Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement, Brill Publishing, 2006.

When Political Philosophy Meets Moral Psychology: Expressivism in the Mencius.”
Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2006.

The Pragmatic Turn: Articulating Communicative Practice in the Analects.”
Oriens Extremus, Vol. 45, 2005/06.

Rediscovering Republicanism in China.”
Contemporary Chinese Thought, Vol. 34, No. 3, Spring 2003.

Modernity as Differentiation: Liang Qichao’s Social and Political Philosophy.”
Blackwell Guides to Contemporary Chinese Philosophy, ed. Chung-ying Cheng and Nicholas Bunnin, Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.

Trying to Do Justice to the Concept of Justice in Confucian Ethics.”
Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 24, 1997.
Publications: Book Reviews

Essays on the Moral Philosophy of Menzi, ed. Xiusheng Liu and Philip J. Ivanhoe, Hackett Publishing, 2002.
Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 75, No. 2, June 2007.

Chinese Philosophy in an Age of Globalization, ed. Robin R. Wang, SUNY Press, 2004.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, October 2004.

Human Rights and Chinese Thought, by Stephen Angle, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 215, April 2004.

Selected Conferences, 2003-2011

“Moral Hermeneutics.”
International Conference on Interpretation, Shandong University, China, June 3-5, 2011.

“'Throw Me a Peach, and I’ll Return You a Plum': Mencius’ Moral Psychology of Social Relations.”
The Neo-Confucianism Seminar, Columbia University, May 6, 2011.

“Mencius’ Moral Politics.”
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, March 15, 2011.

Chair, Author-Meets-Critics, "Michael Slote’s Moral Sentimentalism."
APA Pacific Division Meeting, San Diego, April 22, 2011.

Panelist, Author-Meets-Critics, "Jiyuan Yu’s The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle: The Mirror of Virtue."
APA Pacific Division Meeting, San Francisco, March 31-April 4, 2010.   

Discussant, Invited Symposium “Early Confucian Moral Philosophy.”
APA Pacific Division Meeting, Vancouver, April 8-12, 2009.

“Dynamic Dualism of Justification and Motivation in early Chinese Philosophy.”
National University of Taiwan, November 12-14, 2008.

Discussant, Invited Symposium “Early Confucian Moral Philosophy.”
APA Pacific Division Meeting, Vancouver, April 8-12, 2009.

Discussant, Mini-Conference on Neo-Confucian Moral Psychology.
APA Pacific Division Meeting, Vancouver, April 8-12, 2009.

“Mencius’s Virtue Politics.”
Invited Speaker, “Virtue: East and West,” Chinese University of Hong Kong, May 20-22, 2008.

Chair, Panel on “Natural Moralities: Author Meets Critics.”
APA Pacific Division Meeting, Pasadena, March 18-23, 2008.

Discussant, Panel on "Grounds for Ethical Norms in Chinese Thought."
APA Eastern Division Meeting, Baltimore, December 27-30, 2007.

“Practical Reasoning and Agency in Mencius and Aristotle.”
Invited Speaker, Panel on “Dao and Sophia,” the Beijing Forum, Peking University, Beijing, November 2-4, 2007.

“The Justifications and Sources of Ritual Actions in the Mozi and the Mencius.”
Presentation, Special Session on Chinese Philosophy of Religion, APA Pacific Division Meeting, San Francisco, April 4-8, 2007.

Discussant, “Zhuangzi’s Sage as a Moral Agent.”
APA Pacific Division Meeting, San Francisco, April 4-8, 2007.

Chair, Panel on Chinese Aesthetics and Metaphysics in Comparative Perspective.
APA Pacific Division Meeting, San Francisco, April 4-8, 2007.

“A Confucian Theory of Action.”
Invited Speaker, “Topics in Comparative Ancient Philosophy: Greek and Chinese,” Part II of a two-part symposium, University of Oxford, June 22-24, 2006.

Invited Participant.
Liberty Fund colloquium “Liberty and Virtue in the Stoic Tradition,” San Francisco, November 2-6, 2005.

“The Pragmatic Turn: Understanding Communicative Practice in Early China.”
Invited Speaker, “Argument and Persuasion in Ancient Chinese Texts,” Part I of a two-part symposium, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, June 9 -11, 2005.

“The Power of Virtue (De): A Dialogue among Shang Yang, Confucius, and Laozi.”
Invited Speaker, the Ninth East-West Philosophers’ Conference “Educations and Their Purposes: A Philosophical Dialogue among Cultures,” University of Hawaii, May 29 - June 11, 2005.

“Historicism and Political Thought.”
Invited Speaker, “The Impact of Liberalism on Contemporary Chinese Thought: Thinking about Chinese Thinking in a Global Context,” Institute of Asian Research and Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, September 17-18, 2004.

“Reading the Analects with Davidson.”
Invited speaker, “Donald Davidson and Chinese Philosophy,” an international conference, Beijing, June 8-9, 2004.

“How Confucius Does Things with Words.”
Invited Speaker, Midwest Conference in East Asian Thought, DePaul University, Chicago, April 15-7, 2004.

“The Hermeneutic Implications of Davidson’s Theory of Meaning.”
Invited Speaker, Department of Philosophy Speaker Series, McMaster University, Canada, February 13, 2004.

“Practicing Moral Psychology in Early China.”
Organizer and Speaker, “Philosophy as a Way of Life: Moral Psychology in Early Chinese Philosophy,” Harvard University, May 24-5, 2003.

Kenyon Courses

PHIL100 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 110 Practical Issues in Ethics
PHIL 115 Introduction to Ethics
PHIL 212 Early Chinese Philosophy
PHIL 255 Philosophy of Language
PHIL 275 Moral Psychology
PHIL 335 Wittgenstein
PHIL 400 Cotemporary Ethics Seminar

Contact Information

Note to publishers who wish to have their scholarly books on comparative philosophy reviewed by Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy – please send your books to the following address:

Professor Yang Xiao
Department of Philosophy
Kenyon College
Gambier, OH 43022

Office Phone: (740)427-5287


August 2011

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