Contemporary Chinese Philosophy

Edited by Stephen C. Angle (Wesleyan University)
Assistant editor: Maxwell Fong (Wesleyan University)
About this topic
Summary The time period covered by "Contemporary Chinese Philosophy" runs from the late nineteenth century (the late Qing dynasty) to the present. One of the central dynamics of this era is Chinese thinkers' engagement with European, Indian, and American philosophical traditions. Chinese versions of liberalism and Marxism flourish. Chinese philosophers also reflect critically on their own traditions, leading some to advocate the abandonment of Chinese traditions while others promote renewed or synthetic forms. Several varieties of "New Confucianism" emerge, the most prominent of which is Mou Zongsan's Kantian reading of Song-Ming Neo-Confucianism. ("Neo-Confucianism" generally refers to the revival of Confucianism that began around 1000 CE; "New Confucianism" refers to twentieth-century developments.) In recent years, two main trends have dominated: on the one hand, a back-to-the classics movement that has sometimes been coupled with suspicion about the aptness to China of the Western-inspired category of "philosophy (zhexue)," and on the other hand, the continued proliferation of eclectic, synthetic philosophizing drawing on various sources.
Key works Relatively few of the key works of contemporary Chinese philosophy have been translated, though see Angle & Svensson 2001. For a good collection of secondary essays on major thinkers, see Cheng & Bunnin 2002. CAP provides an important, if controversial, overview of modern Chinese political thinking. Mao's thought is given an insightful treatment in Wakeman 1973; see also Knight 2005. For a good overview of Mou Zongsan, see Chan 2011; for recent developments within Confucianism, see Angle 2012 and Dallmayr & Zhao 2012.
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  1. Vindicaciones indisciplinadas: una lectura filosófica de las tesis anarco-feministas de He-Yin Zhen (1880-1920?).Montserrat Crespin Perales - manuscript
    El conocimiento de la filosofía feminista del este asiático, en general, y de China en particular, se ha difundido habitualmente como apéndice dentro de las grandes historias de las ideas y del feminismo europeo como teoría y filosofía política. En el mejor de los casos, como puras notas al margen. En la actualidad, ya estamos en disposición de descentralizar las ideas y dar espacio a la historia, la diversidad de voces y textos de pensadoras no-europeas. Por lo tanto, el primer (...)
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  2. What Did the Ancient Chinese Philosophers Discuss?: Zhuangzi as an Example.Wang Bo - 1999 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 30 (4):28-40.
    Although I do not have any final thoughts about the present topic, it might still be valuable to identify what questions are bothering many Chinese scholars. During an academic meeting last month Professor Yu Dunkang summarized the embarrassing situation confronting the study of Chinese philosophy today, as follows: "The object remains unclear, and the value is misplaced." The phrase "the object remains unclear" means that scholars are not sure what questions need to be studied in relation to what is called (...)
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  3. Ren Jiyu: The Marxist View of Chinese Philosophy and Religion: Editors' Introduction.Yvonne Schulz Zinda & Carine Defoort - 2010 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 41 (4):3-17.
    The world of Chinese philosophy witnessed an ideological storm that raged for almost four decades in the second half of the twentieth century, and Ren Jiyu was a leading figure in it. The Marxist interpretation of traditional Chinese thought in terms of five scientifically determined historical stages, an economic substructure with its ideological superstructure, and a continuous struggle between materialism and idealism, was like a whirlwind that came and went in Chinese academia. This interpretive framework for the study of Chinese (...)
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  4. The Religious Nature of Confucianism in Contemporary China's "Cultural Renaissance Movement": Guest Editors' Introduction.Zhou Yiqun & Gan Chunsong - 2012 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 44 (2):3-15.
    The old, controversial question of whether Confucianism is a religion or not has reemerged as a central issue in contemporary China's "Cultural Renaissance Movement." The papers in this issue offer a glimpse of some notable scholarly views in recent discussions on the religious properties of Confucianism and the possibility of the religious transformation of Confucianism. The major topics include the competition between Confucianism and Christianity, the necessity to establish Confucianism as a state religion, the conception of fashioning Confucianism as a (...)
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  5. Terrorism in Chinese History: Assassinations and Kidnappings.Li Ling - 2010 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 42 (1-2):35-64.
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  6. La irrupció de la filosofia en els segles XIX i XX. Pensament japonès contemporani. Pensament xinès contemporani.Montserrat Crespin Perales - 2011 - In Carles Prado-Fonts (ed.), Pensament i religió a Àsia Oriental. Barcelona, España: pp. 23-70.
    La irrupció de la filosofia en els segles XIX i XX. Pensament japonès contemporani. Pensament xinès contemporani.
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  7. Kurdistan: The Taiwan of the Middle East?Yvonne Chiu - 2018 - Society 55 (4):344-348.
    Taiwan and Kurdistan appear to have little in common, but the progressive values of these two societies embedded within hostile regions make them both natural allies and important strategic assets in the U.S.’s and international community’s long-term fight against authoritarianism and radical religious theocracies. Instead, they have been ignored and/or exploited in the pursuit of short-term geopolitical and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, which comes at great cost to American and international values as well as long-term (...)
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  8. Feng Youlan: Something Exists: Proceedings of the International Research Seminar on the Thought of Feng Youlan, December 4-6, 1990. [REVIEW]Henry Rosemont, Diane B. Obenchain & Feng Youlan - 1997 - Philosophy East and West 47 (1):79.
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  9. Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary Chinese Cinema.Susan D. Blum & Rey Chow - 1997 - Philosophy East and West 47 (3):435.
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  10. Culture in De-Center CourtChina in Transformation.David A. Kelly & Tu Wei-Ming - 1996 - Philosophy East and West 46 (2):278.
  11. Madhyamika Thought in China.Whalen Lai & Ming-Wood Liu - 1996 - Philosophy East and West 46 (3):415.
  12. Feng, Qi 馮契, Collected Works of F Eng Qi, 2nd, Expanded Ed. 馮契文集.Zhenhua Yu - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (1):119-124.
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  13. Democracy Without Autonomy: Moral and Personal Autonomy in Democratic Confucianism.Yvonne Chiu - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (1):47-60.
    The presence and absence of autonomy in Joseph Chan’s democratic Confucianism loom large, but not always in the ways that he maintains. Although Chan claims that his reconstruction of Confucianism for modern democracy can accept some forms of moral autonomy, what he presents does not constitute genuine moral autonomy, and the absence of that autonomy sits in tension with some other aspects of his model. When it comes to personal autonomy, it is the opposite: Chan says that the exercise of (...)
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  14. A Short History of Chinese Philosophy.K. P. L. - 1949 - Journal of Philosophy 46 (12):394-395.
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  15. A Summary of Xiong Shili's Research on Philosophy Conducted in China.Jing Haifeng - 1989 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 21 (1):3.
    In China during the 1930s and 1940s, Xiong Shili was active in the field of philosophy. His "New Theory on Singular Intuition" won him a reputation that brought widespread attention from academic circles. While Xiong's system of philosophy came into being and matured, studies of and commentaries about his ideas continued. In the 1950s, however, the study of modern Chinese philosophy was almost nonexistent, and so it was for Xiong's philosophy. Although Xiong wrote more than a million characters in several (...)
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  16. Rujia Chuantong de Quanshi Yu Sibian: Cong Xianqin Ruxue, Songming Ruxue Dao Xiandai Ruxue《儒家傳統的詮釋與思辨:從先秦儒學、宋明儒學到現代新儒學》. By Peng Guoxiang, 彭國翔.Liangjian Liu - 2013 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 40 (3-4):601-604.
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  17. China Wisdom Alive: Vignettes of Life‐Thinking. By Kuang‐Ming Wu. ; Story‐Thinking: Cultural Meditations. By Kuang‐Ming Wu. ; Nonsense: A Cultural Meditation on the Beyond. By Kuang‐Ming Wu. [REVIEW]Jay Goulding - 2013 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 40 (2):355-359.
  18. Chinese Notables. Short Biographies of the Party and State Officials of the Peoples’ Republic of China. [REVIEW]Werner Eichhorn - 1970 - Philosophy and History 3 (1):68-68.
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  19. Yü-Chih Pen-Ts’Ao P’in-Hui Ching-Yao. A Sixteenth-Century Chinese Pharmacopoeia. [REVIEW]Werner Eichhorn - 1975 - Philosophy and History 8 (2):300-301.
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  20. The Chinese People’s Commune in the “Great Leap Forward” and Afterwards. [REVIEW]Werner Eichhorn - 1968 - Philosophy and History 1 (2):221-222.
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  21. Pegasus, Monkey King and Existential Sentences in Chinese.Fu-Tseng Liu - 1986 - NTU Philosophical Review 9:17-42.
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  22. The Functions of 'Yes' and 'No' in Chinese and English.Fu-Tseng Liu - 1985 - NTU Philosophical Review 8:65-83.
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  23. Chinese Bhikṣunīs in the Ch'an Tradition.Heng-Ching Shih - 1992 - NTU Philosophical Review 15:181-207.
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  24. Pilgrim of the Clouds, Poems and Essays From Ming China.William Schultz, Yuan Hung-Tao & Jonathan Chaves - 1981 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 101 (2):235.
  25. Advanced Reader in Chinese History.E. Bruce Brooks, Grace Wan & Wallace Johnson - 1980 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 100 (2):206.
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  26. Chinese Art and Archaeology: A Classified Index to Articles Published in Mainland China Periodicals, 1949-1966.Annette Juliano & Chan Kam-po - 1980 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 100 (1):98.
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  27. Guide to Chinese Philosophy.Derk Bodde - 1980 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 100 (1):88.
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  28. Appropriation and Representation: Feng Menglong and the Chinese Vernacular Story.Wilt L. Idema & Shuhui Yang - 2000 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 120 (2):303.
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  29. Twentieth-Century Chinese PaintingContradictions: Artistic Life, the Socialist State and the Chinese Painter Li Huasheng.Ellen Johnston Laing, Mayching Kao, Jerome Silbergeld & Gong Jisui - 1994 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 114 (2):331.
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  30. Singular Listlessness: A Short History of Chinese Books and British Scholars.Paul W. Kroll & T. H. Barrett - 1992 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 112 (1):178.
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  31. A Chinese Pioneer Family: The Lins of Wu-Feng, Taiwan, 1729-1895.Robert P. Weller & Johanna M. Meskill - 1982 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 102 (3):576.
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  32. Chinese Warlord, the Career of Feng Yü-hsiangChinese Warlord, the Career of Feng Yu-Hsiang.Chauncey S. Goodrich & James E. Sheridan - 1971 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 91 (4):516.
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  33. Confucianism in Action.Chauncey S. Goodrich - 1970 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 90 (2):417.
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  34. A Short History of Chinese Art.Prudence R. Myer & Michael Sullivan - 1969 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 89 (1):254.
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  35. The Peking Temple of the Eastern Peak, The Tung-Yüeh Miao in Peking and Its LoreAppendix: Description of the Tung-Yüeh Miao of Peking in 1927The Peking Temple of the Eastern Peak, The Tung-Yueh Miao in Peking and Its LoreAppendix: Description of the Tung-Yueh Miao of Peking in 1927.R. A. Stein, Anne Swann Goodrich & Janet R. Ten Broeck - 1966 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 86 (4):425.
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  36. The Income of the Chinese Gentry. A Sequel to the Chinese Gentry: Studies on Their Role in Nineteenth-Century Chinese Society.W. Eberhard & Chung-li Chang - 1962 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 82 (4):607.
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  37. Ladies of the Tang; 22 Classical Chinese Stories.Edward H. Schafer & Elizabeth Te-Chen Wang - 1962 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 82 (4):594.
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  38. A Short History of Chinese Philosophy.Homer H. Dubs - 1951 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 71 (1):90.
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  39. Hsuntze; the Moulder of Ancient Confucianism.J. K. Shryock & H. H. Dubs - 1929 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 49:88.
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  40. Tu Weiming.Iep Author - 2016
    Tu Weiming Tu Weiming is one of the most famous Chinese Confucian thinkers of the 20th and 21st centuries. As a prominent member of the third generation of “New Confucians,” Tu stressed the significance of religiosity within Confucianism. Inspired by his teacher Mou Zongsan as well as his decades of study … Continue reading Tu Weiming →.
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  41. An Introduction to Feng Shui.Ole Bruun - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
    Feng Shui has been known in the West for the last 150 years but has mostly been regarded as a primitive superstition. During the modern period successive regimes in China have suppressed its practice. However, in the last few decades Feng Shui has become a global spiritual movement with professional associations, thousands of titles published on the subject, countless websites devoted to it and millions of users. In this book Ole Bruun explains Feng Shui's Chinese origins and meanings as well (...)
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  42. My “Investigation of Things”.Donald Munro - 2016 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (3):321-339.
    “Confucianism” can refer to two topics, namely “Philosophical Confucianism” and “State Confucianism.” Regarding contemporary China and the global world, the one that has a positive content is not the latter but is the former. Philosophical Confucianism takes Mencius’ thesis as its key. It emphasizes knowledge, emotions, and intentions to act as an interrelated mental cluster. It encourages people to focus on family love and its societal expansion. At the same time, through the investigation of such universal topics as humane love, (...)
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  43. Review Article: Ishii Shudo’s Contributions to Dogen Studies Examining Chinese Influences on the Kana and Kanbun Texts.Heine Steven - 2014 - Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 41 (2).
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  44. The Fighting Tasks of Philosophy and Social Science Workers.Chou Yang - 1972 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 3 (3):239-295.
    Philosophy and the social sciences are an important front in the ideological struggle. Under present domestic and international circumstances, what kind of role should this front play and what are the tasks it should undertake?
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  45. Chinese Urban History Studies Face the Twenty-First Century.He Yimin - 2014 - Chinese Studies in History 47 (3):73-99.
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  46. The Synthesis of Chinese and Western Philosophy in Mao Tse-Tung's Theory of Dialectic.Andreas Arndt - 1981 - Studies in Soviet Thought 22 (3):196-205.
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  47. Towards A History of Chinese Education: Selected Resources.Christopher J. Lucas - 1974 - Educational Studies 5 (3):115-127.
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  48. Chinese Studies in the History of Astronomy, 1949-1979.Xi Zezong - 1981 - Isis 72 (3):456-470.
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  49. The Unlikely Buddhologist: Tiantai Buddhism in Mou Zongsan's New Confucianism. By Jason Clower.Stefania Travagnin - 2014 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 41 (S1):761-764.
  50. Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy.Antonio S. Cua (ed.) - 2002 - Routledge.
    Featuring contributions from the world's most highly esteemed Asian philosophy scholars, this important new encyclopedia covers the complex and increasingly influential field of Chinese thought, from earliest recorded times to the present day. Including coverage on the subject previously unavailable to English speakers, the _Encyclopedia_ sheds light on the extensive range of concepts, movements, philosophical works, and thinkers that populate the field. It includes a thorough survey of the history of Chinese philosophy; entries on all major thinkers from Confucius to (...)
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