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On The Universal and Local Aspects of Confucianism

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image of Frontiers of Philosophy in China

To counter the tendency of making Confucianism “localized” and thereby turning Confucianism research into research of local social history, the author criticizes this tendency and thinks it is unilateral to emphasize or stress the importance of a small unit’s locality, but ignore the oneness of the distribution of Confucianism and the universality of Confucian thought. The thesis emphasizes that the main schools of Confucianism in the Song and Ming Dynasties are all not local ones and cannot be reduced to reflections of some local need and social structure. The author points out that we need to self-examine the following phenomena: aggrandizing the function of local social structure to culture and thought, coming down academic schools to reflections of local social benefits, opposing this kind of research to the research of thought itself, thus rejecting philosophical research and analysis of thought itself.


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