Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

6 Translating Liberalism into China in the Early Twentieth Century: The Case of Yan Fu

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The translations of Yan Fu 嚴復 (1854-1921), as well as his original writings, presented a blueprint for China's future. In particular, his translations of J.S. Mill's "On Liberty in 1903" and Edward Jenks's "A History of Politics in 1903-4", although less influential than his translation of Thomas Huxley's "Evolution and Ethics", offered a wealth of new views about social and political issues. His blueprint can be regarded as the origin of modern Chinese liberalism. Yan's translation of Mill was thus aimed at readers outside the political center, especially "young ones". At this time, Western concepts of liberty had already aroused much attention in China. Although Yan had a strong sense of the distinctiveness of the Western concept of freedom, he also saw it as similar to the Chinese concepts of shu 恕 and xieju 絜矩.

Keywords: liberalism; liberty; modern China; politics; Yan Fu



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Modern China and the West — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation