Remarks on Guo Jianning's Lecture

Contemporary Chinese Thought 30 (4):92-95 (1999)
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The first thing that struck me in your lecture is that according to the description you gave, the development of Chinese philosophy in the last decades has been determined by social and political developments. This is true for the three hot topics you have distinguished. The reflection on practice found its starting point in a statement of Deng Xiaoping that forced Chinese Marxist philosophers to answer the question of how this statement might be incorporated in Marxism, and thus to reflect on the role and status of practice in Marxist philosophy. The same seems to be true for the debate on humanism, and for the later development towards the study of man. As you have presented it, the debate on humanism was prompted by a reflection on the tragedies of the Cultural Revolution and led, basically, to an interrogation of the link between humanism and Marxism; whereas the reasons for the booming of the Study of Man were the need for reforms, needs caused by recent social developments, and the needs of human development. Research in the study of man is, as you say, the conscious reaction to the historical trends of recent years



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