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MPhil Thesis Presentation
Tradition Encountering Modernity: Zhang Junmai’s Neo-Confucianism



Zhang Junmai (1887–1969) was a famous politician and philosopher of 20th-century China. For his advocacy of reviving Confucianism from 1923 to his death, his has normally been considered one of the great contributors to the promotion of traditional culture and creation of a neo-Confucian philosophy. However, though Zhang Junmai never became absent from researchers’ vision, a detailed exploration of his neo-Confucian philosophy has been lacking. This thesis is devoted to addressing the gap in the research and attempts to elaborate various spheres of Zhang Junmai’s neo-Confucian philosophy: metaphysics, moral philosophy, knowledge issues and political philosophy. As an overall evaluation of his philosophy, this thesis proposes two qualities of Zhang’s philosophical achievements (global-mindedness and interlinking of the physical and metaphysical worlds) and defends against the criticism that Zhang’s thought is pan-moralistic. We argue that what he inherited from traditional Confucianism was the belief that moral values have priority over other values, which does not entail the intrusion of morality on other cultural spheres. This is also the common ground he shared with other contemporary neo-Confucianists.

Speaker(s) Ms. Yajun TANG
Date 17 Jul 2020 (Friday)
Time 10:30 am
Venue Zoom Meeting ID:
Language English