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Zhiyu (Rick) Shang


Zhiyu (“Rick”) Shang was born in China and moved to the United States for college at Northwestern University. He has unfortunately broad interests in almost, well, everything. He has worked in the financial industry, IT and has done some entrepreneurship before he settled down to take a wide variety of courses in the humanities and social sciences. He decided to undertake philosophy only at the last minute before his graduation from college, when his enthusiasm for theory overcame his other, well, more mundane concerns.

He is mostly interested in political philosophy and 18-19th century German philosophy. As an immigrant, he is keenly aware that  normativity, although not arbitrary, is highly historically and culturally dependent. His previous projects explored the historical source of the intelligibility and binding/prescriptive powers of norms and the intriguing phenomenon we call ideal: something we collectively aspire to, can almost never fulfill and often do not intend to fulfill.

He is now in the process of switching tracks. Realizing that 18-19th century German philosophy commands less interest in the current
Anglophone philosophy world, he is exploring other aspects of political philosophy and current trends in the field.

During his leisure time, he has a variety of hobbies. He runs a few not-for-profit organizations, writes code, and he blogs.