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2 Historicizing Social Development and Self-Realization

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the question: what is distinct with this socially mediated evolution is "correlativity", Western notions of evolution must be correlated to indigenous conditions and historical needs of China. Wang Hui explicates this correlation between the imported idea and its recipient thinker as one of extension rather than subordination. In the same vein, Wang Hui approaches Zhang Taiyan's Buddhist non-self in a manner that takes to task the received ideas and perceptions held by the May Fourth believers in individualism, social evolution and the nation-state. One way to observe how the role of teleological memory gets contested and mediated is by sorting out the entangled social and political relationships between the individual's recollected past and the present state of his/her self-realization. This brings us back to "social relatedness" by which sociality can impact on historical memory, and urges us to study its extended impact across temporal and cultural boundaries.

Keywords: China; historical memory; individualism; May Fourth believers; self-realization; socially mediated evolution; Wang Hui; Zhang Taiyan's Buddhist non-self



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