Civilizational analysis is increasingly being used to capture the plurality of routes to and through the modern world order. However, the concept of civilization betrays a colonial legacy, namely, a denial that colonized peoples possessed the creative ability to cultivate their own subjecthoods. This denial was especially acute when it came to enslaved Africans in the New World whose bodies were imagined to be deracinated and deculturated. This article proposes that civilizational analysis has yet to fully address this legacy (...) and, to clarify the stakes at play, compares and contrasts the historical sociology of CLR James with the mytho-poetics of Derek Walcott. Both authors, in different ways, have attempted to endow that quintessentially un-civilizable body – the New World slave – with subjecthood. From this discussion, the article makes the case for developing a ‘poetics of slavery’ that could help to address the colonial strictures still residual in the concept of civilization. (shrink)
We face two great probems of learning: learning about the universe and about ourselves as a part of the universe, and learning how to create world civilization. We have solved the first problem, but not the second. We need to learn from our solution to the first problem how to solve the second. That involves getting clear about the nature of the progress-achieving methods of science, generalizing these methods so that they become fruitfully applicable to any problematic endeavour, and then (...) getting these generalized progress-acheving methods into all our other institutions besides science, and above all into the endeavour to make progress towards a good, civilized world. This article spells out what this programme involves. (shrink)
Morioka's most controversial book to date. The endless tendency to eliminate pain and suffering makes us totally lose sight of the meaning of life that is indispensable to human beings. How are we to battle against this painless civilization?
This is the most comprehensive and authoritative English-language anthology of primary source material on Korean civilization ever assembled. Encompassing social, intellectual, religious, and literary traditions, this volume covers the seventeenth century to the modern period. Contemporary histories, social documents, Buddhist scripture, philosophical treatises, and popular literature selected for this book reflect the dynasties and eras that helped fashion the late Choson and Modern periods.
This paper presents a challenge to Eurocentric world history on the grounds that it reifies and exaggerates the role of the West in the creation of modernity, while simultaneously ignoring India's seminal contributions. The groundwork is prepared in the first three sections, which refute the parochial biases of Eurocentrism by revealing India's impressive early developmental record and its place near the center of a nascent global economy. The paper culminates in an approach that places the "dialogue of civilizations" center-stage of (...) progressive world history, which is formulated as an antidote to parochial Eurocentric world history. This entails an extensive discussion of two key contributions that India made in enabling the rise of the modern West. These comprise the dissemination of Indian industrial methods that enabled the British industrial revolution on the one hand, and the transmission of Indian mathematical ideas that helped promote the European scientific revolution on the other hand. Moreover, this discussion is coupled with two speculative counterfactual historical scenarios. They are: first, that in the absence of British imperialism which sought to "contain" Indian development, India might have gone on to make the breakthrough to modernity, and second, that in the absence of Indian (as well as Chinese, African and Middle Eastern) help, the West might not have made the breakthrough to modernity. But whatever the veracity of such counterfactuals may or may not be, the ultimate upshot of the argument presented in this paper reveals that Eurocentrism's central claim - that the West made the breakthrough to modernity all by itself - can no longer hold true. (shrink)
Modern scientific, academic inquiry suffers from a serious, wholesale fundamental defect. Though very successful at improving specialized scientific knowledge and technological know-how, it is an intellectual and human disaster when it comes to helping us realize what is of value in life - in particlar, when it comes to helping us create a more enlightened, civilized world.
After a thorough classical education, Chen Duxiu went on to be a pioneering reform writer and activist, leader of the New Culture movement, Dean of the Arts and Sciences at Beijing University, and cofounder of the Chinese Communist Party. His writings are usually brief and polemical, and he rarely pauses to expound on the meanings of central theoretical terms. He is nonetheless an astute and coherent author, not easily pigeonholed as "nationalist," "individualist," "cosmopolitan," or any of the numerous other categories (...) under which scholars have filed him. Prior to 1921 his writings regularly touched on rights and human rights; the following well-known essay provides a flavor of his concern for equality and individual self-determination. Chen moved away from talk of human rights during his career as a leader in the Chinese Communist Party, although he did return to the ideas of freedoms and rights later in life, after expulsion from the Party. (shrink)