Wearing curly white hair, Roger T. Ames spoke slowly in Chinese at the eighth annual meeting of the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture, part of Beijing Normal University, in late November in Beijing. The Toronto-born Sinologist, 70, whose Chinese name is An Lezhe, is a professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii.
In 1966, when he visited Hong Kong as an exchange student, his roommate gave him The Four Books of Confucianism. He plunged into Chinese philosophy thereafter.
Taught by the leading figures of China's contemporary Neo-Confucianism movement, Ames got to know about an academic world that was different from the one built by Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. He studied Sino-Western comparative philosophy and translated Chinese classics such as Tao Te Ching and The Analects of Confucius into English.