Modernization of Chinese Philosophical Methodology
Zhang Dainian’s Innovation and the Challenges of Neo-Materialism
Keywords:modern Chinese philosophy, Chinese and intercultural philosophy, modernization of Chinese thought, methodology of Chinese philosophy
The present paper aims to shed light on certain methodological challenges that Chinese intellectuals faced in the process of coming to terms with Marxist thought. Even at the beginning of these processes, i.e., in the first decades of the 20th century, Chinese theorists faced several difficulties regarding the issue of cross-cultural philosophical syntheses. Thus, in their endeavours to adapt Marxism to the specifically Chinese worldview, they sought suitable adaptations of traditional philosophical methodologies that would enable them to fruitfully integrate classical Chinese and modern Marxist discourses. Zhang Dainian 張岱年 (1909–2004) has played a particularly prominent role in this process. Therefore, this paper aims to shed light on his contribution to the establishment of new Chinese and cross-cultural philosophical methodologies. In terms of exploring general philosophical issues, Zhang established a unique philosophical system known as “neo-materialism” in which he attempted to integrate Marxist materialism with some basic approaches of traditional Chinese philosophy. The crucial features that defined this philosophical system were based on his innovative methodology, which is critically presented in this paper.
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