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Progress Theory: The Constraint On China's Cultural Renaissance

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Chapter Summary

"Progress theory" is a direct Chinese translation of the French l’idée du progrès, which is also called progressivism. The marquis was affected by the proliferation of English and French colonies around the world and the remarkable technological progress of European society, and wrote the book Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind. It encompasses a linear conception of time. It does not distinguish between ethnicities. It takes the West as cultural center. It is a substitute for religion. A distinction between progressive and backward exists for material and technology, such a distinction does not exist for culture. The evolution of culture is better described as a kind of spatial coexistence of new and old, acceptance of both today and yesterday, and simultaneous storage of modern and traditional, rather than a simple temporal replacement of old with new, yesterday with day, and traditional with modern.

Keywords: China; cultural renaissance; European; French; marquis; Progress theory

10.1163/ej.9789004175167.i-447.57
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