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Giulio Aleni
Thierry Meynard and Dawei Pan offer a highly detailed annotated translation of one of the major works of Giulio Aleni, a Jesuit missionary in China. Referred to by his followers as “Confucius from the West”, Aleni made his presence felt in the early modern encounter between China and Europe. The two translators outline the complexity of the intellectual challenges that Aleni faced and the extensive conceptual resources on which he built up a fine-grained framework with the aim of bridging the Chinese and Christian spiritual traditions.
Xiong Shili 熊十力(1885-1968) was one of the most important Chinese philosophers of the twentieth century, and a founding figure of the modern New Confucian school of philosophy. At the core of his metaphysics is one of the key conceptual polarities in traditional Chinese philosophy: Reality ( ti 體) and Function ( yong 用). Xiong Shili’s Understanding of Reality and Function, 1920-1937 presents a detailed examination and analysis of the development of Xiong Shili’s conception of Reality and Function between 1920 and 1937. While scholars have tended to focus on Xiong’s mature ti-yong philosophical system, which was initially established in the early 1930s, this study explains how that system was gradually formed, providing a more comprehensive basis for understanding the development of Xiong’s philosophical thought in later periods.
Chinese Visions of Progress, 1895 to 1949 offers a panoramic view of reflections on progress in modern China. Since the turn of the twentieth century, the discourses on progress shape Chinese understandings of modernity and its pitfalls. As this in-depth study shows, these discourses play a pivotal role in the fields of politics, society, culture, as well as philosophy, history, and literature. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the Chinese ideas of progress, their often highly optimistic implications, but also the criticism of modernity they offered, opened the gateway for reflections on China’s past, its position in the present world, and its future course.
Standards of Validity in Late Imperial China
The essays in Powerful Arguments reconstruct the standards of validity underlying argumentative practices in a wide array of late imperial Chinese discourses, from the Song through the Qing dynasties. The fourteen case studies analyze concrete arguments defended or contested in areas ranging from historiography, philosophy, law, and religion to natural studies, literature, and the civil examination system. By examining uses of evidence, habits of inference, and the criteria by which some arguments were judged to be more persuasive than others, the contributions recreate distinct cultures of reasoning. Together, they lay the foundations for a history of argumentative practice in one of the richest scholarly traditions outside of Europe and add a chapter to the as yet elusive global history of rationality.