Ordinary Academicians

Tongdong Bai

Prof. Dr.

Tongdong Bai

Date of birth 04 June 1970

Place Beijing, China (Asia)

Nomination 17 January 2023

Field Political Philosophy

Title Dongfang Chair Professor of Philosophy at Fudan University, Global Professor of Law at NYU’s Law School, and Adjunct Professor at NYU-Shanghai

  • Biography
  • Publications

Dr. Tongdong Bai, born in Beijing, China, is the Dongfang Chair Professor of Philosophy at Fudan University, Global Professor of Law at NYU’s Law School, and adjunct professor at NYU-Shanghai. He held a bachelor degree in nuclear physics and a master degree in the philosophy of science from Peking University, and a doctoral degree in philosophy from Boston University. He was a tenured associate professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati before he moved to Fudan in 2010. In the academic year of 2016-2017, he was a Fulbright Scholar and a Berggruen Fellow at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

His research interests include political philosophy and Chinese philosophy. He has two books published in English: China: The Political Philosophy of the Middle Kingdom (Zed Books, 2012), and Against Political Equality: The Confucian Case (Princeton University Press, 2019); he also has three books published in Chinese, A New Mission of an Old State: The Comparative and Contemporary Relevance of Classical Confucian Political Philosophy (Peking University Press, 2009), Tension of Reality: Einstein, Bohr and Pauli in the EPR Debates (Peking University Press, 2009), and Tian Xia: Five Lectures on the Mencius (Guangxi Shifan University Press, 2021).

He is now working on the philosophy of Han Fei Zi (circa 250 BCE), a “Legalist” and a harsh critic of Confucians, as well as a real-life princeling who is often compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes. He is also the director of an English-based MA and visiting program in Chinese philosophy at Fudan University that is intended to promote the studies of Chinese philosophy in the world. These and other academic and social activities in which he is involved are all aimed to introduce new political norms that draw their inspirations from traditional Chinese philosophy and are informed by comparative philosophy and political theories.

Dr. Bai has published 5 books and about 100 scholarly articles.



1. China: The Political Philosophy of the Middle Kingdom.  Zed Books, 2012 (World Political Theories Series)

2. Against Political Equality: The Confucian Case.  Princeton University Press, 2019.

3. Tian Xia: Five Lectures on the Mencius. Guilin: Guangxi Shifan University Press, 2021.

4. A New Mission of an Old State: The Contemporary and Comparative Relevance of Classical Confucian Political Philosophy.  Peking University Press, 2009.

5. Tension of Reality: Einstein, Bohr, and Pauli in the EPR Debates.  Peking University Press, 2009。

Recent and main articles

1. “Between and beyond Consequentialism and Deontology: Reflections on Mencius’ Moral Philosophy,” Journal of Chinese Philosophy, Issue 4, Vol. 49 (2022), 373-387.

2. “Confucianism Can be Read as Philosophy—A Response to Eske Møllgaard,” Philosophy East and West, Volume 71, Number 4, October 2021, 1046-1055.

3. “How to Defend a Small State? -- Han Fei Zi, Plato, and Mencius,” Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, Vol. 20, Issue 2/June 2021, 231-44. (DOI: 10.1007/s11712-021-09774-z)

4. “Confucianism and Same-Sex Marriage,” Politics and Religion, Vol. 14, Issue 1 (March 2021), 132–158.

5. “The Pandemic’s Challenges to Liberal Democracy: From a Chinese Philosophy Perspective,” Philosophy Today, Volume 64, Issue 4 (Fall 2020), 827-832.

6. “Heavy Punishment and Light Reward—On Han Fei Zi’s Unequal Reliance on the Two Handles,” Modern Philosophy, Issue 6 (2022), 56-62.

7. “Did Han Fei Zi Inherit Xun Zi’s Theory of the Badness of Human Nature? -- A Case Study of Intellectual Lineage,” The Peking University Journal, Vol. 59, Issue 2 (September 2022), 42-50.

8. “The Edge of Civilizations—Some Reflections on the Status of the Chinese Civilization and the Development of World Civilizations,” Chinese Political Science, Issue 3 of 2021.

6. “Han Fei’s Theory of Human Nature”, Philosophical Research, No. 4 2021, 56-66.

7. “Han Fei Zi’s Criticisms of Confucianism: A Reconstruction,” The History of Chinese Philosophy, Issue 6 (November), 2020, 48-55.

8. “Han Fei Zi’s Account of the Transition from Antiquity to ‘Modernity’,” Fudan Journal (Social Sciences), Issue 5, Vol. 62, 2020, 37-46.

9. “Rethinking the Development of Artificial Intelligence from the Perspective of Chinese Philosophy”, Academic Journal of Zhongzhou, Issue 9 (2019), 104-9.

10. “Whose Tianxia: A Critical Evaluation of Zhao Tingyang’s Tianxia System”, Social Scientists, Issue 12 (2018), 15-24.

11. “Jing Xue or Zi Xue—Reflections on How to Revive Political Confucianism” (revised), Philosophical Review. Vol. 22 (October 2018), 1-24.

12. “The Middle Way in the Face of Technological Challenges”, The Peking University Journal北京大学学报(哲学社会科学版), Vol. 54 (2017), Issue 2, 125-130.

13. “The Dark Connection between a Dark View of Human Nature and Democracy—A Criticism of Zhang Hao’s Thesis”, Journal of Social Sciences, Issue 10 (Oct.), 2016, 124-132.

14. “How Has China Become a Despotic State?”, Journal of Chinese Humanities, Issue 5, 2016, 34-46.

Professional Address

School of Philosophy
Fudan University
220 Handan Road
China 200433