Dienstag, 20.10.2020 05:03 Uhr

Xiong Shili one of the most important Chinese philosophers

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome , 14.06.2020, 20:31 Uhr
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Rome [ENA] On 4th of June the academic publisher Brill, based in the Netherlands, edited in the Series: Modern Chinese Philosophy, Volume: 21, the book Xiong Shili's Understanding of Reality and Function, 1920-1937, by Yu Sang. Xiong Shili 熊十力(1885-1968) was one of the most important Chinese philosophers of the twentieth century, and a founding figure of the modern New Confucian school of philosophy.

Xiong was born to a poverty-stricken family in the Huanggang, Hubei. His father was a village teacher who died of tuberculosis when Xiong was ten years old, forcing him to work as a cowherd for his neighbor to support his family. By his twenties, he was a dedicated revolutionary in the Republican Revolution that ended the Qing dynasty and ushered in China's first republic. Disgusted over corruption in politics, and what he termed "latent feudalism" among the revolutionaries, he began to study Buddhism in 1920 at the China Institute for Inner Learning (支那內學院) in Nanjing headed by Ouyang Jingwu (欧阳境无), perhaps the most influential lay Buddhist thinker of the twentieth century.

Xiong became an essayist and philosopher whose major work A New Treatise on Vijñaptimātra (新唯識論, Xin Weishi Lun) is a Confucian critique of the Buddhist Vijñapti-mātra "consciousness-only" theory popularized in China by the Tang-dynasty pilgrim Xuanzang. At the core of his metaphysics is one of the key conceptual polarities in traditional Chinese philosophy: Reality ( ti 體) and Function ( yong 用). Xiong Shili’s Understanding of Reality and Function, 1920-1937 presents a detailed examination and analysis of the development of Xiong Shili’s conception of Reality and Function between 1920 and 1937. While scholars have tended to focus on Xiong’s mature ti-yong philosophical system, which was initially established in the early 1930s, this study

explains how that system was gradually formed, providing a more comprehensive basis for understanding the development of Xiong’s philosophical thought in later periods. Xiong is widely regarded as the thinker who laid down the basis for the revival of Confucianism during the twentieth century, and the main voice in contemporary Chinese philosophy who called for a revival of the Confucian dao. He felt it could provide a guide for the country during its tumultuous period following the May Fourth Movement in 1919.

He felt that national survival was predicated on a sense of community, which in turn could only come from trusting commitments from the people involved. He believed that the most urgent task for the educated elite in China was to raise the cultural awareness and sensitivity of the people that the clash between the West and China was not solely a clash of economic strength and military might, but also a conflict between basic human values.

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