Conception of Harmonious Union: Philosophy History Aspect

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The academic and humanitarian conception of harmonious union (hehe) has been proposed by Professor Zhang Liwen in the 1990s. It claims to explain the specifics of Chinese civilization and proposes solution of some global problems by its means. Despite the lack of direct references to the conception, it remains in demand both in the political and ideological discourse of the People's Republic of China. This presentations deals with the historical and philosophical facts available in Chinese written monuments and works of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, which are put forward as a justification for the primordial idea of ‘harmonious union’ in Chinese culture. An attempt is done to show that this concept does not offer any new set of philosophical categories, but appeals to the well-known concepts of two-, three- and five-item classifications. At the same time, the emphasis is laid on the form, the method of combining opposite or dissimilar elements. In general, on the basis of the limited historical and philosophical material, it can be concluded that the concept of harmonious unification is aimed not so much at revising the composition of the philosophical system of Confucianism, but at rethinking its value criteria for interaction and mutual dependence of objects and phenomena.

About the authors

Wladimir M. Majorow

Institute of Far Eastern Studies RAS

Author for correspondence.
32, Nakhimovsky Av., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Candidate of Science (History), Professor


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