A study of the 1961 controversy over Chinese and Western cultures in Taiwan

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2006-05

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Abstract

This thesis talks about the uninterrupted issue about how Chinese intellectuals after May Fourth Movement dealt with foreign culture, the Western one, especially focus on their attitudes and reflections. Furthermore, this thesis analyzes a possible interpretation for why the similar discussion of Chinese-Western culture was brought up again in Taiwan of 1961. The ethos of what can be called the “cultural conservatism” of Chinese intellectuals – attachment to the ontological perspective on culture and the overemphasis of Chinese spirituality – excluded reflection of the flaws of Chinese culture and could not help intellectuals find the proper solution to the conflict between Chinese and Western cultures. The notion of an organic cultural whole also hindered consideration of cultures and the prospect of westernization. The notion of yi exerted a deep-rooted influence on Chinese intellectuals, impeding the realization of cultural pluralism.

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