“Contemporary China in Philosophy”, First Report

2 November, 2007 KIM Hang, Contemporary China in Philosophy

In this program three teams are working at the same time. Reports from the fellows, relating their own research interests to the topic of “Authority and Heresy” will continue for a while. This problematic goes beyond the period and region of “Contemporary China”. Kim Hang did the first report on 2007/11/02.

Mr. Kim introduced a study group, organized by Maruyama Masao, Ishida Takeshi and Fujita Shozo in the attempt to grasp the Japanese history from Meiji Restoration to the WWII defeat through the framework of “orthodoxy and heresy”. This attempt, however, failed due to several reasons, among which the specificity of Japanese modernity.

Since in 17th century Europe (period of Absolutism) external decorum and internal faith were separated and the orthodoxy of secular power shifted from the Church to the law of the Sovereign, the relationship between Orthodoxy, Legitimacy and Legality become an important matter in the intellectual history. Analyzing Maruyama from this viewpoint, Mr. Kim pointed out that in Modern Japan legislative power and morality shared the same roots, resulting in a confusion of Orthodoxy, Legitimacy and Legality. Thus, the Imperial System causes difficulties of interpretation as far as the “orthodoxy and heresy” framework is concerned. That is why Maruyama’s attempt to apply this model failed and the lack of division of morality and politics in Modern Japan prompted him to create the term “heresy without orthodoxy”.

In the end, Mr. Kim referred to the problem of Classical Turn and emphasized the necessity for a transcendental point of view for reflection. (Furuhashi Norihiro, excerpted and translated by Dennitza Gabrakova)

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