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Traditional Confucianism in modern China: Ma Yifu’s ethical thought

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image of Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Modern neo-Confucianism is studied at two levels, one is at the historical level and the other at the academic level. Modern neo-Confucianism at the historical level was developed in the modern context, but its basic content belongs to the traditional Confucianism or the study of Confucian classics. Modern neo-Confucianism at the academic level recognizes both the deficiencies of the traditional Confucianism and rationality of western learning, and dedicates itself to the modernization of Confucianism. Though Ma Yifu’s moral philosophy is developed in the context of modern Chinese culture, it fails to deal with the problem of modern transformation of Confucian ethical values and its content still belongs to the traditional Confucianism. So it should be labeled as the modern neo-Confucianism in the historical sense. In this paper, the author makes a systematic exploration and an evaluation of Ma Yifu’s ethical thought.


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