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Chair of East Asian Languages and Cultures Receives Honorable Mention As One of Top Philosophers in the World

Academic Influence recently announced that Philip J. Ivanhoe, Ph.D. and chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures was given an honorable mention on the list of the top 25 influential philosophers in the world. 

“I am humbled by this news and delighted to see East Asian philosophy recognized in this way,” Ivanhoe says. “Philosophical reflection is one of humanity’s greatest achievements, and it is fundamentally important for people to understand and appreciate the distinctive and remarkable contributions made by traditions outside what currently is the mainstream of philosophical investigation.”

A Focus on Confucius

headshot of PJ in front of bookshelves

A team of academics and data scientists, Academic Influence seeks to generate objective rankings for academics, schools and disciplinary programs that make up higher education. Their ranking for the top philosophers in the world focuses on those who have a large citation and web presence and are therefore shaping how the world is viewed.

A scholar of Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism, Ivanhoe was chosen for this award due to two influential claims and his more constructive views on oneness. 

Though somewhat controversial, Ivanhoe argues that Neo-Confucian philosophers have in certain respects misinterpreted Confucius and, consequently, their own intellectual tradition and that Confucianism can best be understood as a kind of virtue ethics. In collaboration with several other contemporary philosophers, he also has argued that traditional East Asian conceptions of oneness, virtue and happiness have much to teach the modern world.

For his work, Ivanhoe has received awards such as The President’s Award from the City University of Hong Kong as well as numerous grants. 

In addition to his primary appointment at Georgetown, Ivanhoe holds the title of visiting distinguished chair professor in the College of Confucian Studies and Eastern Philosophy at Sungkyunkwan University Korea and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture. 

He has served as associate professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Stanford University, associate professor of Philosophy and Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, Austin J. Fagothey, S. J. distinguished visiting professor at Santa Clara University, John Findlay visiting professor of Philosophy at Boston University and chair professor at the City University of Hong Kong.

Ivanhoe is one of the few philosophers named by Academic Influence whose works focus on eastern philosophy. 

“My hope is that this declaration by Academic Influence will help to raise awareness of and interest in such work and will serve as a solid foundation for further developing the study of East Asian philosophy here at Georgetown University,” Ivanhoe says.

-by Shelby Roller (G’19)

East Asian Languages and Cultures
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