The September issue of the journal Asian Studies will be dedicated to the role and the contributions of Taiwanese philosophy. In contrast to the mainland, Taiwanese philosophy of the 20th century had almost no connection with either Marxism or any of the many streams of post-Marxist philosophy. While theorists from the People’s Republic of China were mainly dealing with various forms, issues and innovations in the field of the Sinification of Marxism, those working in Taiwan devoted themselves to the exploration and adaptation of other forms of Western modernity, especially those deriving from Kant and German classical philosophy. They wanted to modernize their own (i.e. Chinese) traditions through the ideas of the European Enlightenment. While in the 1950s the Chinese conceptual tradition (in particular, Confucianism) fell into disrepair and was often prohibited, or at least severely criticized, on the mainland, Taiwanese philosophers were constantly striving for its preservation and development. However, at issue was not only the preservation of tradition; in the second half of the 20th century, several complex and coherent philosophical systems emerged in Taiwan. The creation of these discourses is proof of the great creativity and innovativeness of many Taiwanese theorists. Here, it is particularly important to highlight the Modern or New Confucianism and its most famous Taiwanese representative, Mou Zongsan.

But in post-war Taiwan we can also witness many other forms of investigating and upgrading traditional Chinese thought. In this regard, the Neo-Daoist current and the Taiwanese Buddhist studies are certainly worth mentioning. Besides, modern Taiwanese philosophers have also enriched and advanced the originally Western medieval scholastic thought by establishing a specific school of the so-called Taiwanese Neo-Scholasticism, which was founded at the Fu-jen Catholic University.

However, the rich palette of philosophical thought that emerged in Taiwan in the second half of the 20th century cannot be limited to these few streams of thought. Therefore, the special issue will include and critically introduce many more currents, streams of thought and individual philosophers, who have decidedly contributed to the creative blossoming of modern Chinese philosophy.

Given the fact that numerous Taiwanese philosophers belong to the pinnacle of contemporary theoretic achievements in the Chinese language area, and because there is still an almost complete lack of awareness of this fact in the Western academic circles, the special issue aims to clarify and to expose the following issues:

  • The role and the function of Taiwanese scholars in the preservation of the Chinese intellectual (especially Confucian, but also Daoist and Buddhist) tradition;
  • Taiwanese interpretations of Chinese philosophy;
  • Introductions of recent Taiwanese philosophy and its authors, including both the ones who lived and worked in the 2nd half of the 20th;
  • The formation of a recognizable position of recent Taiwanese intellectual streams in the contemporary discourses on philosophy and culture;
  • The analysis and explanation of common cultural conditioned threads in the Taiwanese philosophy – the relation between the specifically Taiwanese cultural elements and the theoretical and ideological approaches applied by Taiwanese philosophers.
  • Preservation of Confucian Tradition, Political, sociological and intellectual backgrounds
  • History and politics: the cross strait relations in the second half of the 20th century 

With this rich palette of different topics which are all linked to modern Taiwanese thought and exposes the multifarious richness of its ideas, this issue will doubtless show that Taiwanese philosophy can be seen as a bridge that links different discourses across time and space by illuminating and exposing various otherwise neglected traditions of Chinese philosophical thought.

All contributions have to be submitted directly through the website of the journal.

Deadline: February 5, 2020

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Published: 2020-01-10

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The academic journal Asian Studies (until 2013 Asian and African Studies) has been published by the Department of Asian and African Studies, at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) since 1997. It is a distinctive, interdisciplinary journal devoted to the study of Asian societies and cultures. Twice a year, it publishes thoroughly researched and strictly peer-reviewed academic articles, which represent the highest level of scholarly excellence.

The journal publishes contributions containing analyses and interpretations of the essential conditions of contemporary social realities in Asian societies (especially Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indian), and focuses on their specific political, economic, historical and cultural contexts.

Ranging across the fields of Asian literature, art, philosophy, political science, history and sociology, Asian Studies challenges the bureaucratization of intercultural research in the humanities and social studies, and features in-depth examinations of past, present, and future research issues by some of the world's leading scholars and experts in these fields. An integral part of our scholarly mission is to publish innovative, high-quality articles that will have a lasting impact by opening up new research areas in their respective fields.

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