Thursday, October 21, 2021

950: China...

 An analytical and skeptical study of classical texts also started in China, especially during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). 

Gu Yanwu (1613-1682) was a philologist. He studied the Chinese classics. According to Gu Yanwu, such a study had to be preceded by philological, linguistic and historical research. 


He is therefore regarded as the founder of the School of Textual Criticism, the Kaaju Xue, also known as the 'Empirical School'.”' 


Gu Yanwu argued that a philologist and historian had to use both internal and external evidence to verify the authenticity of a text. 


Based on comparisons with as many sources as possible, the most probable judgment had to be made. 


Knowledge had to be derived from facts and independent observations. So here we also see the first steps towards a scientific method. 


One did not have to limit oneself to manuscripts, but texts could also be compared with epigraphic remains such as inscriptions in stone and bronze.


 While we have no direct evidence of an empirical cycle in Gu Yanwu's work, it is clear that he promotes a strongly empirical approach. 


It is difficult to determine to what extent this approach also has a backlash on the philological theory, but it certainly seems probable. 


The Empirical School of Textual Criticism has made impressive philological discoveries. Cui Dongbi (1740-1816) analyzed the extent to which Confucius was actually the author of works attributed to him, such as Spring and Autumn Annals and the Book of Songs. 


Doubt ensued, and today the attribution to Confucius is considered presumably inauthentic. 


Active work was also done on the reconstruction of old texts, among others by Jiang Yong (1681-1762). Like the ancient Greek and Roman texts were rediscovered in Europe, so we see the same process in China with its own classics. 


An explanation for the rather sudden emergence of this empirical philological school during the late Chinese empire is sought in the economic prosperity in the Yangzi Delta at the end of the sixteenth century. 


Merchants and intellectuals searched for ancient works of art, early manuscripts and rare editions. They paid huge sums of money for a single manuscript. 


This encouraged imitations and forgeries, which in turn furthered the study of the authenticity of manuscripts. There was also a renewed interest in the reprinting of classical works, which found their way in large numbers to Vietnam, Korea and Japan.


 It could be that Chinese empirical philology was given an extra boost by the arrival of the European Jesuits, who introduced Western science to China from the sixteenth century. 


The Jesuits were obsessed with the dream of establishing a Chinese-Christian civilization comparable to Roman-Christian Civilization, 


Although they did not succeed in spreading the Catholic faith, the Jesuits contributed to scientific and cultural exchange between China and Europe.


 Although only a very small percentage of Chinese intellectuals converted to Christianity, the Jesuit influence on the practice of science in China is considered substantial, as will be seen from their influence on Chinese astronomy 


Whatever the precise contribution of the Jesuits, the Chinese philological tradition is surprisingly similar to the European tradition: 


the rediscovery of classical works, their reconstruction, but also the forgeries and their refutation can be found in both regions. 


Besides this striking similarity, there is a significant difference in the reception of philology: textual criticism does not seem to have brought about 


radical social changes in late imperial China as it did in early modern Europe, where philological historiography has introduced a new secular worldview.  


Thank you for your attention....


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rens Bod: "Een Wereld vol Patronen".  2019

The Discussion


[13:19] herman Bergson: This last point is probably the most important observation....

[13:20] herman Bergson: the scientific method changed Europe

[13:20] herman Bergson: and that didn't happen in China

[13:21] herman Bergson: Ok...there may be an explanation :-)

[13:22] herman Bergson: After the Ming period there came a long period of intellectual suppression in China.....books were burned and so on

[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they still do that today

[13:23] oola Neruda: thinking of the Bonfire of the Vanities

[13:23] herman Bergson: The problem was...if you had some criticism as a aphilologist on texts that implied the could get into danger.....and where to run to in that huge country?

[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes it happens still.....

[13:23] herman Bergson: The difference with Europe was unique....

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, the Chinese government is as shitty and power hungry as back in the old days

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): suppressing all different thinking

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and will of change

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): criticism is noallowed

[13:24] herman Bergson: When you criticized the bible here

[13:24] herman Bergson: being a protestant in a catholic country.....

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): censoring the internet, murdering the uigurs calling them terrirists

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): things like that

[13:25] herman Bergson: In Europe you could run to the protestant Netherlands....

[13:25] herman Bergson: or another country

[13:25] herman Bergson: in other words....the development was not stopped

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): escaping China is much more difficult

[13:26] herman Bergson: There always  was a country where you were not considered a heretic

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and the Chinese government has long arms

[13:26] herman Bergson: indeed Beertje

[13:27] herman Bergson: Since a lot of books were exported to Korea and Japan, maybe that is how Chinise classic survived history

[13:27] oola Neruda: I remember how careful we had to be in China... about what we said... ditto in Russia... even the people we were with and trusted could not say many things in either countrty

[13:27] oola Neruda: their fear showed

[13:28] herman Bergson: Must be a strange watch out for every word you say in public

[13:28] oola Neruda: indeed

[13:28] oola Neruda: you do not forget it

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or as i use to say, chinese government holds 1/5th ow the ehtire worlds population (over 1 billion people) hostage

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): awful

[13:29] oola Neruda: have to be careful whom you speak with

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and that nothing have managed to change

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but well

[13:29] bergfrau Apfelbaum: dreadful

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:30] herman Bergson: Long time ago we had a Chinese person here in class

[13:30] herman Bergson: an apprentice in a European contry

[13:31] herman Bergson: that person asked me to remove that perso's remarks from our discussions

[13:31] oola Neruda: nods... makes a lot of sence

[13:31] herman Bergson: Someone could listen in.....

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i feel sad for these people. watched 24/7 wherever they are and one misstep and ur either dead or n torture prison for life

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shudders)

[13:32] oola Neruda: we get visiting scientists here at the lab... and send some of ours over there.... it is interesting to be around them in conversations

[13:32] herman Bergson: We can not imagine how that feels

[13:33] herman Bergson: But it happened countrywide in China already in the 18th century

[13:33] herman Bergson: I'll have to check for accurate dating

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i saw a thing about white rooms, lit with bright lights 24/7, white chothes, white food, no shadows no sounds and no contact with anyone for years once ur inside there

[13:33] oola Neruda: and still happens

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u for one thing cant sleep under those conditions

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and u don't know what time of day it is

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): total torture

[13:34] herman Bergson: Deprivation of sensory input drives a person crazy

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i would not manage an hour like that

[13:34] bergfrau Apfelbaum: china is a big prison

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): scary stuff happens, and i so wish for a change

[13:35] herman Bergson: that is to black and white Bergie....

[13:35] oola Neruda: you learn to make your way through it...

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess

[13:35] oola Neruda: it becomes normal...

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but still

[13:35] oola Neruda: habbit

[13:35] herman Bergson: Take into acoount that at least 30% of Americans believe in the Big Lie.....they are happy with it...

[13:35] oola Neruda: you don't really know much different

[13:36] herman Bergson: In China millions of people are happy with their situation

[13:36] herman Bergson: whether it is a lie or not....

[13:36] oola Neruda: they are careful

[13:36] Anuska (anuska.loon) is online.

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well as an outsider u don't have the entire picture

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats one thing

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well

[13:37] herman Bergson: Don't forget that almost a billion people are freed from poverty in the past decades in China

[13:37] oola Neruda: and in Russia as well.... although they way they consume alcohol and then is a wonder they survive

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahaha indeed oola

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): glug glug

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): russian genes

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): another would die from alcohol poisoning long before

[13:37] herman Bergson: I love to watch Russian traffic movies on Youtube ^_^

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahaha indeed

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): omg

[13:38] oola Neruda: watched a group at a table next to us... and one man vomited all over the table... they were loud and... ehhhhsgggga;lkagjg

[13:38] herman Bergson: The most insane and absurd car accidents....they must be loaded permanantly

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true Herman

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 'VODKA VIDKA!

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i saw them too, driving way too hard !

[13:39] oola Neruda: the waitress was not surprised.... said they hated having Russians in their establishment

[13:39] oola Neruda: that was in Hungary

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sure i drink quite a bit of such stuff but not constantly or in those amounts

[13:39] herman Bergson: Expensive hobby in Sweden Bejiita ^_^

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the Russians say the same about themselves bejiita

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well, but a bottle lasts very long for me but i always make sure i have a bottle or 2 at lest

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): wodka?

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): those guys down a vodka bottle like i empty a milk cartoon

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:41] herman Bergson: :-)))

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i take a sip on weekends mostly

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Strohrum

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)))

[13:41] herman Bergson: Heavy....

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): SHUDDERS

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): 80 percent

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): never tasted it but 80 %

[13:41] herman Bergson: I  think it is time for a drink and end our discussion :-))

[13:42] bergfrau Apfelbaum: lol strohrum

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have a drink and trhow some plupps around!

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ineed to taste that stuff though sometime

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just see how horrible it really is

[13:42] herman Bergson: So....thank you all again and prosit, cheer, bottoms up :-)

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:42] bergfrau Apfelbaum: tyyy Herman and class:-) and cheers

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i might like it

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:42] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Proost:)))

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