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The Eastward Spread of Western Learning and the Sinicization of

Social Sciences in China

Vol. 34, No. 3, 2013

 

The Eastward Spread of Western Learning and the Sinicization of

Marxist Philosophy

(Abstract)

 

Wang Xinyan

 

The spread of Western learning to the East objectively promoted the dissemination of Marxist philosophy, forming an important historical precondition for its Sinicization. Moreover, it triggered a great transformation in the historical development of Chinese philosophy and facilitated its transition from an ancient to an early modern tradition, thereby establishing through Sinicization a link between Marxist philosophy, which originated in the Western philosophical tradition, and the Chinese tradition of philosophy, and rendering Marxist philosophy Chinese. This offered the possibility that Sinicized Marxist philosophy would play a positive guiding role in the development of modern Chinese philosophy. Therefore, we may say that without the spread of Western learning to the East, there would be no Sinicization of Marxist philosophy; and without in-depth research on the relationship between the Eastward spread of Western learning and the Sinicization of Marxist philosophy, we would have no real understanding of the Sinicization of Marxist philosophy. However, the close links between the Sinicization of Marxist philosophy and the spread of Western learning do not indicate that the former is part of the history of latter. The Sinicization of Marxist philosophy does not itself belong to the category of the spread of Western learning to the East. This is because Marxist philosophy is essentially different from all other forms of what is commonly known as Western learning, and its Sinicization differs from the Eastward spread of Western learning in terms of its goals, social nature, results and effects on society.