By Edmund S. K. Fung
Within the early 20th century, China was once close to switch. diverse ideologies - these of radicalism, conservatism, liberalism, and social democracy - have been a lot debated in political and highbrow circles. while prior works have analyzed those developments in isolation, Edmund S. okay. Fung exhibits how they regarding each other and the way intellectuals in China engaged in accordance with their cultural and political persuasions. the writer argues that it's this interrelatedness and interaction among varied faculties of notion which are relevant to the knowledge of chinese language modernity, for lots of of the debates that all started within the Republican period nonetheless resonate in China this day. The booklet charts the advance of those ideologies and explores the paintings and impression of the intellectuals who have been linked to them. In its problem to prior scholarship and the breadth of its technique, the publication makes an important contribution to the learn of chinese language political philosophy and highbrow historical past.
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Extra info for The Intellectual Foundations of Chinese Modernity: Cultural and Political Thought in the Republican Era
20 History, 34 The Intellectual Foundations of Chinese Modernity on antiquity and its conservation, on the metaphysical and the religious, on being natural and on the spiritual life, whereas Western civilization placed great emphasis on change, science, competition, human action and the material life. 23 At the same time, the Westernizers provided a narrative emphasizing the historicity, temporality and universalism of cultures. It is a paradox of the East–West dichotomy that if the difference is basically a matter of time and development, then there is no such thing as East versus West, for modernity is neither geographically determined nor nationspecific; what matters is progress.
The Push of Westernized Radicalism 31 thought, reflecting the Enlightenment epistemology and representing a Euro-American vision of modernity based on the ideas of progress, science, democracy, rationality, secularism and capitalist development. Its relentless assaults on Chinese traditions culminated in a call in the 1930s for total Westernization by the sociologist Chen Xujing. However, not all Westernizers were cultural radicals. Many actually were not – they were only pro-Western. Westernized radicalism was not total antitraditionalism.
50 Mainstream thought recognized the state as embodying the power to impose order on society and the rule of law as the cornerstone of the modern state. 51 In mainstream thought, society is not viewed as composed of discrete elements held together merely mechanically. Instead, on one hand, society is rendered atomistic and unhealthy by a lack of public morality and by laissez-faire economics, selfishness and greed. On the other hand, organic conceptions of society are not carried to the extreme at which the individual becomes nothing and society everything.