Leibniz Kínája

Takó, Ferenc: Leibniz Kínája. In: Acta Szegediensia Collegii de Rolando Eötvös Nominati : Eötvözet, (2). pp. 136-149. (2013)

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The European reception of Chinese thought can be studied from several aspects. In this essay through the examination of the Leibnizian approach to Chinese “philosophy” the different motives defining different European China-concepts are presented. In the first part I review the beginning of the European reception of Chinese thought, focusing on the most important Jesuit scholars who influenced Leibniz’s views of China. In the second part I analyse the constitutive factors of the Leibnizian China-concept in three points, namely (1) his attitude towards the Chinese moral philosophy (or “philosophia practica”) in his Novissima Sinica (1697/99), (2) his reaction to Bouvet’s “discovery” of the Chinese gua system (that shows mysterious similarities with Leibniz’s binary arithmetic) (1701), and (3) his interpretation of the “natural theology” of the Chinese as a(nother) proof of the Pre-Established Harmony (1716). In (1) my aim is to call attention on the Leibnizian understanding of Chinese “practical thought” and his idea of using this system as a way out of the moral decadence of Europe. At (2) I show how Leibniz used the Yi jing as a proof of the universal harmony which is embodied in both the gua system and his binary arithmetic. Finally, under point (3), the connection of these two motives are shown through Leibniz’s writing on Chinese “natural theology”. Here he again formulates a strong critique of his contemporaries (like in Novissima Sinica), while he uses Zhu Xi’s system of li to show from another standpoint how different thinkers of different ages discovered the very same truth of Harmony. In the conclusion I define these attitudes of Leibniz towards China as “selfreflection” and “self-affirmation”.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Acta Szegediensia Collegii de Rolando Eötvös Nominati : Eötvözet
Date: 2013
Volume: 2
ISSN: 2062-8439
ISBN: 978-963-306-223-4
Page Range: pp. 136-149
Event Title: Eötvözet (2.) (2013) (Szeged)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Filozófia - német - 17-18. sz., Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Kína - művelődéstörténet
Additional Information: Bibliogr.: p. 147-148. és a lábjegyzetekben ; Összefoglalás angol nyelven ; illusztrációval
Date Deposited: 2018. Oct. 19. 10:20
Last Modified: 2018. Oct. 19. 14:10
URI: http://acta.bibl.u-szeged.hu/id/eprint/55602

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