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This chapter explores the encounter between the traditional Confucian thought and contemporary Anglophone philosophy. It explores the evolution in philosophical methods and heuristics employed by Anglophone thinkers in the past fifty or so years, often with the aim of extracting Confucian thought from its specific social and historical roots. Unlike the disciplines of intellectual or literary history, these philosophers have articulated dimensions of Confucian philosophy not explicit in traditional texts, developed critiques of Western modernity, derived solutions to problems in Western philosophy, and sought to reimagine Confucian thought for an East Asian modernity. Analyzing how contemporary philosophers have engaged the Chinese tradition makes clearer the meaning of the much-debated term “Chinese philosophy,” without becoming mired in definitional disputes, and serves to justify the enterprise.


Originally published in: Dao Companion to Contemporary Confucian Philosophy, David Elstein (ed.)



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