European Humanities in the Perception of Chinese Students: A Reflection Based on A Personal Teaching Experience

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Ionut Untea


As a young teacher and researcher, the prospective of introducing western philosophical themes to a public of students from a non-western country, came in 2016 as a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, which I met with great enthusiasm. However, as in any situation involving pre-conceived expectations, facing and dealing with the real situation on the ground opens up a pathway for a closer understanding of both the new culture explored, a perception of one’s own limits and the willingness to overcome them. The following lines are intended to cover the way my approach to teaching to a Chinese public has evolved from pre-conceptions and empty enthusiasm to an attitude of pedagogical creativity in identifying and presenting the key topics that would attract my students’ attention. As I will show, students’ expectations were to approach the western ideas not directly, but via a more complex process of being acquainted with the major historical and cultural movements in Europe and the western world. This meant the involvement in the teaching process of a wider number of elements taken not only from philosophy but from other humanistic disciplines.


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Untea, I. (2019). European Humanities in the Perception of Chinese Students: A Reflection Based on A Personal Teaching Experience. ETHICS IN PROGRESS, 10(1), 41-53.
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Author Biography

Ionut Untea, Southeast University, Nanjing

Ionut Untea is Associate Research Professor in the department of Philosophy of Southeast University, Nanjing, since September 2016. He has previously taught at the University of La Rochelle and was a postdoctoral fellow of the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue (FIIRD) at the University of Geneva. He obtained his doctorate in 2013 at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), Paris. He authored several articles focusing on the intersections between aesthetics, ethics, religion and political thought in modern and contemporary times.


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