• Selusi AMBROGIO University of Macerata, Italy



comparative philosophy, transcultural philosophy, Chinese philosophy


This special issue of Asian Studies is dedicated to a relocation of Chinese thought outside of closed definitions and disciplines so as to return to this rich and varied tradition to its authentic, inclusive power. The introduction of Western systems of knowledge classifications, based on Melvil Dewey’s (1851‒1931) library system introduced in China in 1909, imposed entirely different models from the earlier imperial classifications. Moreover, the Dewey decimal model presents philosophy under nine categories (metaphysics; epistemology; parapsychology and occultism; psychology; logic; ethics; ancient, medieval, and eastern philosophy; modern Western philosophy), each with nine subcategories. Therefore the history of philosophy is split into two groups: thinking produced before the 19th century and that which followed. Eastern philosophy is actually the first subcategory of the first historical period (decimal no. 181). This view is highly conservative, and implies that Chinese and Indian philosophies are ancient but unprogressive and not rationally advanced compared to Western philosophy. It is perhaps unnecessary to say that this difference becomes irreconcilable when these Asian philosophies are compared with modern Western philosophy, as the supposedly pre-philosophical nature of non-Western philosophies is implied in the classification.


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Makeham, John, ed. 2012. Learning to Emulate the Wise: The Genesis of Chinese Philosophy as an Academic Discipline in Twentieth-Century China. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.



6. 05. 2024

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