Born in Chuzhou, Anhui Province, in 1960, Chen Yajun grew up in Xiangshui of Jiangsu Province. He earned his bachelor's degree from Wuhan University, his master's degree from Nanjing University, and his doctorate from Beijing University, leaving to the United States after his graduation to perform research as a visiting scholar or a visiting researcher at Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Illinois. His primary field of research is contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, particularly the philosophy of American pragmatism.
Dr. Chen's works include: The Transformation of Philosophy (China Social Sciences Press), Pragmatism: From Peirce to Putnam (Hunan Educational Publishing House), and From Analytic Philosophy to Pragmatism: Studies in Putnam Philosophy (Oriental Press).
He has previously hosted the National Social Science Foundation program “A Comparative Study of Pragmatism and Marxism,” as well as other foundation-funded programs in China and abroad. He has received the Fujian Province Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Social Sciences twice--once earning first prize and the other time second prize--as well as third prize for the Ministry of Education Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities and Social Sciences and third prize for the Jiangsu Province Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Social Sciences.
Dr. Chen is currently serving as a professor at the Nanjing University Department of Philosophy, and is also serving part-time as a professor at the Xiamen University Department of Philosophy, a researcher at the Fudan University Dewey Center, and director of the Chinese Society of Modern Foreign Philosophy.
From 2006-07, Dr. Chen was employed as a short-term scholar in residence at the IAS, and in 2009 he was selected as a part-time researcher.