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Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

Volume 15, Issue 2, 2018
Conceptual History: China, Asia, and the Global

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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents

1. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Jiang Sun Preface: Transcultural Turn of Conceptual History Research
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2. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Zhongjiang Wang How the Concept of “Nature” Emerged and Evolved in Modern China
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The entrance of “nature” from English to Chinese and the transformation of the word ziran 自然 in Chinese had been intertwined together. In the formal process, “nature” was not translated as ziran at first while in the latter process, the western concept and Chinese ideas of nature combined together with multiple, comprehensive meanings in the history of modern China. This means the second process consists some major transformations of ziran as a key concept in modern China. Firstly, it has been a process of materialization for the traditional concept of ziran from ancient China. Secondly, traditional ideas of nature like tian, tianran, ziran, got revived during their association and collaborations with western understandings of nature as a concept of naturalist philosophy. Thirdly, it was also in this process where a humanistic and existential definition of ziran began to emerge, not only as a response to the materialized understanding of ziran, but also created the confrontation between a material occidental civilization and a spiritual oriental civilization. This dualist view not only ignored other thought like Romantism, Humanism and ideas which go against materialism or scientism, but also overlooked materialism and scientism itself in the history of Modern China.
3. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Chien-Shou Chen The Enlightenment Turns to China: The International Flow of Concepts and Their Geographic Dispersion
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This article attempts to strip away the Eurocentrism of the Enlightenment, to reconsider how this concept that originated in Europe was transmitted to China. This is thus an attempt to treat the Enlightenment in terms of its global, worldwide significance. Coming from this perspective, the Enlightenment can be viewed as a history of the exchange and interweaving of concepts, a history of translation and quotation, and thus a history of the joint production of knowledge. We must reconsider the dimensions of both time and space in examining the global Enlightenment project. As a concept, the Enlightenment for the most part has been molded by historical actors acting in local circumstances. It is not a concept shaped and brought into being solely from textual sources originating in Europe. As a concept, the Enlightenment enabled historical actors in specific localities to begin to engage in globalized thinking, and to find a place for their individual circumstances within the global setting. This article follows such a line of thought, to discuss the conceptual history of the Enlightenment in China, giving special emphasis to the processes of formation and translation of this concept within the overall flow of modern Chinese history.
4. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Donglan Huang The Concept of “Self-Government” across Cultures: From the Western World to Japan and China
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This paper focuses on the change of the meaning of “self-government” after it was introduced from Western world into East Asia in late 19th and early 20th century. By surveying the process of translation and dissemination of the concept “self-government” as well as the institutionalization of local self-government in Japan and China, the author points out that in Meiji Japan, the meaning of the word “self-government” underwent significant changes from “freedom” which means anti-authoritarianism that was transmitted in the English word “local-government” to sharing the responsibility of national administration as embodied in the German word “Selbstverwaltung” along with the establishment of Prussian modeled local self-government system. In late-Qing China, on the other hand, the term “local-government” was accepted as “self-reliance” as a way to achieve national prosperity and independence by enhancing individuals’ capacity, or “provincial autonomy” as a step to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. Qing government enacted a set of “self-government” laws with reference to Japan’s system, but it turned out to be the same as its traditional counterpart enforced by local elites to offer public services under the profound influence of the Confucian tradition of xiangguan(local heads) in ancient China instead of incorporating the local elites into the state administrative system.
5. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Jingdong Yu The Concept of “Territory” in Modern China: 1689-1910
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There are two frequent misunderstandings in the scholarship on modern China’s territorial transformation. First, the concept of lingtu 领土 (“territory”) is often seen as only developing after the 1911 Revolution, in opposition to the earlier concept of jiangyu diguo 疆域帝国 (“imperial frontier”). Second, jiangyu and lingtu are often confused and seen as basically the same concept at different historical stages. This essay takes the translation and dissemination of “territory” before the 1911 Revolution as a starting point to examine how the basic concept of lingtu developed from a translated term to describe spatial relations into an important semantic resource of a political movement. On one hand, in the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Nerchinsk and in the modern treaty system, the translation of “territory” formed a new conceptual space, centred on lingtu, which differed from the idea of the (imperial) “frontier” (jiangyu). The turn from jiangyu to lingtu was not a complete one; rather, part of the old concept was integrated into the new framework. On the other hand, the concept of lingtu also provided a semantic battlefield, and the battle was already opened before the revolution: the earlier ideas, diplomatic relations and national narrative already formed the basic concepts dominating discourses after the revolution.
6. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Hanhao Wang Discourses of “Imperialism” in the Late Qing Dynasty
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Imperialism, the key concept of modern politics and society, entered China via Japan in the late Qing Dynasty. This concept had been endowed with rich connotations before Lenin’s assertion that imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism gained a dominant position in China. Liang Qichao influenced by the Waseda University of Politics, regarded “imperialism” as the result of “nationalism”. He advocated the cultivation of nationals to cope with international competition. At the same time, Kotoku Shusui being influenced by the European and American socialist thoughts, regarded “imperialism” as the product of the politicians and capitalists’ seeking profit from the centralization of power. Mencius, a classic Confucian text, became the native resource for absorbing this proposition, attention to the universalist thought which is constructed by Confucian moral theory such as compassion. But for other East Asian countries such as China and Korea, the claim had received little response.
7. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Chao Liu Racism in the Early-20th-Century U.S. and Sun Yat-sen’s Outlook on Chinese Culture
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Confronted with the decline of Western hegemony, the post-Great-War American society witnessed a prevailing trend of racism represented by Lothrop Stoddard, who proposed to suppress the nationalist movements in Asia and completely prohibit the immigration of Asians into the United States to maintain white supremacy across the world. His racist discourse also constituted the historical context of Sun Yat-sen’s speech to The Kobe Chamber of Commerce. Unlike previous studies of the speech that focused on Sun’s expression of “Greater Asianism,” this paper examines his critical remarks on Stoddard, intending to explore the intellectual origin of the renewed outlook held by Sun on Chinese culture in his later years, as he intentionally misinterpreted Stoddard’s main idea as cultural revolt, neutralied such notions as biological determination and human inequality, and replaced white supremacy with the ascendancy of Chinese culture by emphasizing its originality, historical unity and moral superiority. On the very basis, Sun presented an alternative mode of modern civilization that diverged from the Euro-centric capitalist modernity. Echoing various anti-capitalist and counter-enlightenment thoughts of this period, Sun’s proposal could be taken as an integral part of the “new cultural conservatism” promoted by Chinese intellectuals in the 1920s.
8. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Lifeng Li Ambiguous Subject: the “Masses” (qunzhong) Discourse in Modern China
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The “masses” (qunzhong 群众) discourse in modern China was influenced by two western intellectual traditions, i.e., mass psychology and historical materialism. The former regards the masses as a blind, impulsive, and irrational crowd, while the latter thinks that only the people are the real dynamic forces of historical development. As a result, the “masses” discourse in modern China bifurcated into a negative one of “mass psychology” and a positive one of “mass movement”, both of which were employed as effective tools of political mobilization by different political parties and social elites. The concept of the “masses” was either the crystallization of the abstract “people” (renmin 人民) or the actualization of the ideal “citizenry” (guomin 国民). What is embodied in the concepts of the people, the citizenry, and the masses in modern China was actually an ambiguous image of a political subject.
9. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Yiwei Song The Experience of L’Internationale in Modern China
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During the 20th-century Chinese revolution, L’Internationale was one of the most important political symbols. After the failure of the Paris Commune in 1871, Eugène Pottier wrote the poem titled “L’Internationale” which was published for the first time until 1887. It was set to music by Pierre Degeyter in 1888 and introduced into China from both France and the Soviet Union (USSR). Qu Qiubai and Xiao San made great contribution to the work of translation that influenced the official version in 1962. From a hymn for the International Workingmen’s Association to the revolutionary song of all the proletariats, L’Internationale was the historical witness of the National Revolution, the Chinese Communist Revolution and the Continuous Revolution, whose symbolic meanings were connected closely to the tensions between nationalism and internationalism.
10. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Nan Wang On the Translation of “Association” in the Manifesto of the Communist Party
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There are many Chinese versions of The Communist Manifesto and all of them had problems with the translation of foreign concepts and words, which triggered debates for years. One of the most interesting questions in the debates on the translation of the Manifesto is how to translate (Ger.) Assoziation / “association” and how Marx understood this concept.