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Misha Tadd: Chinese philosophical classics help promote mutual learning among different civilizations

Chinese philosophical classics play an important role in promoting mutual learning among different civilizations, shared Misha Andrew Tadd, Associate Professor of the College of Philosophy of Nankai University, at the 2023 Beijing Culture Forum on September 14.

Citing famous Russian author Tolstoy as an example, Tadd revealed that Tolstoy was actually a big fan of the Dao De Jing, a Taoist classic written by philosopher Laozi during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the second most translated classic in history.

Tadd said it's arguable that some of Tolstoy's writing was actually inspired or influenced by some of the philosophy in Dao De Jing, and Tolstoy was similarly involved in translating this classic of Chinese into Russian to help spread it among the Russian people, because he thought the philosophy and its values were very meaningful.

"One of the things Tolstoy is famous for is being a pacifist. He was against war and violence. He believed that the philosophy of Lao Zi is also pacifism and against war and violence. And so he felt a sense of similarity in promoting this value, which is so important for all of humanity," Tadd said. 

The professor told a GDToday reporter his main focus at the forum was to be involved in the exchanges and related to his research, which is the spread of one of the Chinese philosophical classics, the Dao De Jing. 

Tadd observed that the Beijing Culture Forum brings together academics, politicians, the media, and occasionally businesses to expand beyond, and offers people a platform to share their knowledge, show their research on culture, and support exchanges. 

Reporter: Monica, Holly

Video: Qin Shaolong

Editor: Wing, Olivia, Nan, James

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