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The Dual Vision of Zixue and Its Implications for Contemporary Philosophical Innovation

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No. 6, 2022

 

The Dual Vision of Zixue and Its Implications for Contemporary Philosophical Innovation

(Abstract)

 

Wu Genyou

 

Zixue is the collective term for the knowledge and ideas contained in the zishu (works of non-Confucian ancient masters) in the General Catalogue. From the point of view of philosophical knowledge, zixue in fact contains the intellectual dimension of knowledge of all things” and the ideological dimension of “the proper discernment of all reasoning” and “the way of the sages and a statement of aspiration.” The relative balance between the two dimensions of knowledge and thought in zixue reflects, on the one hand, the historical state of the growth of traditional learning/knowledge and, at the same time, the openness and pluralism that characterize zixue. The innovation of contemporary Chinese philosophy is fundamentally related to the social practice of our great age, but one possible way forward is to draw useful spiritual inspiration from the historical process of interaction between traditional knowledge and spiritual stimulus, so that tradition can take on greater vitality and vigor and thence produce new forms.