An Outline of “Chinese-Language Philosophy”: Original Thought, Discourse Domain and Method

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No. 12, 2021


An Outline of Chinese-Language Philosophy: Original Thought, Discourse Domain and Method



Sun Xiangchen


In responding to the common concerns of mankind, different language worlds may have different original intellectual resources. The philosophy based on the Chinese language must give serious thought to the common concerns of the Chinese-language world. Many scholars have begun to use the concept of Chinese-language philosophy (汉语哲学), an idea that has, in the course of its development, shaped paradigms and concepts that differ from those of Chinese philosophy (中国哲学). The raising and expression of the issue of Chinese-language philosophy is directly associated with the mental structure of the Chinese-language world, the formation of Chinese-language concepts, and the characteristics and laws of the Chinese language itself. The establishment of Chinese-language philosophy is based on the self-reflection of a detour round the Other, which necessitates resetting the universality of Western philosophy to the Other. This is a paradigm shift in philosophy. In this sense, composing the theoretical framework of Chinese-language philosophy from the three dimensions of universality, original thought, and normative construction aims to highlight such features of Chinese-language philosophy as originality, normativity, openness, futurity and a worldwide nature.