In addition, few philosophy departments in the top universities even have a regular faculty member who teaches Chinese philosophy. Of course, you can find a lot of Greek philosophy.
But, according to Bryan W. Van Norden, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professor at Yale-NUS College, understanding Chinese thought is a matter of urgency. He outlines three reasons in an terrific essay for The Conversation called, Why the US doesn’t understand Chinese thought – and must.
- China's economy could become the largest in the world by 2030. We should understand the philosophical and religious framework of a country with so much influence because, notes Professor Norden, "traditional philosophy is of continuing relevance in China."
- Chinese philosophy has lot to offer. For example, Confucian ethics can "provide a deeper understanding of ethical issues regarding the family and can even inform policy recommendations."
- Finally, Professor Norden argues that we need more cultural diversity in our philosophy departments. They are too Euro-centric in focus. They should diversify into Asia and consider feminist, indigenous American, Islamic, Latin American and South Asian philosophies.
Just as one might need to understand the Judeo-Christian background of the Untied States in order to understand some of the political policy, one should understand the Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist philosophies that inform Chinese policy.