Lecture: Robinson Crusoe's Gun


The image of Robinson created by Defoe has become a classic stereotype in the study of literature, economics, political science, and philosophy. Behind this multifaceted image lies the constant identity of Robinson as a gunman. In the face of pirates, wild animals, savages, and European rivals, Robinson's gun is of immense importance and decisive significance. With a clear, self-conscious awareness of himself as a gunman, Robinson not only constitutes his own identity with the help of the gun, but also constructs his different relationships with animals, with savage "non-humans," and with other European Christians therewith.

About the speaker:

Chen Jianhong received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, in 2006. He taught philosophy at Nankai University, Tianjin, China, from 2006 to 2015, and currently is professor and chairman of the Department of Philosophy (Zhuhai) at Sun Yat-sen University. He has published, in English and in Chinese, on a variety of topics in political philosophy and religious studies, with a particular focus on Leo Strauss, Carl Schmitt, and Thomas Hobbes.