Monday, August 30, 2004

Early Modern Europe and Chinese Philosophy

I have recently been reading Malebranche's Dialogue Between a Christian Philosopher and a Chinese Philosopher, and it has started me thinking about the interaction between European philosophy and Chinese philosophy in the early modern period. Leibniz also has a work concerned with clarifying the relation between European and Chinese philosophy; these sorts of works were largely intended to supplement the efforts of Jesuit missionaries in China.

This is one of several areas in our understanding of early modern philosophy that need development. We need more work on a) the sort of information on which the characterizations of Chinese philosophy, as found in Malebranche, Leibniz, and others, are based; b) the extent to which such materials were actually used in China, if such materials were used, and in what way; c) influences of Chinese thought on European thought, both through correct understandings and misunderstandings (e.g., Leibniz's linked his development of binary arithmetic with his (mis)understanding of the I Ching); d) influences of European thought on Chinese thought.

Sharon at Early Modern Notes has assembled some useful links relevant to the general background here.

For some general background with great pictures, see here.

For texts on the important Chinese Rites dispute, see here. The background of this controversy is presented here (this is a great article).

Here is a selection from Leibniz in which he discusses China. Apparently there is a book recently published on
Leibniz's interest in China; I'll have to put it on my reading list. Albert Ribas has a discussion on the interconnections between Leibniz's Discourse on the Natural Theology of the Chinese and the better-known Leibniz-Clarke debate. (I'll have to look more closely at what can be found on-line and put up a post at H.L.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.