On September 22, the 2019 Confucius Academy Autumn Debate was held in Guiyang Confucius Academy. Han Jingtai, Distinguished Professor of Beijing Language and Culture University, Zuo Dongling, Professor of Capital Normal University, and He Jun, Distinguished Professor of Fudan University, attended as the debate guests and launched a wonderful debate on the topic of “Did Neo-Confucianism suppress or stimulate Chinese people’s thoughts and feelings?”. Liao Kebin, Professor of Department of Chinese Language and Literature of Peking University, served as the academic host.
Professor Han Jingtai believed that Neo-Confucianism suppressed but also stimulated the Chinese people’s thoughts and feelings. Professor Zuo Dongling sought to achieve a dynamic balance between “rationality” and “emotion”, while Professor He Jun interpreted Neo-Confucianism by combining the depth of history and the contemporary perspective. During the Q&A of the debate, the audience enthusiastically raised questions for the experts, and enlivened the atmosphere. Finally, Professor Liao Kebin, the academic host, summarized the debate that Neo-Confucianism not only stimulated and suppressed people’s thoughts and feelings, but also helped everyone independently make observation, judgment, choice, and expression, etc. Through such efforts of formulating independent views, they persisted and innovated continuously. However, while emphasizing individuality, rationality shall be applied to keep people sober and abide by the current ethical and moral norms at the same time.