RAM Salon: Xu Yingjin: A Sharing of Thoughts on Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
May 26, 2017 Friday 19:30 - 21:00
2F, Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai 20 Huqiu Road)
The fourth floor of the exhibition “Song Dong: I Don’t Know the Mandate of Heaven” is dedicated to the theme of “Revelation”, with a number of works illustrating humorously the thought-provoking stories or puzzles (also known as Koans) in Zen Buddhism. Today, maybe Zen is not only about the traditional scene of one meditating among the mountains or forests, or under ancient pines, but a way to seek true knowledge by breaking the boundaries of time, nationalities, and subjects. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values is a philosophical fiction so well received by English-speaking intellectuals that it generated a fever across the North America in the 1970s. In the book, the protagonist made a motorcycle journey from Minnesota to North California along with his son and partially accompanied by his friends, experiencing the sceneries and cultures along the trip while making numerous philosophical discussions. The book features the protagonist’s thoughts on life and extensive philosophies of the East and the West. From the perspective of a Chinese reader, the mostly attractive part is how the book combined the American machine culture and the Oriental Zen culture. The author tries to convince his readers that the process of motorcycle maintenance is one of the best ways to practice Zen, and that the thinking based on the separation of literature and science is a betrayal of Zen.
Xu Yingjin, born in Shanghai in 1978, is now Professor at the School of Philosophy in Fudan University with a PhD from the University, specializing in the history of analytic philosophy, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of artificial intelligence, and the comparison study of analytic philosophy and continental philosophy. He was honored with the 2016 Changjiang Scholar Award by the Ministry of Education of China.
Free admission, reservation is required.