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An Intellectual History of China, Volume One

Knowledge, Thought, and Belief before the Seventh Century CE

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Zhaoguang Ge

Winner of the 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award
In An Intellectual History of China, Professor Ge Zhaoguang presents a history of traditional Chinese knowledge, thought and belief to the late six century CE with a new approach offering a new perspective. It appropriates a wide range of source materials and emphasizes the necessity of understanding ideas and thought in their proper historical contexts. Its analytical narrative focuses on the dialectical interaction between historical background and intellectual thought. While discussing the complex dynamics of interaction among the intellectual thought of elite Chinese scholars, their historical conditions, their canonical texts and the “worlds of general knowledge, thought and belief,” it also illuminates the significance of key issues such as the formation of the Chinese world order and its underlying value system, the origins of Chinese cultural identity and foreign influences.

Series:

Zhaoguang Ge

A history of traditional Chinese knowledge, thought and belief from the seventh through the nineteenth centuries with a new approach that offers a new perspective. It appropriates a wide range of source materials and emphasizes the necessity of understanding ideas and thought in their proper historical contexts. Its analytical narrative focuses on the dialectical interaction between historical background and intellectual thought. While discussing the complex dynamics of interaction among the intellectual thought of elite Chinese scholars, their historical conditions, their canonical texts and the “worlds of general knowledge, thought and belief,” it also illuminates the significance of key issues such as the formation of the Chinese world order and its underlying value system, the origins of Chinese cultural identity, foreign influences, and the collapse of the Chinese world order in the 19th century leading toward the revolutionary events of the 20th century.

Thomé H. Fang, Tang Junyi and Huayan Thought

A Confucian Appropriation of Buddhist Ideas in Response to Scientism in Twentieth-Century China

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King Pong Chiu

In Thomé H. Fang, Tang Junyi and Huayan Thought, King Pong Chiu discusses Thomé H. Fang and Tang Junyi, two of the most important Confucian thinkers in twentieth-century China, who appropriated aspects of the medieval Chinese Buddhist school of Huayan to develop a response to the challenges of ‘scientism’, the belief that quantitative natural science is the only valuable part of human learning and the only source of truth.

As Chiu argues, Fang’s and Tang’s selective appropriations of Huayan thought paid heed to the hermeneutical importance of studying ancient texts in order to be more responsive to modern issues, and helped confirm the values of Confucianism under the challenge of ‘scientism’, a topic widely ignored in academia.

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Guorong Yang

Editor/translator Paul J. D’Ambrosio, Daniel Sarafinas, Sharon Small, Ady van den Stock and Stefano Gandolfo

stress intuition, for example the Daodejing , which says, “One who hears the Dao diminishes daily.” The inherent belief here is that one can grasp Dao by letting go of knowledge and experience. This way of grasping existence manifests itself as “still observation and mysterious views,” which implies

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Chad Meyers

fundamental, whether general or particular, spiritual beliefs or core values of Chinese civilization—like “the boundary of interrelation of Nature and human beings,” “the source of the natural order of human life,” dao 道 1 or “Dao” and li 理 2 or “Li,”—which constitute the living and fluidly transforming

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Translator Chad Meyers

fundamental, whether general or particular, spiritual beliefs or core values of Chinese civilization—like “the boundary of interrelation of Nature and human beings,” “the source of the natural order of human life,” dao 道 1 or “Dao” and li 理 2 or “Li,”—which constitute the living and fluidly transforming

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Sharon Small

of production, lifestyles, myths, legends, stories, religious texts, belief activities, cultural pieces, and aesthetic concepts) as the medium, [we can] see a reflection of the own self-consciousness, insights into the problems of the relationship between the way they think and exist, and their

Series:

Translator Sharon Small

of production, lifestyles, myths, legends, stories, religious texts, belief activities, cultural pieces, and aesthetic concepts) as the medium, [we can] see a reflection of the own self-consciousness, insights into the problems of the relationship between the way they think and exist, and their

Series:

Guorong Yang

Editor/translator Paul J. D’Ambrosio, Daniel Sarafinas, Sharon Small, Ady van den Stock and Stefano Gandolfo

society and daily life is rife with theoretical beliefs, and how Chinese and Western cultures can interact, impact, and improve one another. It goes without saying that in the theoretical space of Substance (West)/Function (China), using “substance-function” to talk about “China-West” can inherently lead

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Paul J. D’Ambrosio

have negative consequences. For example, an excessive belief in nature and the Dao of heaven might possibly be detrimental to the motivation for investigating the rules of specific things. Second, concepts that hinder the development of science and technology often have positive functions as well. For