If you’ve ever wondered how philosophy in Chinese works, look no further. The earliest forms of Chinese philosophy can be traced back to the Warring States and Spring and Autumn periods. The Hundred Schools of Thought were significant intellectual and cultural developments of the time. They include: Xunzi, Shao Yong, and Xin Ru Xue. Let’s take a look at some of their most important philosophical texts.
Derrida’s philosophy in chinese
In 1957, Derrida published a Chinese translation of his book, ‘The Politics of the Spectral Field’, which argues that cultural production is a product of human agency and should be celebrated. Derrida’s philosophy has been widely translated into Chinese over the years, including works by Chinese intellectuals and writers. Jacques Derrida’s philosophy is a classic in French, but it has never been as popular in Chinese as it is in English.
Jacques Derrida’s writings, particularly the work ‘The Spectral Void’, have a distinct political undertone throughout. In fact, Derrida wrote in 2000 that “democracy would come” but was also thinking about the limits of existing democracies. While many philosophers are drawn to Derrida’s writings, Chinese readers should not be turned off by his philosophical outlook.
Jacques Derrida arrived as a world-class philosopher in 1967 with three pivotal texts. Although each of them has become influential for their own reasons, none has matched the impact of his first work, ‘Of Grammatology’. This work reveals the opposition between speech and writing and undermines it. Derrida’s philosophy in Chinese is as radical and enigmatic as it is original.
In Derrida’s Philosophy of Language, undecidability is a critical notion of the nature of language. While it originated in ancient Greek, it has since come to mean “puzzle” and “impossibility”. An undecidable can be neither present nor absent, or both. In this way, the concept of a ghost is an undecidable. Hence, it is impossible to know what is really happening in any given moment.
One of the most famous philosophers in Chinese history was Xunzi, who taught that everyone is born with the same natural instincts and can improve to become great. His work provides examples of life in nature, including the stories of the legendary sage Yao and the notorious tyrant Jie. According to Xunzi, it is possible for everyone to achieve greatness through study, practice, and experimentation.
Many scholars and critics considered Xunzi’s work to be anathema in the Chinese philosophical milieu. His work was rejected by the cultural mainstream, including Kang Youwei (the father of Confucian theory), Tan Sitong (twelfth-century philosopher) and Liang Qichao (Liang Qi Chao). Despite the numerous criticisms of his philosophy, Xunzi’s work remains one of the best preserved works of ancient philosophy.
While Xunzi argued that natural disasters do strike every state in the world, he did not advocate eradicating all religious rituals. According to his views, the only thing that is necessary for human beings is to respond to these processes in the “right order.” In other words, people cannot blame Heaven for misfortune – that is a hypocritical and ignorant attitude. Furthermore, disasters may have no long-term effects. However, a well-governed state will continue to flourish despite disasters, while a poor-governed one will be swept away by them.
In his book, Xunzi asserts that it is important for teachers to teach the Way to future generations. Without a teacher, people would have no way of knowing how to cross the river safely. The Way is not a trick that can be taught to everyone. A person must learn to live in accordance with the Way. Xunzi is a renowned philosopher and a master of Chinese philosophy.
Shao Yong’s philosophy
As a young man, Shao Yong received formal education in philology, a field that his father, Shao Gu, studied at length. His influence can still be traced in his literary works. When he was young, he studied the Six Confucian classics intensively. Later, he sought out the scholarship of private schools run by monks, many of which were heavily influenced by Buddhism.
According to Shao, the key to the universe lay within the number four. It was believed that the universe was divided into four parts, the body is divided into four parts, and the Earth is made up of four different substances. As such, all ideas and actions have four manifestations. The same applies to the universe. The universe, the body, and the heart are all comprised of four elements. Shao believed that these elements were fundamental to the world.
The concept of ‘Dao’ is important in understanding Chinese philosophy. It is the fundamental concept of the universe, based on which all things are interrelated. The Dao is also the ultimate goal of human endeavor, as it is the normative principle for human conduct. In this context, the philosophical system grew out of a primitive form of nature worship, and the ancient Chinese developed a deep sense of love and admiration for the natural world. Eventually, they sought to understand the order and fundamental foundations of all existence.
Xin Ru Xue’s philosophy
Xin Ru – the author of a popular Chinese novel – argues that the philosophy of nature is the key to the solution of all human problems. Although this may seem like a rather snobbish claim, it is actually quite accurate. The philosophy is not about tyranny, but rather about understanding the world around us and our relationship with it. Although Xin Ru – like so many other Chinese philosophers – is very important for China, he is not the best example for the philosophy of nature.
Confucianism has been resurrected in modern China as part of a new prevailing ideology in the P. R. China. Although there are several books written in Chinese on this philosophy, there are relatively few academic studies in the West. However, many people who follow this school of thought believe that the reconstruction of Confucian metaphysics is vital to the revival of Confucianism. Moreover, modern Chinese philosophers favor the study of heart-mind and nature as a foundation for ethical and modern life.
Tan Sitong’s philosophy
As a contemporary of Confucianism, Tan’s views are often considered eclectic. His stance as a Buddhist eclectic was marked by his praising of non-Buddhist sources while still favoring Buddhism in discussions of important issues. For example, Tan compared historical agents to Buddhist-style liberated beings. Tan argued that the non-difference principle had meaning in its own right.
The emergence of modernity was accompanied by a series of changes that shaped Chinese thought. Tan Sitong helped construct the modernity agendas of nationalism, individualism, and cosmopolitanism. His philosophy sought to restore the human individual to the center of society, and to challenge the historical and institutionalized dichotomy that separated man from other living creatures. This resulted in a wide range of Chinese thinkers theorizing about human agency in different ways.
While many of these views are based on the same philosophical and political ideas, they do not fully explain the social, economic, and political context of his time. While his father served as a governor of Hubei Province, Tan was born in Beijing. His mother was a traditional Chinese housewife. He grew up in an unhappy household in Hunan and had a tense relationship with his father’s new wife.
Xin Ru Xue’s epistemological discourses
Confucian philosophy and contemporary Chinese philosophy have influenced each other, yet they remain distinctively different in their approach to epistemology. In particular, Chan Buddhism and Neo-Confucian epistemology share the same underlying philosophical idea: the structural compatibility of the external world and mind. Moreover, Chan Buddhism emphasizes the emptiness and illusoriness of all phenomena, including the world of identity.
While Western ontological systems have posited two poles for the theoretical mode of framework, Chinese philosophy has sought to distinguish between these poles. Xin Ru Xue argues that there are vital connections between the subjective world and the objective sphere, empirical mechanisms, and the empirically unseizable world. Although many people hold the notion that between two poles, there is nothing but empty space, Zhang argues that there is a vast range of objects, events, and experiences that can be characterized as “non-existence.”
The distinction between two types of understanding is crucial. Both quantitative and qualitative understanding have distinct characteristics, yet Xiong rejected both. He rejected both solipsism and dualistic theories. The latter, meanwhile, is not solipsistic, but rooted in realistic currents in Confucian philosophy. Although the latter is more inclusive, it risks obscuring the differences between European and Chinese thought.