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Narrating a Fantasmatic Unity: On the Contemporary Sinophone Discourse of China’s Civilizational Subjectivity

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image of Frontiers of Philosophy in China

A powerful discourse centered on China’s civilizational subjectivity has emerged in the Sinophone intellectual world since the early 2000s. Among many promoters of this intellectual trend, Gan Yang, together with his slogan of the “fusion of three traditions,” is indeed most influential. This study employs Lacanian psychoanalytic technics to tackle Gan Yang’s thesis, treating the latter not just an object for textual analysis, but more deeply (and fruitfully), that for psychoanalysis. The findings of the study reveal the presence of a fantasmatic structure framing and guaranteeing Gan’s (sharply inconsistent) vision of China’s civilizational subjectivity. Such fantasmatic formation can be referred to as the “Great Dragon fantasy”—a fantasy about China’s civilizational unity and glory.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Politics, East China Normal University


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