Between Tradition and Modernity: Philosophical Reflections on the Modernization of Chinese Culture

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Chartridge Books Oxford, Apr 12, 2015 - Philosophy - 417 pages
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This book discusses contemporary Chinese philosophy. It is the is the outcome of the author's own twenty year-long studies on the relationship between modernization and Chinese culture from the perspective of cultural reconstruction and philosophical reflection. The book highlights the author's opinions and research outcomes.

Part I Culture 1

1 The Basic Spirit of Ancient Chinese Culture


I. Schools of thought on the basic spirit of ancient Chinese culture

II. The cultural spirit with humanism as its core


2 Types and Characteristics of Chinese Culture



I. The culture of ethical politics that seeks good governance

II. Characteristics of the studies of ancient Chinese culture


3 Thinkers and Cultural Traditions



I. Thinkers and connotations of cultural traditions

II. The major cultural tradition promoted by thinkers

III. The main approaches taken by the thinkers to shaping

cultural traditions

IV. The relationship between thinkers and the cultural traditions

V. Absorbing historic resources and reconstructing the cultural traditions


4 The Study of Ancient Chinese Culture and the Spirit of the Times



I. The connotation, content and scope of studies of ancient

Chinese culture

II. The essence of the debate about ancient Chinese culture is

how to achieve China’s modernization

III. The interaction between ancient Chinese culture and the

spirit of the times


5 Ancient Chinese Culture and the Chinese Spiritual Homeland



I. What is the spiritual homeland?

Anient Chinese culture

III. Constructing the Chinese spiritual homeland


6 Traditional Chinese Thought on Humanism



I. The indomitable spirit of observing the Way

II. The ideal of worshipping the mean and valuing harmony

III. The consciousness of tolerance of "cultural China"

IV. The conservative and innovative consciousness of evolution

V. The pursuit of morality and justice

VI. The function of traditional Chinese humanism


7 Issues of the Chinese Culture and the Chinese Spirit



I. The connotation and function of cultural spirit and national spirit

II. The relationship between Chinese culture and the Chinese spirit

III. The innovative study of the spirit of Chinese culture

IV. The human spirit, cultural spirit and national spirit


8 The Developmental Direction of Chinese Culture and the

Self-improvement of National Spirit: The Efforts of Chinese Cultural

Modernization from the Perspective of Three "Cultural Declarations"



I. The main content and the value themes of the three

"Cultural Declarations"

II. The value of the modern neo-Confucian "Cultural Declaration"

III. The similarities and differences of the three "Cultural Declarations"

IV. The enlightenment of the three "Cultural Declarations"

for developmental directions of Chinese culture


9 Cultural Criticism and the Value Reconstruction: A prospective

look at the future of Chinese culture



I. Cultural critique, values reconstruction and civilization renaissance

II. The cultural criticism and value reconstruction in the course of

modern history

III. The modern spiritual direction of reconstructing the values


10 National Cultural Qualities and Rebuilding the Humanistic Spirit



I. The quality of national culture is a diverse and open system

II. The value orientations of the human spirit

III. The relationship between the cultural qualities of the nation

and the spirit of humanity

IV. How to rebuild the human spirit

V. The main contents of the new humanistic spirit


vi Between Tradition and Modernity




11 Economic Globalization and the Construction of National Culture



I. Economic globalization cannot counteract cultural nationality

II. A rational view of nationalism

III. Adhering to and enhancing the cultural nationality


12 Cultural Globalization and Cultural Construction in

Contemporary China



I. "Cultural globalization" is a factual judgment

II. Cultural globalization is subordinate to cultural diversity


Part II Philosophy

13 Confucian Cultural Tradition and National Cohesion



I. The specifi c meaning of the traditional Confucian culture and

its spiritual values

II. The cultural connotation of Chinese national cohesion and

modern values

III. The relationship between tradition of Confucian culture and

Chinese national cohesion


14 Confucian Culture and the Construction of a Contemporary

Humanistic Spirit



I. A rational pursuit of Confucian culture

II. The practical needs of contemporary culture building

III. The positive value of Confucian culture and the construction of

contemporary humanistic spirit


15 Approaches to Promoting Economic Development through

Confucian Culture



I. Dual roles of Confucian culture in economic development

II. A practical approach to promoting economic development through

Confucian culture


16 Modernization and Marginalization of Confucianism



I. The origin and connotation of modernization and marginalization of


II. On the modernization of Confucianism

III. On the marginalization of Confucianism

IV. The tension between the modernization and marginalization of



17 Confucianism and Schools of Thoughts in Modern China.



I. Tripartite situation of culture: Conservatives, reformists and


II. Academic schools of thought: Marxism, Western schools and


III. Approaches to cultural reconstruction: Seeking gradual

improvement through radical means

IV. The contemporary fate of Confucianism


18 Formation of Ruling by Rites in the Han dynasty and its

Ideological Features



I. The embryonic stage of ruling by rites: The establishment of the

country by the Emperor Gaozu of Han to the period of Emperors

Wendi and Jingdi of the Han dynasty

II. The establishment stage of ruling by rites: the periods from Emperor

Wudi to Emperors Zhaodi and Xuandi of the Han dynasty

III. The mature stages: During the period of Emperor Zhangdi of the

Eastern Han dynasty

IV. The ideological characteristics of the Han dynasty


19 The Political Philosophy of Dong Zhongshu



I. The political theory of benevolent governance with morality given

priority over penalty

II. The theory of the historical cycle of three unities

III. The theory of political order of "Heaven changeth not, likewise the

Way changeth not"


20 Dong Zhongshu’s Thought on Heaven and Man and its

Signifi cance in Cultural History



I. The theory of mutual interaction between Heaven and humanity

II. The theory of harmony between man and nature

III. The theory of the unity of nature and mankind with the ruler in the


IV. The signifi cance of Dong Zhongshu’s theory of nature and mankind

in cultural history


21 Dong Zhongshu’s Way of Thinking



I. The integrated logical approach of analogy and alignment

II. The holistic, intuitive and experiential way of thinking

III. The reform principles of respecting Heaven and the practice

of the ancient times


viii Between Tradition and Modernity




22 The Cultural Interpretation of Dong Zhongshu’s ideal



I. The great aspiration and noble ideal of the unity of the country

II. The pursuit of harmony and fairness

III. The strategic vision of long-term stability


23 The Confucian Orientation and Characteristics of the

New School in Kang Youwei’s "On Dong Zhongshu’s Study of




I. The structure of On Dong Zhongshu’s Study of Spring-Autumn 330



II. The content and themes of "On Dong Zhongshu’s Study of


III. "On Dong Zhongshu’s Study of Spring-Autumn" and the

Reformation Movement

IV. The Guangdong fl avor of "On Dong Zhongshu’s Study of



24 Challenges and Issues of Developing Contemporary



Neo-Confucianism I. The dilemma between openness and conservatism



II. The gap between the ambition of reviving Confucianism and the

desolate reality of the Confucian school

III. The confl ict between the traditional values and norms of

"Back to Basics" and the modern concept of openness

IV. The divorce between the spirit of criticism and the consciousness

of self-refl ection

V. The paradox between the intentions of modernizing Confucianism

and the reality of its marginalization

VI. The total lack of an ideal carrier of Confucian values and ideals


25 A Close Examination of the Study of Chinese Philosophy in the


20th Century and a Prospective Look at its Development in the



New Century



I. The fi rst half of the twentieth century

II. The second half of the twentieth century

III. Achievements and shortcomings in the century

IV. A look into the new century


The Postscript of the English version


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About the author (2015)

The author began his research on ancient Chinese philosophy under the guidance of Professor Li Jinquan in Zhongshan University in Guangzhou in the early 1980s. After graduation, he worked at the university as a teacher, and has been trying to integrate the studies on ancient Chinese philosophy into the thinking framework of the historical development and modern reconstruction of Chinese culture.

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