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Tongdong Bai

Senior Fellow


Tongdong Bai is a full professor and the Dongfang chair professor at the School of Philosophy at Fudan University in China and a global professor of law at the New York University School of Law. He holds a bachelor’s degree in nuclear physics and a master’s degree in the philosophy of science from Peking University. Dr. Bai obtained his doctoral degree in philosophy from Boston University. He was a tenured associate professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio before he moved to Fudan. Dr. Bai was the first tenured philosophy professor from the United States to return to China as a full-time faculty member.

In the academic year of 2016 to 2017, Dr. Bai was a Fulbright Scholar and a Berggruen Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. His research interests include Chinese philosophy and political philosophy, especially the comparative and contemporary relevance of traditional Chinese political philosophy. He has published many articles in prestigious journals in these areas and has written two books in Chinese published by the Peking University Press, A New Mission of an Old State: The Comparative and Contemporary Relevance of Classical Confucian Political Philosophy and Tension of Reality: Einstein, Bohr and Pauli in the EPR Debates. He has also published two books in English, China: The Political Philosophy of the Middle Kingdom and Against Political Equality: The Confucian Case.

At Fudan, Dr. Bai established an Master of Arts, Visiting Student and Auditing program in Chinese philosophy with courses taught in English that is intended to promote the study of Chinese philosophy in the world. It is geared towards students who wish to learn Chinese philosophy, but whose Chinese language is not good enough yet for them to do so in Chinese.  Since its launch in 2011, the program has proven to be the most successful program of its kind in China.

Dr. Bai delivers lectures, in Chinese and English, in different venues, and is also involved in other social activities and organizations, all of which aim to promote new political norms that are informed and inspired by traditional Chinese philosophy and comparative political philosophy.