The liberating power of harmony and order: On the notions of liberty and mathematical logic in Zhang Shenfu's philosophical thought

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Abstract / Description of output

This paper discusses the thought of Zhang Shenfu, one of the central figures behind the propagation of modern science and dialectical materialism in Republican China (1911 – 1949). In particular, it focuses on the notions of liberty, mathematical logic and humaneness (ren 仁) in his writings in the period between the year of the May Fourth events (1919) and the late 1930s. The main aim of the analysis is to cast some light on the common conceptual and methodological features which underlay these interpretations, in order to reveal the essentially Chinese cultural “perception” or traditional worldview that served Zhang as the prism through which he viewed and understood the nature of and the relationships between all these “novel” concepts from the West. Consequently, an important aim of this paper will be to highlight a specific fragment of the intellectual mechanism that conditioned the so-called Chinese intellectual modernisation of the Republican period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-213
Number of pages31
JournalAsian and African Studies
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Chinese philosophy
  • humanism
  • liberty
  • mathematical logic
  • Zhang Shenfu

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