The Annual Best Essay Award
Dao has established The
Annual Best Essay Award, with the first award given in 2008 for the best essay
published in Dao in 2007. In addition to a certificate of achievement, the award
comes along with a prize of $1,000.
The award winners are also
noted in the website of this journal as well as the website of Springer, the
publisher of this journal. The award ceremony is held each year at the American
Philosophical Association Annual Meeting (Eastern Division), where a special
panel on the theme of the award winning essay is held.
The selection process
consists of two stages. At the beginning of each year, a nominating committee of
at least three editorial members, who have not published in Dao in the
given year, is established. This committee is charged with the task of
nominating three best essays published in the previous year. These three essays
are then sent to the whole editorial board for deliberation. The final winner is
decided by a vote by all editorial board members who are not authors of the
nominated essays. The result of the selection is announced toward the end of
March each year.
2011 Dao Annual Best Essay Award Winner
Edward Slingerland, “Metaphor
and Meaning in Early China” Dao: A Journal of Comparative
Philosophy 10: 1–30
This is a
ground-breaking essay. Slingerland debunks a fairly common assumption that
Chinese way of thinking is metaphoric, while the Western way of thinking is
logical, an assumption shared by both earlier Orientalists, who claimed the
superiority of the Occidental, and more recent “reverse Orientialists,” who
claim the superiority of the Oriental. In contrast, using his expertise in
contemporary cognitive sciences, Slingerland argues convincingly that metaphor
is a universal and fundamental feature of human cognition. What makes the
Chinese way of thinking unique is thus not that it is metaphoric but that early
Chinese thinkers were more self-aware of the metaphoric nature of language,
while modern Western thinkers are more self-deluded about what they are doing.
The essay as a whole is thus original in its interdisciplinary, comparative, and
philosophical natures. It is the type of work that Dao aims to promote.
Acess to This Award-Winning Article
2010 Dao Annual Best
Essay Award Winner
KIM Myeong-seok, “What
Ceyin zhi xin (Compassion/ Familial Affection) Really Is?” Dao: A
Journal of Comparative Philosophy IX.4: 407-425
Cogently connecting the idea of ceyin zhi xin to pertinent
current western philosophical conceptions of emotions, Kim sheds on it a new and
comparative light by arguing that it should be understood as a concern-based,
cognitive construal. Marshaling rich evidentiary resources from the Mengzi
itself and other texts, Kim advances his new interpretation while judiciously
accommodating and critiquing previous commentators on Mencian thinking. His
essay shows a firm command of the original texts and secondary readings and
demonstrates sensitive and reasonable use of western analytic constructs. It is
a significant contribution to the study of Mengzi in particular and Confucian
moral psychology in general.
Access to this Award-Winning Article
2009 Dao Annual Best
Essay Award Winner
Sungmoon, "Self-Transformation and Civil Society: Lockean vs. Confucian,"
Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy VIII.4: 383-402.
In this contribution
to the on-going dialogue between Confucianism and liberalism, Sungmoon Kim
breaks the ground by going beyond the common contrast between the two as one
between communitarianism and individualism. Kim argues that, while both aim at a
society free from anti-social passions, Confucianism is unique in incorporating
ritual propriety, instead of liberal self-control, in its idea of
self-cultivation. His examination of the liberal view of the individual and
society is balanced and substantial, and his contrast between Confucian
self-cultivation and Lockean self-transformation is subtle and revealing. Kim's
work represents the type of comparative philosophy that Dao promotes."
Free Access to This Award Winning Essay
2008 Dao Annual Best
Essay Award Winner
"A Right of
Rebellion in the Mengzi?"
Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy
In this clearly written and
analytically exercised essay, Justin Tiwald challenges the received opinion that
Mengzi endorses people’s right for popular rebellion. Instead, Tiwald argues
that, for Mengzi, people are only sometimes permitted to participate in a
rebellion and not to decide when a rebellion is warranted, which suggests an
intriguing division of deliberative labor. This interpretation makes Mengzi’s
political philosophy more coherent than the traditional ones. This
philosophically well argued position is based on solid historical and textual
scholarship, representing the type of quality work that Dao aims to promote.
Free Access to the Award Winning Article
2007 Dao Annual Best
Essay Award Winner
Erin M. Cline, “Two Senses of
Justice: Confucianism, Rawls, and Comparative Political Philosophy.” Dao: A
Journal of Comparative Philosophy VI.4: 361-381
In this penetrating article,
Erin M. Cline chooses an important but often neglected aspect of John Rawls’s
theory of justice, his view of sense of justice, and brings it into dialogue
with the idea of moral sense discussed in the Analects. As the result, there
emerges not only a fresh understanding of both Rawls’s sense of justice and
Confucius’ moral sense but also a new appreciation of how a sense of justice
develops. This article displays Cline’s scholarly rigor, philosophical depth,
and broad knowledge of both Chinese and Western philosophy. It represents the
type of comparative work that Dao promotes.
Free Access to the