Connecting East and West through Modern Confucian Thought
Re-reading 20th Century Taiwanese Philosophy
Keywords:Mou Zongsan, Modern Confucianism, New Confucianism, Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, Herman Bavinck
This study is an attempt to establish that 20th century’s canonized Taiwanese philosopher Mou Zongsan (1909–1995) has contributed significantly to the innovative burgeoning of modern Confucianism (or New Confucianism) with the revision of Western philosophy. This is based on the hypothesis that if ideas travel through the past to the present, and vice versa, and if intellectual thinking never knows any national, cultural and social boundaries, then there is an obvious intersection and communication of philosophical thoughts of East and West. This article also contemplates the fact that Western philosophies are widely known as they are widely published, read and circulated. Conversely, due to the language barriers philosophy and philosophers from the East are less widely known. Therefore, this research critically introduces and connects the early 20th century Confucian philosopher Shili Xiong (1885–1968), his disciple the contemporary Taiwanese Confucian intellectual Mou Zongsan, along with the Western philosophers Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), and Herman Bavinck (1854–1921), through ideas like moral autonomy, ethics, ontology, and imago Dei. In so doing, the article delineates the path to study 20th century Taiwanese philosophy, or broadly Chinese Confucian philosophy which makes a bridge between the East and the West through Modern Confucianism prevalently called New Confucianism.
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