By Chaohua Wang
The world’s biggest kingdom is now a continuing subject of fascination or worry within the West, generating an ever expanding literature of scholarship, reportage and tourism. during this quantity, the differing voices and perspectives of top chinese language thinkers can for the 1st time be heard in English translation, debating the way forward for their society and its position on the earth. One China, Many Paths bargains a colourful landscape of the modern highbrow scene within the People’s Republic. Its members comprise economists and historians, philosophers and sociologists, writers and literary critics, around the generations.
Among the subjects debated in those pages are the way forward for China’s development version; the deepening quandary at the land; the country’s rising category constitution, and the destiny of its staff; its advertisement and excessive tradition, and the interactions among them; the function of social activities and the aftermath of the overdue eighties; the customers of a democratic structure and the path of China’s international coverage. This assortment provides a special window onto the diversity and vigour of reviews approximately public affairs expressed in China today.
Contributions via He Qinglian, Wang Hui, Chen Pingyuan, Qin Hui, Hu Angang, Gan Yang, Wang Xiaoming, Gian Liqun, and others.
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Extra info for One China, Many Paths
One should therefore think of Confucianism and Taoism in Han times not as rival systems demanding a choice for one side or the other, but rather as two complementary doctrines, an ethical and political system for the conduct of public and family life, and a mystical philosophy for the spiritual nourishment of the individual, with the metaphysical teachings of the Book of Changes acting as a bridge between the two. This approach is well exemplified in the lives of two scholars, Shu Kuang and his nephew Shu Shou, students of the Confucian Classics who served as tutors to the heir apparent of Emperor Hsüan (r.
C), father of the historian Ssu-ma Ch'ien, wrote a brief essay, "A Discussion of the Essentials of the Six Schools," in which he reviewed the doctrines of the most important philosophical schools of the time and came out strongly in favor of Taoism. The Huai-nan Tzu, an eclectic work compiled by scholars of the court of Liu An (d. ), the king of Huai-nan, dates from the same period; it includes many excerpts from the Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu and, like Ssu-ma T'an, reserves the highest praise for the teachings of the Taoist school.
People were still free to read and study them, and we may be sure that educated men of the Han continued to savor the literary genius of Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu as they had in the past. It simply meant that Taoist writings were not accorded any official recognition as the basis for decisions on state and public affairs. In the intellectual world of late Chou times, a number of rival doctrines had contended for supremacy, and the thinkers of the age had frequently attacked each other with vigor and asperity.