‘Typical’ Chinese Philosophers?

Meet Rocky, my self-proclaimed lost Chinese brother. Like me, he aspires to be an international relations scholar. Yet–unlike me–he still cares how he can directly contribute to the society. If you think you have an answer, please spare some time to comment on this post, thank you!

Rocky: So Fu…I’ve been pondering lately. What can we do as an IR scholar to society? Will we be able to do much for its betterment? Passion memang lah ya, tapi terpanggil juga nggak sih untuk society? Terutama yang sekitar kita. Hahaha aduh maaf tiba-tiba random gini.


Me: First of all, think we need to agree on the degree of ‘scholarship’ that we’re aiming ourselves to get to. Would it simply stop at being a regular lecturer, or would it last until we produce our own IR theory?

Me: Well, jadi dua-duanya bisa tetep kontribusi ke masyarakat sih…in a different way. Kalau gue mimpinya jadi dosen-slash-profesor (amin) yang bisa bikin bibit-bibit pemikir juga. In a way, itu bentuk kontribusi yang pengen gue kasih ke Indonesia (as a state) supaya pembuat kebijakan luar negeri-nya lebih aware dan bertujuan…gitu. Tapi kalo pertanyaan lo gimana kontribusi langsung ke masyarakat sekitar susah juga dijawab sama profesi scholar itu. Gue mah percayanya kita akan selalu punya waktu luang buat bikin projek/kegiatan lain kalau emang mau give back langsung.

Rocky: Memang sih pertanyaan gue mungkin lebih ke fungsi dari scholar sendiri. Apa keuntungan langsung dari masyarakat Indonesia misalnya, kalo ada pencetus teori HI yang menjelaskan politik internasional lebih komprehensif. Gw sendiri awalnya mau jadi scholar karena murni fun bidangnya sih. I’m too much of a philosophical bastard to be an entrepreneur. Oh wait I’m Chinese! HAHAHA.

Me: Me too. There’s no way I’ll prefer entrepreneurship before IR theories (or other theories in general). Semisal nggak ada manfaatnya pun somehow gue rela-rela aja baca buku teori berjam-jam asal diri sendiri senang :))

Rocky: Yak, 100! I had dreams of working for the UN. But then I realized my passion lies in academic studies. Tapi mungkin my Chinese part kicks in here. I long for a profession that directly helps those in need.

Me: Unyu. I always love when Chinese people define themselves.

Rocky: Well, Chinese people love practical and simple things. Jadi ya you see. In my case of being in social studies. I also have a passion in teaching, but I still don’t know how strong it is.

Me: Well find out then!

At one of our World History classes, Diku once pointed out how the Chinese classic philosophers always had this preference of observing ‘what’s on the ground’, instead of ‘what’s in the sky’ like the Western thinkers. This means that they cared about solving problems (Are we identifying existentialism’s tenets here?) more than finding out the reason behind humans’ existence and what life is all about. That premise, apparently, is proven correct through the instance I presented above.


One Comment

  1. Gosh, who is this Rocky? Why is he betraying the Chinese identity of entrepreneurialism? HAHAHA, hello, self-proclaimed sister!


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