Contemporary Chinese Thought 20 (3):55-70 (1989)
From the time of the conflict among states to the unification under the Qin and Han dynasties, the newly emergent landowner class in China opened up a new era altogether. It brought about political unity on the mainland of China, a country of a vast territory and large population, and in so doing it speeded up the historical process of the blending of the various nationalities in China and the exchange of cultures among them, thus laying down a firm foundation for the formation and development of the Chinese nation. Our academic circles have already done a great deal of research on the four hundred years of history represented by the Qin and Han and have seriously explored the fruits of intellectual and cultural progress produced in this period. Furthermore, in recent years, several scholarly symposia and conferences have been held, and journals and magazines have published quite a few high-quality academic articles. Through all of these avenues, the philosophy of the Qin and Han periods has been studied. Nonetheless, in a general sense, the study of the philosophy of this period of some four hundred years is weak; there is still not a monograph that comprehensively and systematically reflects the full picture of Qin-Han philosophical thought and at the same time represents the current standards of scholastic research on the subject. The volume on the Qin-Han periods in the multivolume History of the Development of Chinese Philosophy, compiled and edited under the direction of Ren Jiyu, has managed to push the study of the history of Qin-Han philosophy forward a step. The editors and writers of this volume have reexplored the subject with the spirit of searching for truth and for new perspectives and interpretations, and they have demonstrated their erudition by the breadth of their annotations, discoveries, and citations. Whether in terms of breadth or depth, this book is enlightening and inspiring
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