Author: Lai Chen
The Question for Twentieth-Century China has been the integration of tradition and modernity. In this collection of essays written over a period of some twenty years (1987-2006), Chen Lai reflects on the question in an informative and original way. He reads behind the political slogans and engages with the thought both of Max Weber, Talcott Parsons and Western sociology, and representative Chinese thinkers, notably Feng Youlan and Liang Shuming. While the focus is on China, the book also appeals to anyone interested in this fascinating question of how to modernise whilst retaining the positive values of tradition. Chen Lai’s unique and balanced grasp of society marks him out as the foremost thinker in China on this topic today.
Author: CHEN Lai

No matter what the original meaning of “Ru” was, looking at it from the perspective of the history of philosophy, the image of “Ru” as portrayed by other schools in the Warring States period was infused with the characteristics of Confucianism of that time. The self-understanding of Warring States Confucians expressed by their employment of the character “Ru” clearly displayed Ru’s character as well as the main points of the Ru school, namely Confucianism. In particular, the words and thoughts of Xunzi, the great Confucian master, on “Ru”, epitomize Pre-Qin Confucian’s understanding and expectations of themselves, and also reflect the Confucian new pursuit in facing the age of the unification of Qin.

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Author: CHEN Lai

Feng Youlan’s Xin Shixun 新世训 (New Treatise on the Way of Life) written in the late 1930s differed from traditional moral teachings because it focused on nonmoral life lessons and how to “virtuously” pursue success. It advanced an interpretation of traditional virtues as life lessons for young people, so that these virtues could transform an individual life in modern society. Thereby the morals of ancient sages could transfer to the modern, individual, and morality. The problem is just how the ideals of traditional Chinese culture have adjusted themselves to modern society. Following the phrase “after-virtue”, this effort can be called a pursuit of “after-sage”.

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Author: CHEN Lai

Mencius takes humaneness as the primary moral idea, and makes new annotations to some classical Confucian moral ideas, such as rightness, courtesy and intelligence. The main traditional topic of virtue has, in Mencius, been transformed gradually form virtuous conduct to virtue. The four minds-four virtues theory of Mencius marks the formation of virtue ethics in classical Confucianism.

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Author: Chen Lai

To counter the tendency of making Confucianism “localized” and thereby turning Confucianism research into research of local social history, the author criticizes this tendency and thinks it is unilateral to emphasize or stress the importance of a small unit’s locality, but ignore the oneness of the distribution of Confucianism and the universality of Confucian thought. The thesis emphasizes that the main schools of Confucianism in the Song and Ming Dynasties are all not local ones and cannot be reduced to reflections of some local need and social structure. The author points out that we need to self-examine the following phenomena: aggrandizing the function of local social structure to culture and thought, coming down academic schools to reflections of local social benefits, opposing this kind of research to the research of thought itself, thus rejecting philosophical research and analysis of thought itself.

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
In: Culture and Social Transformations in Reform Era China
In: The World of Science Education

The p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) are a kind of Ser/Thr protein kinases that convert extracellular stimuli into a wide range of cellular response, appearing to function not only in stress stimuli but also in development. To explore the function of p38 MAPK in Palaemon carinicauda Holthuis, , we cloned and characterized the full-length cDNA sequence (GenBank accession number KX893515) (designated as Pc-p38). The results showed that the open reading frame (ORF) of Pc-p38 was 1098 bp and it encoded a protein of 365 amino acids. Pc-p38 contained the conserved structures of a Thr-Gly-Tyr (TGY) motif and a substrate-binding site, Ala-Thr-Arg-Trp (ATRW), and was shown to have a close phylogenetic relationship to other p38 MAPKs in crustaceans. The tissue distribution patterns showed that Pc-p38 was widely expressed in all tissues, with highest expression in the hepatopancreas and ovary. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that Pc-p38 was upregulated during ecdysis, reaching a peak at 5 min post-moult, suggesting that Pc-p38 may be involved in muscle remodeling after moulting. In addition, the expression of Pc-p38 increased following exposure to different concentrations of mercury, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In conclusion, an Pc-p38 gene was cloned and its role determined at different times post-moult and after stress from different concentrations of mercury, to further reveal the possible functions of p38 MAPK in P. carinicauda.

In: Crustaceana