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Values, Authority, Tradition And Chinese Philosophy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter overviews of the historical cultural origins and basic philosophical presuppositions towards tradition and the past in the mentality of Chinese philosophy, and from this reveals the intrinsic contradiction in Chinese philosophy and examines how it should develop further in responding to the challenge of modernity. To simplify matters the discussion will concentrate on the basic concepts of Confucian philosophy. In the history of world culture, the classics in several strands of culture were all formed at a time of 'philosophical breakthrough' and were the responsibility of a few outstanding charismatic individuals. In the history of Chinese philosophy, whenever there is a shift in thought it will often be found to revolve around several pivotal factors connected to tradition. The normal attitude of Chinese philosophy to tradition was to see tradition as a positive force, a force for upholding the stability of values recognised by tradition.

Keywords: Chinese philosophy; historical cultural origins



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