A humanist synthesis of memory, language, and emotions: Qian Mu's interpretation of Confucian philosophy
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (4):425-437 (2009)
While Qian Mu intentionally avoided systematic philosophical arguments, his references to memory, language, and emotions, as expressed in a book he wrote in 1948, were suggestive of new interpretations of traditional Chinese, and especially Confucian, ideas such as human autonomy, mind, human nature, morality, immortality, and spirituality. The foremost contribution of Qian’s humanist synthesis rests in its articulation of the idea of the person. Across the context of memory, language, and emotions, the tiyong dynamics of mind and human nature recreate, in modern terms, the traditional Chinese concept of the person who is individually unique and simultaneously interrelated. Avoiding the extreme polarities of individualism and collectivism, he stresses rather their coexistence. His synthesis explains to the Chinese people something about who they are, the meaning in life in the framework of their culture, and how their (revitalized) way of life is at its best in the most important area, that of human relations.
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References found in this work BETA
Roger Ames, Robert C. Solomon & Joel Marks (eds.) (1995). Emotions in Asian Thought: A Dialogue in Comparative Philosophy. SUNY Press.
Irene Bloom (1985). On the Matter of the Mind: The Metaphysical Basis of the Expanded Self. In Donald J. Munro (ed.), Individualism and Holism: Studies in Confucian and Taoist Values. Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan. 293--327.
Wing-tsit Chan (1963). A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, N.J.,Princeton University Press.
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