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Contradictions Within Enlightenment Ideas

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Chapter Summary

Research into contemporary Chinese ideological culture is a current focus of both domestic and foreign intellectual circles. The chapter investigates the series of great debates that occurred in the ideological culture world of the 1990s. The most important difference between the world of Chinese ideological culture in the eighties and nineties is simply that it changed from "unified" to "divided". During the New Enlightenment movement of the eighties, the thinkers tended to use &t;modernization&t; rather than &t;modernity.&t; The modernization ideas of the Chinese enlightenment were built upon two dualistic modes of thought: the chronological division of traditional and modern, and the spatial division of China and the West. Modernization was then understood as merely a temporal relationship in which China would eventually converge with the West. Chinese culture and Western culture were seen as a dichotomy, the former representing traditional value systems and the latter representing modern cultural values.

Keywords: Chinese enlightenment; Chinese ideological culture; modernization; New Enlightenment movement; western culture



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