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Exploration Of The Ways toward Freedom And Wealth:a New interpretation on Yan Fu's Cultural Thoughts

Author: ZhangRuWei
Tutor: ZhouDeFeng
School: Nankai University
Course: Chinese Philosophy
Keywords: Yan Fu Cultural Thoughts Refonn Achievements and Losses
CLC: B256
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 35
Quote: 0
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Yan Fu is a famous enlightening scholar of early modern period in China, and an outstanding figure among the pioneers searching for the methods of solving the crisis that China has to face in this critical historical moment. He considers the obtaining of wealth and freedom as his whole life career, and made tremendous contribution to the enlightment of Chinese traditional thoughts. Domestic academic circles had already studied Yan Fu’s thoughts for a long period, and accomplished many remarkable achievements. But, somehow, a thorough and systemic study to Yan Fu’s thoughts with the view of culture is still in a state of negligence. Such a study is the main object of this dissertation. In specific explanation, this dissertation tends to revalue Yan Fu’s opinions of reform in the areas of education, politic, economy, etc.In addition, explore the inner logic of Yan Fu’s thoughts, in order to understand him in a full scale.In the first chapter, through a brief introduction to the historical backgrounds and Yan Fu’s life, depicts the process of Yan Fu’s intelligence development. In addition, points out that Yan Fu had already noticed the existence of significant differences between China and western countries. Yan Fu also ponders on the cause with a cultural view, he believes that such a difference is in fact the difference between countries that in different development periods. On this basis, Yan Fu declared series opinions of reform.Chapter2is in consistent with the above, discuss Yan Fu’s thoughts on education. Through a comparison with his peers, a demonstration of Yan Fu’s singular characteristics is presented in this part of the dissertation. an Fu explored the feasibility to solve national crisis by education, and made critical judgment on the traditional education system and academic thoughts. Through the analysis to all these efforts, an Fu shows two characteristics on his educational opinions:the view of organic society; and his attempt to integrate western ideas with Chinese traditions.Yan Fu is a remarkable representative of liberalism in China, even was entitled as the father of Chinese liberalism. Yan Fu’s liberalism thoughts inherited from John Mill, but in specific aspects show obvious personal traits. The task of chapter3is to make comparison between Yan Fu and Mill, explore the similarities and differences, and,furthermore, conclude the inner reason that cause such differences.Political reform is an important part of Yan Fu’s cultural thoughts, and it is also the theme of chapter4to analyze his relative considerations and ideas. An exploration to the difference between the view of Tianxia and the concept of modern country in Yan Fu’s thoughts is presented in this chapter. And also explained the two aspects of Yan Fu’s ideas on political reform, which means he believes republic is the best form of government, but the constitutional government is the unavoidable choice in reality. And the next part of this chapter analyzed Yan Fu’s thoughts on governing by law.In Yan Fu’s cultural thoughts, economic policy is the key to obtain wealth. Chapter5discusses the nature and content of Yan Fu’s opinions on the issue of economic reform. Under the significant influence of Adam Simth.Yan Fu advocates the free economy, he criticized the monopoly behavior in economy activities, and pointed out the drawbacks of monopoly. In addition, an Fu proclaimed new economic ethics and eliminate the binds of traditional thoughts.Chapter6evaluates Yan Fu’s overall cultural thoughts, and explains its characteristics and remarkable achievements. It is demonstrated that Yan Fu’s cultural thoughts have three obvious characteristics:explain traditional Chinese thoughts with western theories, shows the characteristic of time; explore the inner value of traditional culture in order to rectify western culture, shows the characteristic of nationality; and the endeavor to forge Chinese traditions and western culture into a new one. Considering the different periods of Yan Fu’s cultural thoughts development, there is significant even adverse change. Through thorough analysis, my dissertation holds that there is obvious inclination to deny the tradition culture as a whole. But through a long term meditation, he became more reasonable and mature on cultural thoughts.

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CLC: > Philosophy, religion > Chinese Philosophy > Modern Philosophy (1840 ~ 1918 ) > Yan Fu ( 1853 to 1921 )
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