and Culture Review
VOLUME2·Number 3 ·July 2015
Special Theme: Dialectics of Classical Chinese Philosophy
106 The Influence of Pre-Qin Dialectical Thinking on Ancient Logical Studies of Names: With Special Reference to the Pre-Qin Confucianism
Zhang Xiaomang and Liu Qi
119 Dialectic Ideas of Dong Zhongshu
Zhou Guidian and He Dahai
134 Dialectics in Ancient Chinese Philosophy
144 A Traditional Cultural Perspective on the “Three Stricts and Three Honests”
149 From “Cultivating Oneself to Appease Others” to Implementing“Three Stricts and Three Honests”
The Confucian World
153 Traditional Value of Harmony and Its Role in Social Stability and
160 The Relevance and Usefulness of Confucianism in Contemporary Culture
Chen Rongzhao (Singapore)
167 Confucian Tradition in Postwar Taiwan: Retrospect and Prospect
Huang Chun-chieh (Chinese Taipei)
177 Wangdao and Badao: A Confucian Perspective for Resolving Cross-Strait Differences
Hsieh Ta-ning (Chinese Taipei)
187 Fusion of Art and Learning: Painting Features of Jao Tsung-I
199 A Study of Three Events in Shu’s History of Confucianism
214 Internal vs. External Perspectives in Writing about the History of Chinese Philosophy
Horizon of Sinolog y
226 The Early Dissemination of Confucian Classics in the West
Masters of Chinese Studies
238 Zhang Dainian: His Academic Life and Philosophy
Main articles Abstract
The Influence of Pre-Qin Dialectical Thinking
on Ancient Logical Studies of Names: With Special
Reference to the Pre-Qin Confucianism
Abstract: The simplest mode of thought is pre-logic or original logic, which may influence the direction that a tradition’s logical thought develops. The early Chinese era embraced a rich source of naive dialecticism and thinkers of the time employed dialectical thinking— consciously or not—to analyze and solve problems. Taking the study of names for example, pre-Qin dialectical thinking had directly influenced traditional thinkers’ understanding of the relationship between names and actualities. They held, in a spirit of dialectics, that names involved the contradictory relationship between opposites, that names and actualities were in a constant state of movement or variation, and that the relationship between names and actualities was subject to change corresponding to new conditions. Focusing on the influence of pre-Qin dialectical thinking on ancient logical studies of names, with special reference to pre-Qin Confucianism, this study examines the origin and development of logical thought in the pre-Qin period in order to broaden and deepen our understanding of Chinese logical thought.
Keywords: dialectical thinking, pre-Qin era, study of names
Zhang Xiaomang is professor and PhD supervisor of the College of Philosophy at Nankai University.
Liu Qi holds a PhD in Philosophy and works in the Department of Social Sciences at Tangshan College.
Dialectic Ideas of Dong Zhongshu
Abstract: Dong Zhongshu has long been recognized as a noted scholar of metaphysics whose ideological system is presumably free from dialectics. Viewed as a whole, however, Dong has offered ample discussion on four of his dialectic ideas: changbian-jingquan (constancy and expediency), zhonghe (the extreme and the balanced), cizhi (words and meaning), and wuxing (the Five Elements). His theory of changbian-jingquan rejects the unconditional adherence to Confucian doctrines and attaches importance to flexibility to meet actual conditions. His doctrine of zhonghe advocates balanced approaches for both preserving one’s health and governing a country and, in particular, a socio-economic view that the government should be capable of readjustment toward balance. His thoughts on cizhi emphasize that because language cannot express thought completely, one should not be wedded to language but rather strive to understand the substantial content and distill the profound meaning out of sublime words. Dong’s theory of wuxing integrates the traditional theory of the mutual generation and competition between the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), and he proposed the dialectic idea that “adjacent elements mutually generate while every other mutually overcomes.”
Keywords: Dong Zhongshu, dialectics, changbian-jingquan, zhonghe, cizhi, wuxing
Zhou Guidian is professor and PhD supervisor at Beijing Normal University.
He Dahai is a PhD student in the School of Chinese Classics at Renmin University of China since 2014.
Dialectics in Ancient Chinese Philosophy
Abstract: Originating from the concepts of yin and yang, Chinese dialectical thinking developed and flourished. Daoist dialectics is focused on yin, with the central idea of guirou shouci (honoring weakness and aligning with femininity). Sunzi’s military dialectics highlights yang, honoring strength and aligning with masculinity. Confucian dialectics stresses the middle ground of yin and yang and promotes zhongyong (the Way of Centrality). Post-Qin Philosophers inquired into the essence of dialectics with discussions on the relationship between the two (opposites) and the one (unity).
Keywords: dialectics, honoring weakness, honoring strength, centrality
Song Zhiming is professor and doctoral supervisor of the School of Philosophy at Renmin University of China.
A Traditional Cultural Perspective
on the ‘Three Stricts and Three Honests’
Editor’s Notes: The theory of “Three Stricts and Three Honests” encompasses the essential elements of traditional Chinese culture. Extending the ideas of benevolence and rule of virtue, this theory continues the political tradition of being people-oriented and deepens the traditional principle of being sagely within and kingly without. On April 8, 2015, the inauguration of the International Institute for Chinese Culture and a symposium on the cultural roots of the theory were held at Guiyang Confucius Academy, where a host of scholars from both China and abroad discussed the theory of its cultural origin, connotation, and value. For the reader’s interest, Confucian Academy is now pleased to publish English translations of speeches by Guo Qiyong, professor at Wuhan University, and Wang Daqian, Director of the China Confucius Foundation.
Guo Qiyong is professor of the School of Chinese Classics at Wuhan University.
From ‘Cultivating Oneself to Appease
Others’ to Implementing ‘Three Stricts and Three Honests’
Time-honored Chinese culture is the unique spiritual legacy of the Chinese nation. It provides rich resources to support the growth and prosperity of China, and thereby constitutes a storehouse for the Chinese people in their highly intellectual pursuits. Confucianism, which takes the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius as its pillars, becomes an embodiment of fine traditional Chinese culture. It has been an inexhaustible cultural treasure and intellectual fountainhead of the Chinese people for millennia.
Wang Daqian is Chairperson and Secretary General of the China Confucius Foundation.
Traditional Value of Harmony and Its Role
in Social Stability and Sustainable Development
Abstract: Traditional Chinese culture can help maintain social stability. China underwent a century of turmoil following the First Opium War in 1840, which was the result of a comprehensive crisis that has political, economic, cultural, and ecological dimensions. The “Down with Confucianism” slogan that the May Fourth Movement of 1919 espoused was an emotional reaction of activists during the crisis era. Developing a socialist market economy allowed China to extricate itself from the crisis. However, China still faces such challenges as environmental pollution from industrialization and a moral crisis under a socialist market economy. Reviving and promoting traditional values, “being sagely within and kingly without” for instance, will help the Chinese build a harmonious and moderately prosperous society that supports sustainable development.
Keywords: traditional culture, May Fourth Movement, harmony, social stability, sustainable development
Zhang Qingxiong is professor and PhD supervisor of the School of Philosophy at Fudan University.
The Relevance and Usefulness of Confucianism in Contemporary Culture
Abstract: A resurgence of Confucianism has been triggered by multicultural communication and exchange in the process of globalization, along with a swift development of the Chinese economy for 35 consecutive years and an elevation of the East Asian economy. This resurgence implies an introspection of the accusation and denial of the Confucian culture for more than a century, as well as a positive response to a series of natural, social, and moral crises of human society. Influenced by Confucianism, most oriental countries are confronting various cultural problems as they are marching towards modernization. These problems include conflicts between tradition and modernity, East and West, science and humanity, material civilization and spiritual civilization, among other conflicts. Another challenge emerges from multi-cultures with different moral values. To respond to these situations effectively, it is essential to carry forth the Confucian culture through adapting it to the tendency of modernization and the multicultural exchange. From this point of view, it is of great significance to study how Confucianism could contribute to the construction of contemporary ethics and political and scientific culture.
Keywords: Confucianism, construction of modern culture, contribution
Chen Rongzhao is Chairperson of the Singapore Confucianism Society, professor of National University of Singapore, and a research professor at Peking University.
Confucian Tradition in Postwar Taiwan: Retrospect and Prospect1
Abstract: This article reviews the development of Confucianism in Taiwan after 1945 and anticipates its possible development and influence in the 21st century. First, Confucianism in Taiwan is an important cultural indicator within many frames. In a dichotomous framework of the traditional vs. the modern, Confucianism represents the mainstream of traditional culture. In a framework of mainland China vs. Taiwan, Confucianism embodies an unmistakable mainland character. In a framework of the local vs. the international, Confucianism stands as a perennial, local humanistic way of thinking. Second, three branches of Confucianism in postwar Taiwan can be observed, namely (1) Confucianism as an orthodox political ideology. The Confucius–Mencius Society of Taiwan established in 1960 and its Kong-Meng Monthly have been the foundations of this “official” Confucianism. (2) Confucianism as an academic field. Among postwar Confucian scholars, Tang Junyi (1909–1978), Mou Zongsan (1909–1995), and Xu Fuguan (1904–1982) are the most renowned. The last two decades have seen East Asian Confucianisms2 and indigenous psychology rise as the two main research approaches. (3) Confucianism as a way of life. A lifestyle-driven conception of Confucianism is proposed by certain folk religions and Buddhist sects. In conclusion, we foresee that, given the recent rise in cultural interaction across the Taiwan Strait, values and ideas passed down by traditional Confucianism will be increasingly indispensable to the New Taiwan Consciousness as a cultural discourse, which will contribute to building a new future for Chinese-speaking society.
Keywords: Confucianism, contemporary New-Confucianism, East Asian Confucianisms, indigenous psychology, cross-strait relations.
Huang Chun-chieh is chair professor and Dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences at Taiwan University, and Research Fellow of Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
Wangdao and Badao: A Confucian
Perspective for Resolving Cross-Strait Differences
Abstract: In contemporary Chinese, wangdao (kingly way) and badao (hegemonic way) are often used to represent opposite values. However, a closer look at their historical contexts reveals that, except for Mencius, ancient Confucian philosophers did not directly set these two terms in opposition. While stressing the importance of wangdao, Xunzi regarded it as a projection of the ideal world, arguing that badao was one manifestation of wangdao in reality. This paper applies these concepts to cross-strait relations, in the hope that the wisdom of the ancients can help resolve the differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Keywords: wangdao, badao, ritual and moral principles, cross-strait relations, all under heaven
Hsieh Ta-ning is a professor in the Department of Chinese Literature and Application at Tai wan’s Fo Guang University.
Fusion of Art and Learning: Painting Features of Jao Tsung-I
Abstract: The fusion of art and learning as realized by Jao Tsung-I holds a unique place in Chinese literati painting up until this century. As an outstanding and representative literati artist of the present age, he reaches two great artistic achievements in painting. On the one hand, he starts with imitating ancient painting styles but goes beyond those old techniques by integrating a lot of elements into a definitive trinity of poetry, calligraphy, and painting. On the other hand, based on his profound learning, he adapts Dunhuang elements and images in an ingenious and spontaneous way, laying the cornerstone for the Northwest Style.
Keywords: sketch, imitation, literati, Dunhuang, Buddhism, Zen
Chen Lyuheng is Deputy Director of the National Museum of China and Councilor of the China Artists Association.
A Study of Three Events in Shu’s History of Confucianism
Abstract: Though the regions of Ba and Shu (modern Sichuan and its periphery) had been remote and geographically inaccessible throughout history, Confucianism’s influence in this area was no less profound than in the rest of China and the region had even made some pioneering contributions to Confucian studies. For instance, three cultural relics of Sichuan—the Wen Weng Stone-Chamber Academy, the Memorial Hall for the Duke of Zhou, and the Stone Classics of Shu—represent immeasurably precious achievements that significantly promoted the development of Confucianism in southwestern China. As original undertakings in Confucian education, they have provided insight for Chinese intellectuals and the spread of Confucian culture. Hence, they were widely seen to be achievements that “crown the whole country” and “set examples for all later generations.” These achievements have been widely studied in recent years. Based on previous research, this paper makes a comprehensive investigation into the three historical relics that chronicle key Confucian events in Sichuan to identify their cultural value, academic significance, and historical influence in the development of Confucianism.
Keywords: Wen Weng’s Stone-Chamber Academy, Memorial Hall for the Duke of Zhou, Stone Classics of Shu, Confucian education
Shu Dagang is professor, PhD supervisor, and Dean of the International Confucian Institute of Sichuan University.
Internal vs. External Perspectives
in Writing about the History of Chinese Philosophy
Abstract: Interpreting Chinese classics from an external perspective may easily lead to neglect or even disruption of the internal logic of the classics. Starting with the search for the principal philosophical categories embedded in the texts, an internal perspective lays stress on the hierarchical and relative status of categories or ideas in the entire ideological system, as well as on the inherent process and method of philosophical thinking represented in the texts. Interpreting classic texts from the internal perspective is directed at their process of philosophical thinking. This paper focuses on the Mozi to show that the internal perspective is actually a systematic methodology for identifying philosophical character and innovation.
Keywords: Mozi, systematic philosophy, philosophic writing, history of Chinese philosophy, internal perspective
Zhou Haichun is professor of the School of Philosophy and Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Hubei University. He is also Director of the University’s Research Center for Chinese Culture, and Dean of the Institute for Chinese Studies.
Zhang Dainian: His Academic Life and Philosophy
Abstract: Zhang Dainian was a philosopher and philosophical historian. He lived to nearly a hundred and spent most of his life working and living at Tsinghua and Peking universities. Yet he endured some extremely difficult times, including living in Japanese-occupied territory and suffering a political injustice for more than 30 years. Nevertheless, he believed in saving China through academic efforts and the practice of materialism, and his support for socialism helped him overcome difficulties in teaching and research activities. Of particular note, he upheld “harmony with diversity” as the core and essence of his philosophy, founded a philosophy of a new three-in-one materialism, and, for the first time, integrated Chinese, Western, and Marxist philosophies. He also developed a theory of comprehensive cultural innovation. All these have far-reaching and practical significance.
Keywords: Zhang Dainian, harmony with diversity, new three-in-one materialism, integration of Chinese, Western and Marxist philosophies, theory of comprehensive cultural innovation
Qian Gengsen is a senior professor of the Department of Philosophy at Anhui University.