Raphaël Van Daele

Dates in Oxford:

1 October 2021 to 30 June 2022

Positions Held at Other Institutions:

Supported Young Scholar at the Centre d’Études sur la Chine Moderne et Contemporaine (CECMC)-École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris; Research Fellow at the Centre de Recherche en Philosophie-PHI, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Faculty Address:

Oriental Institute

Email Address:

raphael.van.daele@ulb.be; raphael.vandaele@orinst.ox.ac.uk

Research Interests:

Comparative Philosophy, Chinese philosophy, Metaphysics, xuanxue 玄學, Late Greek Neoplatonism

Raphaël Van Daele studied philosophy and Chinese studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), in Belgium. Raphaël Van Daele graduated in 2015, and obtained a doctoral fellowship from the Fond pour la Recherche Scientifique F.R.S-FNRS for a PhD in comparative philosophy, focusing on Greek Late Neoplatonist philosophy and on Early Medieval Chinese philosophy. In 2020, he obtained his PhD from the ULB and from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris with a dissertation entitled “Fathoming the Origin and Expressing the Many in Neoplatonism and Dark Learning (玄學 Xuanxue): A Comparative Approach of the Question of the First Principles in Damascius and Guo Xiang 郭象.” From 2019 to 2021, he has been Assistant at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where he taught history of Western philosophy and scientific writing.

Focusing on metaphysics and on philosophy in Late Greek Antiquity and in Early Medieval China, Raphaël Van Daele’s researches question the philosophical value of classical Chinese thought in a comparative perspective. His current research project studies the concept of transformation in IIIrd-VIth century Chinese philosophy. Focusing on the reception and exegesis of the Book of Changes (Yijing 易經) by Wang Bi王弼 (226-249), a leading figure of the Dark Learning movement, this research is part of a broader project, which aims at questioning the applicability of the Western philosophical categories of “metaphysics” and “ontology” to the Dark Learning movement. On the one hand, this project explores the key role played by transformation and the importance granted to the Book of Changes in the philosophical framework of the Dark Learning movement, which seems to dismiss the idea of a stable substance or the concept of a motionless being. On the other hand, it studies the questions which led to the understanding of metaphysics as a science of being and principles in Greek Late Antiquity.

Silhouette in place of missing photograph