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Ming And Qing China Thought

Posted on:2012-03-27Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:B F ChenFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116330338456059Subject:Special History
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
People-oriented thought, as the foundations for the long-existing political philosophy in traditional Chinese society, has been one of the most essential and important parts of Chinese political culture and tradition as well as a precious historical heritage and spiritual wealth for Chinese people. It is also of epoch-making significance because it's not only the ideological system adopted by the wise rulers but also the spiritual elements that have always driven human progress. But, as the thought system developed to its peak by the Ming and Qing dynasties, its limitations and negative effects became more and more obvious. And, it became more and more difficult to meet the changes of the whole society. With the development of these trends, it's inevitable for this thought to be challenged and begin to change. Thus, in this context appeared what is known as "New- people-oriented thought". Objectively, the new thought has played positive roles in the particular historic period because it served as the intermediary and bridge for the spreading of modern democratic ideas to China, took the traditional people-oriented thought to a higher level and set the stage for the new era. So, the study of people-oriented thought in Ming and Qing Dynasties is of great academic value.The overall perspective of this paper is to view the rich class as a key to the development of people-oriented thought system in Ming and Qing Dynasties. By combing the research on "the rich society" and "the rich class" of ancient China with the study of the thought, this dissertation provides some value to further work. The discussion is composed of seven parts and mainly focuses on the primary themes of traditional Chinese people-oriented thought system ---respecting people, supporting people, enriching people and educating people;it also puts emphasis on the importance of the social developments and changes in this period which led to the formation of the new thought. Finally the study makes a general analysis and comment on the thought system. The argument is that, during the Ming and Qing period, it is the newly emerging thought that reflected the real situation of the day and exerted positive effects on China's history. Also, the "freshness" of this new thought paved the way for bringing in modern western democratic ideas. While the traditional one, for the most part, was a mere formality although its essence still existed at that time. Meanwhile, it is worth noting the great contribution of the rich class in this process, who were full of practice and threw themselves into various social activities to seek for new ideas, giving a blow to the traditional people-oriented thought and inducing its changes. Therefore, they were really the internal dynamics of the evolution of China from a traditional society to a modern one.What's different about the "New- people-oriented thought" discussed in the paper lies in two aspects:first, although the paper explores the basic themes of the thought such as respecting, supporting, enriching and educating people under the banner of traditional people-oriented thought, it emphasizes the new thought has been evolving from the traditional one through inheriting, developing and transcending and has been given new characteristics of the times. This period also saw a theoretical breakthrough in the thought, with some new important ideas being held forth. Second, in this new thought system the term "people' has got new connotations. Originally, "people'in the traditional thought was used as an abstract and general concept, relative to rulers. It had the broadest notion and didn't refer to any specific person in the society. While, in the new thought system, there had been some radical changes in the meaning of "people". They became the subject of country rather than the object in the past and began to assert their own rights in political, economic, cultural, and social life;at the same time, the term "people" was used with reference to some specific persons, that is, the rich class living in particular times. The rich class were the social foundation for the changes of people-oriented thought in Ming and Qing Dynasties just because they had played important roles in the social development and transitions of this period and had been at the center of various aspects of society. They wanted to establish their own values and tried to make them the mainstream of the society. Therefore, they further made attempts to measure their true value to the society, to set forth their political views, values and to assert themselves. With their growth and their active participation in social activities, they were brought to the attention of the intelligentsia, who truly began to think the positions of the rich class carefully and then called on the government to take their political needs and rights seriously. Such was the situation in response to which the new thought arose. So, in some ways, New-people-oriented thought reflected the ideological trends and the positions of the rich class. It means not only the gaining of discourse power by the rich class but also the awakening of their self-consciousness about their roles in Ming and Qing societies.
Keywords/Search Tags:Ming and Qing dynasties, people-oriented thought, inheritance and evolution, New-people-oriented thought, the rich class
PDF Full Text Request
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