Tu Weiming

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Tu Weiming (simplified Chinese: 杜维明; traditional Chinese: 杜維明; pinyin: Dù Wéimíng; born 1940), is an ethicist and a New Confucian. He is a Professor of Philosophy and the founding Dean of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University. He is also a Senior Fellow of Asia Center at Harvard University.


Tu was Harvard-Yenching Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy and of Confucian Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University (1999–2010). He was Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute (1996–2008) and Director of the Institute of Culture and Communication at the East-West Center in Hawaii (1990–1991). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Early life and education

Tu was born in Kunming, Yunnan Province, Mainland China. He obtained his B.A. (1961) in Chinese Studies at Tunghai University in Taiwan and earned his M.A. (1963) in Regional Studies (East Asia) and Ph.D. (1968) in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard University. Tu taught at Princeton University (1968–1971) and the University of California, Berkeley (1971–1981) and has been on the Harvard faculty since 1981. In 1988, Tu was one of many asked by Life Magazine to give their impressions on "The Meaning of Life.".[1]

Tu was a visiting professor at Peking University, National Taiwan University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Paris. He holds honorary professorships from Zhejiang University, Renmin University, Zhongshan University, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. He has been awarded honorary degrees by Lehigh University, Michigan State University at Grand Valley, and Shandong University.

Tu was appointed by Kofi Annan as a member of the United Nations' "Group of Eminent Persons" to facilitate the "Dialogue among Civilizations" in 2001. He gave a presentation on inter-civilizational dialogue to the Executive Board of UNESCO in 2004. He was also one of the eight Confucian intellectuals who were invited by the Singapore Government to develop the "Confucian Ethics" school curriculum.


Tu has two sons and two daughters: Eugene, Yalun, Marianna, and Rosa. He was featured in A Confucian Life in America (Films for the Humanities and Sciences).


Tu has written more than 30 books in Chinese and in English, including:

  • Tu, Weiming. (1976). Neo-Confucian thought in action: Wang Yang-Ming's youth. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Tu, Weiming. (1978). Humanity and self-cultivation: Essays in Confucian thought. Boston, MA: Asian Humanities Press.
  • Tu, Weiming. (1984). Confucian ethics today: The Singapore challenge. Singapore: Federal Publications.
  • Tu, Weiming. (1985). Confucian thought: Selfhood as creative transformation. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Tu, Weiming. (1989). Centrality and commonality: An essay on Confucian religiousness. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Tu, Weiming. (1989). Confucianism in historical perspective. Singapore: Institute of East Asian Philosophies.
  • Tu, Weiming. (1993). Way, learning, and politics: Essays on the Confucian intellectual. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Tu, Weiming. (Ed.). (1994). China in transformation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Tu, Weiming. (Ed.). (1994). The living tree: The changing meaning of being Chinese today. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Tu, Weiming. (Ed.). (1996). Confucian traditions in East Asian modernity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Tu, Weiming, & Tucker, Mary Evelyn. (Eds.). (2003/2004). Confucian spirituality (Vols. 1-2). New York: Crossroad.
  • De Barry, William Theodore, & Tu, Weiming. (Eds.). (1998). Confucianism and human rights. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Liu, James T. C., & Tu, Weiming. (Eds.). (1970). Traditional China. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  • Yao, Xinzhong, & Tu, Weiming. (Eds.). (2010). Confucian studies (Vols. 1-4). London: Routledge.


External links