Getting to know… Chi-keung Chan


A series introducing the Visiting Scholars & Fellows in residence at HYI this year

Chi-keung Chan (Department of Philosophy, National Taiwan University)
HYI Visiting Scholar, 2022-23
“Seeking the Lost Mind: The Moral Psychology of Evil in Neo-Confucian Philosophy”

What got you interested in your research topic/field?

I am always interested in understanding the truth of self and human existence, and therefore I am motivated to looking into some big questions. Chinese Philosophy (aka “the learning of life 生命的學問”) has given me a great many rational and practical insights in the process of self-realization and has been a great source of inspiration and guiding force that enables me to build a life worth living. My research interest on the notions of evil both reveals and cements my belief that it is vital to engage and understand humans’ dark side in order to draw a fuller picture of the truth of human nature. I am currently moving my research towards a more philosophical, comparative, and interdisciplinary approach, with the hope of extending the value of Chinese Philosophy to a wider audience and in a worldly, contemporary perspective.

Outside of work, where can we find you?

Outside of work, I spend most of my time with my family. I enjoy a nice cup of coffee and light food with my wife, Polly. We haven’t been living in Cambridge for too long but we already have a full list of our favorite local cafés such as Jenny’s Café at Harvard Art Museums, Darwin’s Ltd. (recently closed, unfortunately), La Saison Bakery, Swissbäkers, Black Sheep Bagel Café, Bagelsaurus, and Shake Shack. You may also find me playing with my kids Kathrine and Logan on their favorite playgrounds: Corporal Burns Playground and Cambridge Universal Playground.

What would you want to do most as a career if you were not in academia?

I regard philosophy as my true calling. If I were not in academia, I would still be debating philosophical issues with people!

Read Prof. Chan’s bio on our website.

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