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Modern New Confucianism and the Challenges of Chinese Modernity: Intercultural Dialogues in Chinese Philosophy

In: Culture and Dialogue
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  • 1 Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
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Abstract

During the last decades of the previous century, the rebirth and the modernization of classical Confucianism gained increasing relevance. These tendencies have manifested themselves in a clearest and most influential way in the current of Modern New Confucianism. The representatives of this stream of thought aimed to elaborate upon a new ethical model of specifically Chinese modernity based upon traditional values that could in a renewed form meet the requirements of the new era. They aimed to preserve Chinese cultural identity while at the same time making their own original contributions to the development of a philosophical and theoretical dialogue between Euro-American and Chinese cultures. In this context, it is important to ask the question whether a model of modernization that is rooted in traditional Confucianism is truly capable of generating a non-individualistic version of modernity. Following this supposition, and focusing upon the works of the so-called “Second Generation” of Modern New Confucianism, this article aims to demonstrate that the alleged relation between modernity and individualism, which was almost exclusively seen as self-evident and undeniable by the Western modernization theories, is actually a result of Western historical paradigms.

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