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aries1988 : west   47

How Protestantism influenced the making of modern science | Aeon Essays

There is a stubbornly persistent version of the history of science, much beloved of more than a few popular writers, that has science first emerging with the ancient Greeks, sliding into a moribund stagnation in the Christian Middle Ages, and bursting forth again in the 17th century with scientific heroes such as Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton. In this cartoon version of history, the long medieval hiatus of science and reason is often attributed to the influence of religion. The scientific revolution of the 17th century and the triumphant march of science ever since are said to be a consequence of the fact that science managed to extricate itself from the clutches of a censorial and stultifying religious establishment.

there really was something quite distinctive and revolutionary about the new sciences of the 17th century: new experimental methods, new combinations of mathematics and physics, the idea of science as a collective enterprise, revised understandings of nature and its meanings, and, crucially, the alignment of science with a set of values that would sustain it, and eventually propel it right into the centre of Western culture.

given the importance of religion to early modern European intellectual life, it would be remarkable if the tumultuous upheavals of the 16th century, and the subsequent schism between Catholics and Protestants, did not leave an indelible mark on an emerging modern science. The real question is how.

Aristotelian science was accordingly based on commonsense observations of nature, conducted without instruments or experiments. This approach gave rise to a number of familiar, but erroneous, Aristotelian doctrines: a heavy object (the stone) will always fall more quickly than the light one (the feather); terrestrial objects move in straight lines and will eventually come to rest; celestial objects move perpetually in circular paths.

Kepler, Boyle and others saw their scientific work as part of a religious mission to uncover the divine order of the natural world. Again, then, values derived from Protestant ideas of vocation motivated at least some of the most influential scientists of the period, and provided a religious rationale for pursuing the study of nature.

Allegory, in short, was a practice that brought together the reading of the book of nature and the book of scripture. In consequence, a change to the status of allegorical interpretation would necessarily have implications for how nature was conceptualised.

Protestant reformers campaigned against the excesses of allegorical interpretation.

The advocates of experimental science found themselves needing to devote considerable effort to establishing the utility of their fledgling enterprise, and aligning it with existing values. In these efforts, the partnership of natural philosophy and natural theology proved vital. It established the new science with religious credentials and much-needed social legitimation. The authority of natural theology helped to make natural science a mainstream activity in the modern West. This alliance also helps to explain how early modern Europe managed to break out of the boom-bust cycle that characterised the scientific cultures of other places and historical periods.

The Protestant Reformation unleashed in vexing and potentially chaotic ways the problem of religious pluralism. The advocates of each religion insist that only one religion – their own – is true. The discordance raised the spectre of atheism: what if, after all, competing religions cancelled each other out? In such an environment, the alliance of natural science and natural theology offered protection against impiety and unbelief, and support for the truth of religion in general. Indeed, the new alliance between natural theology and natural philosophy produced potent evidence for the wisdom and power of God, support more solid, it was claimed, than the more philosophical and speculative arguments of the medieval era, which were light on empirical evidence.

Almost from the first, Protestants sought to associate a particular version of history with Protestantism, reason and progress. They likewise insisted that Catholicism was part and parcel of superstition, censorial attitudes and scientific backwardness. This Protestant historical consciousness lent itself to a progressivist Enlightenment narrative that promoted a similar view of history. It is this contentious historiography, deeply imbued with residual anti-Catholic sentiment, that informs the simplistic picture of the history of science with which this piece began.
religion  science  history  protestant  historiography  west  scientist  christianity 
7 weeks ago by aries1988
宝树vs吴飞:《三体》中若隐若现的中国性体现在什么地方?
您在本书中,对生命(zoe)和生活(bios)这两个概念进行了区分和讨论,应该是您的书中最核心的论证之一,对我很有启发。我感觉,在西方哲学中,很容易将生命作为一种物质性质的存在而将生活作为精神或者意义的存在,从而导致一种二分的割裂。所以西方观念中,最美好的生活总是脱离了物质的,在理念或者神那里的生活。但是世俗化以来,对于后者发生了怀疑,所以美好生活本身成为问题。然而这个矛盾或多或少在西方思想中是存在的。比如说作为许多争议焦点的堕胎问题,就是无法处理生活和生命的关系的一种表现。

西方哲学从柏拉图到海德格尔,都从“存在”出发来理解生命(生活),所以会有对生活与生命的这种理解,美好生活被当成一种高于纯粹生命的存在,这就是一切问题的所在。我坚持认为,存在不是中国哲学的第一概念,性命(生命)才是。哈姆雷特的名言“to be or not to be”,其实问的就是“活还是不活”,可一定把它表达为“to be”才有力量,但中文不能译为“存在还是不存在”,这就是哲学思考方式的区别所在。

个体的生死相继与人类集体文明的不朽,需要仔细体会。在这个问题上,西方文明非常不一样。从柏拉图的《斐多》到基督教,“不朽”的最初含义就是个体的永远存在,理念、上帝、灵魂之不朽皆当从此处理解。而《三体》中呈现出的生生与不朽,都要从中国的意义上来理解。个体之生必然有死,哪怕通过冬眠活上几百几千年。但人类文明却有可能不朽,正因为它不是具体意义上的生命。

不过我相信中国智慧的力量,也相信六经是中国智慧最高的表现形态,其中有一个非常强大、非常系统,也有丰富的解释空间的思想体系。郑玄与朱子分别从自己的角度,诠释了这个体系,成为汉宋之学的两大高峰。现代人要讲出中国思想的意义,必须以现代方式重新阐释这一体系,我目前的工作,就是在这方面做一尝试,集中于“性命”的问题。
chinese  comparison  west  Philosophy  life  survive  concept  interview  scifi  today  classic  material  spirit  religion 
9 weeks ago by aries1988
梁文道:天皇的黃袍,首相的燕尾
日本人一直没有办法在思想的层面上,把他们以往所积累的一切,自觉地当成一套有原理,有层次,有结构的传统。不像欧洲人,可能会把他们的过去当成是一种希腊文明与基督信仰交融形成的传统。也不像中国人,能够自觉地把自己的过去认识为一套儒家传统。在欧洲人和中国人的例子里头,我们能够找到一套所谓的主导思想源流,以之为座标,再把其他所有不符这道主干的东西,当成是它的支脉、边缘或者叛逆。于是当近代中国遭遇西方文化浪潮的冲击时,中国士人就能很自觉地把这个局面,理解为儒家礼教传统与西方现代文明的对决了。
丸山真男又说:「由于新的事物,或与本来异质的事物都在没有与过去完全对决的情况下,就一一被摄取进来,导致新事物惊人地胜利过早,我们无法把过去视为过去,使之自觉地面对现在,而是将之推到一边,或使之沉降到下面,从意识中消失」。
为什么日本能够在明治维新之后,就在许多地方显得非常现代,甚至超前;但另一方面却又非常顽固地保留了很多传统呢?因为少了一套非常自觉,在时间当中形成的传统观念之后,他们就能够并置所有新的东西和旧的东西,把一切过去的事物和未来的事物,都看成是一种没有时间背景,纯粹在空间上被布置于不同角落的东西而已。
japanese  book  mentality  tradition  modernity  west 
9 weeks ago by aries1988
《纽约书评》:过去与当下的东方主义

东方主义是“基于对‘东方’和 ‘⻄方’(大多数时候用的 ‘the Occident’)在本体论和认识论层面进行区分的一种思想方式”。

东方主义的问题并不在于它在一些粗略的经验意义上是错误的,而是在于它是“权力—知识”(power- knowledge)的话语系统的一部分——这是萨义德从福柯借来的概念。东 方主义作为一种表征系统的目的——有时是明确的,更经常是隐含的—— 是为了制造出一个“他者”,从而更好地确保⻄方自我的稳定和至高无上。

如果“阿拉伯之春”摧毁了宗教是阿拉伯—伊斯兰世界中一个独特的决定性力量这一东方主义神话的话,那么它也强化了另一个东方主义幻想:中东人想成为“我们”,英美自由主义是人类社会天然的最终目标;在脸书和谷歌的帮助下,中东与我们的“差异”只是一种反常现象,最终会消失。

至于ISIS,它甚至比基地组织更加热情地拥抱塞缪尔· 亨廷顿关于文明冲突不可避免的论点,认为穆斯林世界(umma)与异教 徒不共戴天。长期以来,东方主义一直是“联合制作产品”,尽管并非所有制作者都拥有同等的权力。
concept  evolution  intelligentsia  leader  west  middle-east  orientalisme  oriental  crisis  refugee  liberalism 
12 weeks ago by aries1988
黄蓓 | Costco里的上海优选伴手礼蝴蝶酥

蝴蝶酥的法语名字Palmier则有“棕榈树叶”的意思,这同样是因造型而产生的绿盖叠翠的意象。但同样的造型,在德国则完全被降格为“猪耳朵”(Schweineohren)了,而有些国家称蝴蝶酥为“象耳朵”,至少算是超越了日常生活的视野。

法国圣米歇尔山的Saint Aubert蝴蝶酥有100层以上的酥皮,香港曲奇童话蝴蝶酥有256层酥皮,上海国际饭店的蝴蝶酥也有256层酥皮,美国Sugar Bowl Bakery蝴蝶酥有300层以上的酥皮,法国知名饼店Pierre Hermé蝴蝶酥有超过2000层酥皮,而上海的幻品Louie Ye蝴蝶酥则有2187层酥皮。

世界各国的蝴蝶酥,在造型、食材、味道和吃法上各有擅场,匈牙利蝴蝶酥造型厚大,强调重油重糖,因为表面刷了蛋浆,成品颜色金黄灿烂,但是有点干硬;意大利蝴蝶酥喜欢使用肉桂之类的香料来多层次地表达风味;而西班牙和葡萄牙人喜欢用蝴蝶酥蘸巧克力酱,或者加蛋卷冰激凌来一起吃。香港帝苑酒店的蝴蝶酥有原味、芝麻味和宇治抹茶味等多种选择,甚至还有网红咸蛋黄口味。上海泰康食品厂有苔条蝴蝶酥,上海国际饭店除了甜味的蝴蝶酥外,还有奶香浓郁的芝士蝴蝶酥。
biscuit  china  france  vietnam  usa  supermarket  shanghai  numbers  hongkong  west  story  snack  viennoiserie 
november 2019 by aries1988
萨义德与东方学:为什么西方人眼中的东方充满偏见?

萨氏所分析的东方学史,是现代世界体系(the modern world system)形成的内在部分。在《现代世界体系》(1973)一书中,瓦勒斯坦已经探讨了西方资本主义体系如何在十四世纪之后形成以及在十六世纪以后逐步成为世界经济地理空间的内核(core),如何使非西方社会变成“边际”(periphery)。瓦氏的理论主要是建立在世界市场的形成和扩散的研究基础之上,对于与世界市场形成同步发生并难以分割的西方霸权产生的东渐,瓦氏并没有加以分析。实际上,十四世纪以后的世界史不只是一部经济政治的变迁史,还是一部文化变迁史。用沃尔夫的话说,它是西方文化史排挤东方历史的过程,是欧洲变非西方社会为“无历史”的民族的过程。《东方学》的描述与分析,反映的正是瓦氏忽视的一种历史取代另一种历史并使后者成为“无历史”的历史。不过,它的意义远远超过补充《现代世界体系》的解说,而更重要的是为从事文化批评的学者指出社会、历史、与文本(textuality)的密切关系以及学术、意识形态、与权力的关系,为一般的读者指出文化自我和他人的观念在人们生活中的重要角色,为第三世界指出西方文化的潜在力量以及东方世界如何透视这一力量。
orientalisme  asia  west  book  theory  culture  anthropology  history  origin  question 
october 2019 by aries1988
F**k Jared Diamond

Diamond won a Pulitzer Prize because he made this ridiculous, racist argumentsound like common sense. His books do not merely sanitize a history of colonialviolence; they are its disinfectant. They offer compelling and seemingly intuitivearguments that serve as the “ideology of an imperial capitalism,” as geographer DickPeet called it.B

Cold northern climates produce hardy and thrifty people who thus flourish. Meanwhile, the unrelenting heat along the equator produces lazy people condemned to forever languish in patterns of poverty as predictable as the trade winds.
paper  opinion  determinism  geography  racism  polemic  history  west  colonialism  inequality  human  continent  anthropology 
august 2019 by aries1988
刘擎:2018西方思想年度述评(政治/时局篇:美国独行与欧洲徬徨)
在《西方的没落》出版一百周年的今天,斯宾格勒所激发的文化悲观主义情绪仍然深深困扰着西方社会。“西方衰落论”或许从未衰落,而“历史终结论”似乎已经终结,这曾让旁观者浮想联翩。但“风景这边独好”的亢奋在2018年迅速冷却,于梦醒时分重新面对真相:如果命运共同体是对历史方向的洞察而不是修辞,那么在动荡纷争的世界上没有谁能厉害到独善其身,更遑论称雄天下。
west  2018  survey  news 
august 2019 by aries1988
勒高夫与“长中世纪”
勒高夫选择从“历史分期”这个大问题入手思考。中国读者对历史分期问题不会感到陌生。在作为一门现代学科的中国史学走向形成的过程中,古史分期问题一度扮演了核心角色。共和国“十七年”史学的“五朵金花”中,分期问题居首,而且与另外两朵金花(“中国封建土地所有制形式问题”与“中国资本主义萌芽问题”)密切关联。

可能与他的盛期中世纪视角有关,在《分期》中,勒高夫没有论及与他的主题密切相关的另一项传统分期“晚期中世纪”(大致1350—1500年)及其当代学术史,我们不妨在这里简略地加以补充

给予“长15世纪”这个晚期中世纪与文艺复兴的重叠时段以专门的关注:并非因为期间发生了重大的历史断裂,而是这个时段自身或许具有某些区别于之前的盛期中世纪与之后的早期现代的独特历史气质。

他生平最富学术原创性的两大论断刚好反映了这种张力。一是“时间”的发现。勒高夫认为,中世纪欧洲的最大发明是一种在经济和思想的双重意义上支配和管理时间的意识,而这种意识构成了西方现代文明的基石。二是“民间文化”。在他看来,中世纪基督教文化的主流并非以规整的拉丁语著作和高深的神学思想为代表的高级“教士文化”,而是一种诉诸口头流传、缺乏严格的教义和仪程规范、充满怪力乱神的流行文化。

尽管这个概念本身极少被当代法国学者接受和使用(包括勒高夫)。如今,“早期现代”与“古代晚期”(Late Antiquity)一同构成了英美欧洲史学界最热门的两大领域。
history  historiography  middle-age  europe  early-modern  français  concept  debate  Renaissance  west  book  buy 
august 2019 by aries1988
Four Flavors of Doom: A Taxonomy of Contemporary Pessimism - Quillette

According to Mahbubani, this enormous improvement in the human condition is a result of Western ideas and practices—modern science, liberal democracy, free markets—spreading to other societies.

Looking beyond their specific concerns, it is possible to identify four prototypical kinds of pessimism. Each has a different take on the course of human history, but all share a general skepticism about the idea of progress.

Right-wing declinists romanticize a time when people (especially the young) were still obedient towards authority and tradition, while their left-wing counterparts imagine a time in which solidarity and mutual trust were still widely cherished values.

Bad people can do bad things, but an apocalyptic mindset can encourage even good people to do bad things.

The French sociologist Bruno Latour, a former postmodern critic of science who has found a second calling in climate alarmism, sounds this note of despair in his book Down to Earth: The war is over, and we have probably lost it.

concept of progress—of the continual betterment of the human condition through the application of science and the spread of freedom
the methods of science, free markets, and liberal democracy provide our best hope of succeeding
progress  debate  enlightenment  pessimism  analysis  today  west  future  crisis  disaster 
july 2019 by aries1988
构建中国式全球史观何以可能 文 | 张景平
作者主动将“夏商周断代工程”与之进行古今对照,在重申中华文明悠久性不容否认的同时,指出中国历史纪年问题从来就不是一个单纯的学术问题,而是涉及不同文明之间的相互理解,此类问题应该从构建人类命运共同体的高度予以平和、宽容的讨论。这种并非一味批判驳斥的态度,体现了作者充分的文化自信。写到这里,不禁联想起另一个相似事件。前辈中国考古学家为了反驳安特生等人关于中国彩陶文化“西来”的相关论述,经过不懈努力,以坚实的证据证明中国彩陶有着自身独立的源头与发展脉络,捍卫了中国史前文化的原生性。而近年来在天山山麓与河西走廊的考古新发现中,中国学者则“大方”承认中原早期青铜文化确实来自西方。能使外来青铜文明在中原发扬光大,这是中华文明的另一种光辉之处,并非一定要本土产生才能证明其伟大。
historiography  china  world  west 
june 2019 by aries1988
李零:世界的版图是如何“东西对称”?
斯特拉波把“有人居住的世界”以塔奈斯河(即今顿河)为界一分为二,欧洲在西,亚洲在东。他有两个不同视角,欧洲从西往东看,亚洲从东往西看,彼此对称,此即所谓“对跖”(Antipodes)。古典时代的亚洲,其实是阿契美尼德时期的波斯帝国,过去叫“近东”,现在叫“中东”或“西亚”。希腊代表自由,波斯代表专制,这个古典对立,一直影响着西方的价值观。重读波斯,重读希腊,是最好的解毒剂。
asia  europe  historiography  west 
may 2019 by aries1988
Fire of Notre-Dame: An elegy of Western decline - CGTN
if the collapse of the Twin Towers of New York City in 911 represented a deep wound of American capitalism, the fall of Notre-Dame spire is at least a sign of decay of Christendom in France and perhaps even a deny of the state's political order.
opinion  2019  chinese  intelligentsia  west  civ  christianity  france  crisis 
april 2019 by aries1988
When Asia Ruled the World
Nonfiction The Pudong skyline, Shanghai. Credit Lauryn Ishak for The New York Times Amazon Local Booksellers Barnes and Noble When you purchase an independently…
contrarian  west  empire  conflict  world  war  success  europe  fail  qing  ottoman  book  opinion  history  prediction  theory 
april 2019 by aries1988
为什么刀叉没有像筷子那样在中国古代社会广泛普及?
中国人早在战国时期就发明了筷子。如此简单的两根小细棍,却高妙绝伦地应用了物理学上的杠杆原理。筷子是人类手指的延伸。手指能做的事,筷子也能做,且不怕高温,不怕寒冻,真是高明极了。
cuisine  history  asia  west 
march 2019 by aries1988
Aditi Shrivastava's answer to What's the difference between Gothic and Romanesque architectures? - Quora
Aditi Shrivastava , pursued B.E. (Hons.) Civil Engineering from BITS Pilani Updated Oct 10, 2015 1. Gothic architecture had pointed arches in roof while…
architecture  europe  church  west  primer 
march 2019 by aries1988
葛兆光:十八世纪中国的盛世危机

徐中约《中国近代史》曾经把大清帝国“国运逆转,由盛到衰”,归咎于“行政无能”、“腐败普遍”和“财政窘迫”,这当然有一定道理。但我想和大家讨论的是另外三点:第一,帝国庞大疆域和复杂族群,造成控制成本过大;第二,思想文化与意识形态无法面向世界,越来越凝固和僵化;第三,归根结底,是皇权或国家权力过于集中,封杀了变革的可能性。

在二十世纪上半叶之后,“训政”与“党国”成为主流的时代,更是变本加厉。那么,在皇权笼罩一切的专制政治制度底下,说得好,唯有“得君行道”的路径和“作帝王师”的理想,说不好就只能“著书都为稻粱谋”。知识分子怎么能轻易挣脱专制皇权、政治制度对文化思想的钳制?而在专制皇权、政治制度的控制之下,自由思想空间越来越窄仄,我们又怎么能相信凭着这种传统,中国能给世界带来惠及全球的价值,发展出保证现代科学、技术和经济自由发展的制度?

当四库全书的编纂,鼓励了学者们把精力和智慧都用在古典的注释和发挥上的时候,可是,欧洲的实用知识却在发展和整合。

在中国,皇帝就是政治权力、神圣象征和文化真理三合一的,以前史华兹(Benjamin Schwartz)就说中国是“普遍王权”(Universal Kingship),皇权或者国家的权力太大,始终是“普天之下莫非王土”。

在我们有关历史的印象中,华盛顿好像比乾隆皇帝晚得多,好像华盛顿是现代的事情,乾隆皇帝好遥好远,其实,他们是同时代人,他们两人同样在1799年,也就是漫长的十八世纪最后一年去世,不是华盛顿近乾隆远,只是从制度上看,确实一个太古代,一个很现代。
qing  talk  opinion  comparison  west  question  king  politics  government  19C  china  book 
february 2019 by aries1988
刘擎:2018西方思想年度述评(观念/文化篇:自由主义之死与智识争论复兴)
【編者按】本文為華東師範大學劉擎教授自2003年起所撰之「西方思想年度述評」系列第16年作品下篇,首發於《騰訊·大家》欄目,略去部分內容和全部文獻註釋。完整印刷版將在《學海》雜誌發表。端傳媒經作者及《騰訊·大家》授權刊發,以饗讀者。

令人憂慮的是「自由主義造就了現代世界,但現代世界正在背離自由主義」。如果要復興自由主義的活力,必須反省它失去活力的多種成因。在社會經濟方面,需要反省自由主義崇尚的「優績制」(meritocracy)競爭對造成貧富差別與社會固化的影響。在文化方面,檢討「身份政治」的局限,在正當回應族群歧視的過程中,沒有防止它演變為「宗派憤怒」的傾向。在國際與地緣政治方面,自由派也沒有足夠的智慧和勇氣來捍衞「二戰」後形成的同盟和自由制度體系。在政治上,當政的自由派已經變得越來越保守,傾向於維持現狀,而完全忘記了自由主義最初的激進立場。

沃森的觀點可能在政治上不正確,但如果在科學上是真實的呢?難道科學真理應當屈從於政治正確的管制嗎?

回應這種鏗鏘有力的質疑其實並不困難,而且可以斬釘截鐵:沃森的這種觀點首先在科學上錯誤的(雖然他是一位科學大師),因為在生物學意義上,「種族」類別(白人、黑人、黃種人等)並不存在,這早已是學術界的普遍共識。

社會生活中使用的種族分類,是文化和政治塑造的概念(所謂「社會建構」),並不具有對應的生物學依據。這是目前生物學和人類學界的主流觀點,已經有大量的研究證據支持,也有許多相關的科普作品傳播。

萊克認為不應當迴避研究不同人群(populations)之間的遺傳差異。他明確反對一種流行的誤解:由於人類來自共同的祖先,人群相互分離的時間不久,不足以在自然選擇壓力下形成重要的遺傳差異。「但這不是事實」,他指出「東亞人、歐洲人、西非人和澳大利亞人的祖先(直到最近為止)幾乎完全相互隔絕了4萬年或更長的時間,足以讓進化力量發生作用」。人群之間的遺傳差異不僅客觀存在,而且會影響某些遺傳疾病、特定的身體性狀甚至行為和認知能力在人群之間的概率性差異。

研究人群遺傳差異是一把雙刃劍:在很多情況下它會揭露「種族」概念的虛假性,瓦解絕大多數的刻板印象,但遺傳學的發現也有可能會確證某些刻板印象。在這種情況下,科學發現的隻言片語會被某些願意信奉種族主義觀點的人用來證明自己正確。恰恰因為存在這種可能性,萊克才要在文章中直面這個問題。

美國大學招生同樣以「擇優錄取」為主要原則,反映了美國的「優績制」(meritocracy)的價值取向,但其公平原則也包含對弱勢群體的「補償正義」觀念,突出體現於「平權法案」(Affirmative Action,又譯作「肯定性措施」)。此外,還會兼顧「文化多樣性」的目標,可能會考慮校園的「族裔平衡」(racial balancing)。擇優錄取、補償正義和文化多樣性,這三重維度之間存在張力,每個大學有自己側重與應對策略。
summary  read  2018  west  intelligentsia  journalism  liberalism  opinion  race  usa  debate  polemic  university  elite  policy  scientist 
february 2019 by aries1988
中国何时开始落后于西方:为什么西方学界热衷唱盛中国?
本书描述清朝从一个中央欧亚帝国转化为东亚帝国,并且逐渐演变为近代中华国家的过程,作者认为清朝的盛衰荣枯的关键在于儒学、藏传佛教与近代主义(modernism,也译为现代主义)三种不同文明的冲突。

作者认为清末梁启超的《中国史叙论》中把日本的东洋史称为中国史的做法,是把清朝领地上的过往王朝历史纳入连贯的“中国史”史观的开始。在这种情况下,过去的“天下”变成了“世界”,而“中国”也从天下的中心变为世界的一部分。

黄宗智指出,湖南和江西交界处的萍乡煤矿离江南不远,却未被利用。中国没有重视或开拓煤矿资源,主要是没有需要或需要不大。黄宗智指彭慕兰的说法本末倒置,是“把拖车放在马前面”。黄宗智甚至指摘彭慕兰在中国史和欧洲史领域里两头充当权威:中国史的学者因不熟悉欧洲史,故对彭慕兰信以为是或不敢置评;欧洲史的学者因不熟悉中国史,亦复如此。

如果李中清的女子29岁预期寿命这一数字,用他所估计的25%的溺杀女婴率来修正的话,则新生女婴的真实预期寿命还不到22岁。这将使预期寿命根本无法与18世纪英国34—35岁的数字相比。李中清认为,在中国溺杀女孩乃是在偏重男孩的文化下所作出的抉择,也由于“对于生命的某种特殊态度”,即“中国人不把不满一岁的孩子看做完全的‘人’”。黄则认为溺杀女婴首先是因为穷,其次才是重男轻女。中国人口控制是阳性的,是各种社会危机综合的结果。
from:rss  china  west  comparison  debate  book  historian 
january 2019 by aries1988
郑永年:亚洲的困局_爱思想

第二个阶段即二战之后的“主动”的思想殖民阶段。在这阶段,通过亚洲各国的反殖民运动,物质意义上的殖民地消失了,但思想上的殖民地主义根深蒂固,不仅无意识地存在下来,而且变本加厉。在“被动殖民”阶段还存在着各种形式的抵抗,但在“主动殖民”阶段,不仅毫无抵抗的迹象,更有自我“摧残”现象的发生。

教育系统的独立性也是有限的。更多的国家则是主动接受了西方的教育系统。
这种情况的存在不仅仅在于西方教育系统在客观上较亚洲先进(无论是自然科学还是社会科学),更在于亚洲国家没有自己的信心和能力,把自己的发展经验提升成为以亚洲为经验基础的社会科学。尽管亚洲国家的学者也提出了“东方主义”的命题,并且也一度盛行,但无论是“东方主义”还是后来的“后殖民主义”“后现代主义”等理论都是解构型的,而非建设型的。

尽管印度到目前为止,仍然被西方视为最大的民主,但随着其发展,印度和西方的冲突也只是时间问题,而非可能性问题。如同中国,一个庞大的印度也很难“伪装”自己。
colonialism  intelligentsia  education  west  asia  history 
january 2019 by aries1988
战争重塑中国(南北战争三百年)书评

这仍然未能回答东西方为何选择不同的道路,在我看来,这个问题的答案必须回到不同政治文化传统中去寻找:如果说在欧洲,在罗马帝国的废墟上能有效应对战争挑战的是封建军事传统,那么在中国北方,战争所激活的却是一个强国家传统,最终再次证明只有政治力量能有效整合各种资源转化为战斗力。
west  war  state  history  origin  comparison  question  book  review 
january 2019 by aries1988
The Seductive Enthusiasm of Kenneth Clark’s “Civilisation”
it raised an important question in his mind: how to fuse his erudite tastes in art and culture with the reach and power of broadcast television? In some respects, that remains a quixotic project. And yet Clark managed to pull it off, in ways that still seem surprising and even a little mysterious.

Clark is outrageously committed to the “great man” approach to history and to the concept of genius. “Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible,” he says.

lets the camera have a leisurely look at whatever he’s been talking about. This is the use of television as a contemplative tool, something rarely attempted and, when done well, still remarkable.

He broke down with emotion on many other occasions during the filming of the series. This predilection for weeping comes through in the final product, in a good way: Clark’s just-under-the-surface emotion, his obvious feeling that the great art we’re being shown matters, gives the series a rare and subtle power.
bio  history  tv  art  civ  west  1960s  classic 
december 2018 by aries1988
黄宇和:21世纪初西方鸦片战争研究反映的重大问题-中国社会科学网
根深蒂固的西方偏见之一,是英国人坚称其发动鸦片战争是正义的,所持理由是扫除广东十三行强加于外国商人的种种极度苛刻的通商条件与限制,近乎于种族歧视。

盖尔伯把其研究第一次鸦片战争的心得,归纳如下:
从英国的政治角度看,1840—1842那场与中国的战争,并非一场鸦片战争,而只是区区一些地方性的小摩擦。英国坚决反抗那腐朽透顶,却高高在上而又狂妄无知的中国,坚决维护英王的尊严,坚决保护英国男女的性命安全,坚决追偿被中国政府抢夺了的财物。没有任何一个伦敦人,也没有任何一个带兵攻打中国的军官,会认为该场战争与鸦片有任何关系。若中国人有本领堵塞鸦片走私,就让他们大显身手吧,英军则绝对不会代劳。那场战争,打起来不费吹灰之力;却后患无穷,盖数十年后,传教士目睹中国的苦难,悲天悯人,错误地怪罪英国把鸦片强加于中国,才改变了英美舆论。

他进一步阐明其理论说:“鸦片在中国以外的地方,包括英国和印度,都是合法的,单单在中国不合法。结果在中国,不但成千上万的中国商人与黑帮,疯狂地走私鸦片;就连最上层的高官,也染指其中。”
opinion  qing  uk  war  west  narrative 
october 2018 by aries1988
Professor Michael Puett in Conversation Julia Lovell - YouTube
33:52 censorship
37:30 Cambridge University Press
48:16 Utopia of getting rid of the Chinese Department. Hegel
https://youtu.be/edysgDkIKcU?t=5044 The most important question
Lovell: no soft power
china  history  historian  translation  world  university  west  today  softpower 
october 2018 by aries1988
政见访谈|刘擎:如何观察西方知识界 | 政见 CNPolitics.org
在我看来,对中国未来的发展和公共讨论而言,西方现在奠定的自由主义民主体制以及市场经济这样的基本社会构架,在多大程度上是可持续的?在多大程度上可以被非西方国家借鉴?它们的局限和困境在哪里?这对于西方本身是重要的问题,对中国的发展也具有相关性。所以每年的年度综述,都会涉及到对自由主义民主和市场经济体制的辩论,对其社会政治后果的反思。西方内部对这个主题始终存在丰富的讨论,这个辩论也和中国相关,这是我关注的一个焦点。

主题选择的另一个重要方面,是技术文明带来的文化改变。社会科学家和人文知识分子可能不太关注这一点,但从长程的历史来看,人类的技术进步,改变的不仅仅是技术本身,也不仅仅是在物质层面影响人类的生活。实际上技术文明在很深的意义上改变了我们的生存方式以及对自我存在的理解。所以我会特别关注技术文明对文化变迁的影响,这也是一条主线。

我持续关注的第三个方面,是身份或认同问题。我认为这对中国的公共讨论也有参考价值,包括社群和族裔的认同问题。在文化上和政治上,我是谁?我属于谁?我要成为什么样的人?我对哪个共同体是忠实的?以及多重身份引起的分裂和自我矛盾。在宽泛意义上,这涉及 “身份政治” 和 “政治文化”,这也是一个持续出现的焦点。
intelligentsia  west  china  humanities  leader 
october 2018 by aries1988
专访余英时:中国现代学术“典范”的建立

在《余英时作品系列总序》中,余英时先生自陈:“我的专业是十九世纪以前的中国史,就已发表的专题论述而言,大致上起春秋、战国,下迄清代中期,所涉及的方面也很宽广:包括社会史、文化史、思想史、政治史、中外关系史汉代等。”但诚如其所言,他涉猎广泛的研究也不是无的放矢,“我自早年进入史学领域之后,便有一个构想,即在西方(主要是西欧)文化系统对照之下,怎样去认识中国文化传统的特色。”

微观相当于考证,即对于具体历史事实做最彻底的考察和阐释,但这样的工作往往只见个树木而不见森林。因此在历史研究中,宏观绝不可少。宏观相当于孟子所谓“观其大”,其涵义比宋学所谓“义理”要丰富得多,这是“见森林”的必经之路。但“见森林”又不能不看清楚林中一颗颗的树,否则便不免如傅斯年的名言所说,可能将天际浮云当作森林了。

有关我研究中国史的构想所在,简略概括:在西方现代文化及其发展出来的普世价值挑战之下,我们怎样才能认识中国传统文化的特色?我认为只有抓住了它的特色,我们才能够认识中、西文化的异同,并进一步追问,中国文化中有哪些成分和现代普世价值是互相冲突的?哪些是可以互相呼应的?

我研究中国史特别选择变革时代的独特动态。因为这种独特动态最能显示出精神价值的流变。

已故陈荣捷先生毕生在美国介绍中国哲学和思想。他曾说,如果用一个词字来概括全部中国哲学史的话,那个字便是“人文主义”。这句话在西方已被普遍地接受了。陈先生的人文主义当然是指中国文化对“人”的尊重,尤以儒家为最显著。孔子的“仁”便是“人道”,孟子强调人性善,又特别提醒“人之异于禽兽”,更是把人的尊严提升到最高的地位。所以“天地之性人为贵”成为中国人的共同信仰。稍稍认识西方近代文化史的人都知道,“人文主义”兴起于文艺复兴时期的意大利,当时人文主义者特别倡导人的尊严和人在宇宙中的独特地位。这种人文主义的精神稍后进入西方教育界,塑造了西方现代的独立人格,其影响一直延续到十九世纪。西方自由和民主的成长得力于人文主义教育,无人不知,就不用再说了。

中古时期,由于种种原因,希腊文学传统已在意大利地区消失无踪,既无人讲授,也无人研究。直到十三四世纪以后,意大利人文学者才逐渐从法国图书馆中发现希腊文稿,包括荷马史诗的原稿之类,终于酿成了“文艺复兴”运动。这是文化价值失而复得的一个最伟大的史证。中国经史子集的典籍俱在,何况,当年在传统精神价值中成长起来的先一辈人,早就在有意无意之间把他们的价值意识传到下一代身上。所以“守先待后”决不是一种幻想。

1949年以后的大错误,不在其为“进步史观”,而在其“定于一尊”。

西方的思想界是开放的,种种不同的史观都出现过,其中还有反“进步”的史观大行其道的,如斯宾格勒(Oswald Spengler 1880-1936)的《西方的没落》(The Decline of the West)和汤因比(Arnold J Toynbee 1889-1975)的《历史研究》(A Study of History)

今天很少人还相信有什么普遍规律为各民族或文化所共有;更不相信西方是先走上“现代”阶段,其他各民族落后了一步,但最后也会赶上来。换句话说,现在不存在什么“进步史观”足以构成“挑战”的对象了。
confucianism  chinese  tradition  culture  crisis  evolution  west  book  leader  intelligentsia  taiwan  dissident  instapaper_favs 
october 2018 by aries1988
The Western Elite from a Chinese Perspective - American Affairs Journal
T he Evangelical Christians I have met in the United States often talk about how reading the Bible changed their lives. They talk about being born again. I am…
west  education  money  success  business  chinese 
august 2018 by aries1988
刘瑜:纵向的文明比较更有意义
所有文化都是流变的,尤其是在经济快速发展的全球化时代。西方的过去和现在有巨大差异,中国的过去和现在也有很大差异。当我们谈论“中西差异”的时候,我们是在谈论什么时候的西方?什么时候的中国?抱着一种固化的观点看待地区性文明,很可能妨碍我们理解这个世界的走向。
comparison  metier  research  politologue  china  west 
august 2018 by aries1988
The End of ‘Civilisation’
The new program is best understood as a kind of delayed rebuttal, sometimes quite explicit, to Clark and his view of history.

An example of his method was a book the gallery published called 100 Details from Pictures in the National Gallery. Clark wanted to draw the attention of untutored viewers to specific elements in each work and place them alongside similar details from other works, with the aim of building up knowledge and interest piece by piece, element by element.

There was no stinting on travel either. By the time they were through Clark and crew had visited 118 museums and 117 other locations in 11 countries.

It was television of an intensified kind, meant to seduce a mass audience.

An act or piece of art that is life-enhancing—that allows us to have life, and to have it more abundantly—is civilized; one that isn’t isn’t.

The Greco-Roman ideal, he says, was “without doubt the most extraordinary creation in the whole of history.” It was nearly lost with the sacking of Rome—by barbarians, did he mention?—in the 5th century and then barely survived the advance of Islam in the 8th. It lay dormant, tended by monks, until the millennium, when it began to manifest itself in a variety of ways in Europe.
civ  art  politics  debate  west  documentary  2018  1969  bbc  uk 
august 2018 by aries1988
“未知”的二十世纪
托克维尔则看到了另一种似乎不可抗拒的趋势:民主正在成为时代的主导精神——不仅将成为最主要的政治形式,也将成为塑造社会与文化的基本力量。
李鸿章,他直言,此时中国处身于“三千余年一大变局”。“三千余年”这个限定,直接指向殷周革命所奠定的传统中国政教,而这则意味着,西方东来所带来的“新天命”已超过了中国自上古以来的最大变局——战国秦汉之际废封建立郡县。

梁启超以著名的器物、制度与精神的三分概括中国人学习西方的三个阶段,而自十八世纪末以来,西方在这三方面都在发生几百年来最剧烈变动。
重温史华慈的告诫无疑是有益的——西方冲击是变量而不是常量,西方思想内部存在着极为复杂的张力与冲突。因此,任何化约式的处理都不仅无助于我们理解它本身的复杂性,而且也将使我们无法把握中国近代的大部分重要变革的复杂脉络与内在困境(因为它们几乎都是在这一复杂的西方冲击的背景下展开的)。  

同样不可忽视的是,那些十九世纪西方的中国观察者仍普遍浸淫于自身伟大的政治与文化传统中,这一传统不仅构成了他们理解“西方冲击”的基本视野,也在很大程度上提供了反思与批判西方的思想与实践资源。

最初几代中国人对西方的观察不应被看作是对外在于中国的西方冲击的反应,而应被看作是对东西方共同问题情势的反应

在十九世纪上半叶,自由放任原则(以英国为代表)正在取代十八世纪大行其道的重商主义,逐渐成为西方各国主导性的政治经济思想。在那些激进的自由贸易鼓吹者看来,自由贸易将实现政治与商业的分离,让经济摆脱国家干涉、自由发展;它还是世界主义的基石——将用和平的利益取代战争的利益,即使不能实现某种形式的世界政府,也将以普遍商贸往来在不同人群、阶级与文化间建立起经常性联系,使他们能互相视为更大整体的一部分,从而遏制分裂,削弱国家的好战性。
中国士人为何会将如此清晰的反重商主义理解为一种隐秘的重商主义,并把自由贸易当作是“无形之战”?

在西方列强国内,政府尚可将这种对自由市场的政治干预掩藏在各种法律形式的背后,在中国这一贸易扩张的外围地区,其政治力量(甚或军事力量)与商业力量的直接结合
对将商业竞争视为“无形之战”的十九世纪中国士人,立刻能想到就是孙子的教诲——“上下同欲者胜”。

在普法战争后西方近半个世纪的和平时期,资本主义与民主的矛盾日益显现出来。此时各国选举权竞相扩大,经济层面的垄断却日益加剧,在政治民主化与经济寡头化

陈焕章则以更含蓄的方式表达了类似的看法,他借助法国重农主义者之口,重新肯定中国传统政治,认为“英国的政治体制给了商人太多的权力。另一方面,民主政治给了下层民众太多的权力,贵族政治则给了上层阶级太多的权力。只有在中国,没有一个阶层会取得支配地位。”
book  china  20C  qing  intelligentsia  west  confucianism  society  politics  debate  buy 
august 2018 by aries1988
Evolution of the English Alphabet (Matt Baker @usefulcharts)
RT : Ok, for those who would prefer the title to read "Latin Alphabet", here you go...
alphabet  history  infographics  comparison  west  writing  system 
april 2018 by aries1988
The Myth of a Kinder, Gentler Xi Jinping - The Atlantic
In 2004, the day before the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, Kristof wrote that Chinese leaders “knew that after the Chinese could watch Eddie Murphy, wear tight pink dresses and struggle over what to order at Starbucks, the revolution was finished. No middle class is content with more choices of coffees than of candidates on a ballot.” Mann called this idea the “Starbucks Fallacy.” Indeed, in December, Starbucks opened its largest store in the world in Shanghai – a 29,000 feet emporium with 400 staff. The company’s CEO said he expects China to be the company’s biggest market. Chinese political polling data is terrible, and it’s impossible to say if China’s middle class is “content” with their choice of coffee over candidates. But for Xi, it’s certainly working.   
thinking  west  china  future  democracy 
march 2018 by aries1988
Thinking about Chinese student experience
At the outset of my classes I explain and exemplify how there are usually two sides to any story,
anecdote  chinese  student  young  behavior  conflict  university  teaching  west 
january 2018 by aries1988
大象公会讲座文字稿
丝绸之路在经历了敦煌、吐鲁番文献发现之后,就有一个像唐代的转向,大家都更关注唐代的时候,《大唐西域记》里面记载的,当时丝绸之路的情况,以及当时丝绸之路上生活的各种各样的人。

当年亚历山大东征在中亚,娶了一个大夏(????)——就是今天阿富汗北部一个小王国的一个公主,就叫roshanna, 这个人的名字现在也进入英语了,你看有些美国人或者伊朗人就会叫Roshanna, 她们其实就是安禄山的阴性形式。所以安禄山在现在还有一些表亲。

这是两轮马车,这是马,商代的马人很多中国人不愿承认它是从西方传来的,好像有民族自豪感的问题,其实没有别的解释,因为它一出现就非常成熟了。

所以我们看到文字一步一步从黎巴嫩一直到了中国的满洲,就是东北,这也是非常生动的丝绸之路上技术交流的一个证据,例子。

刚才的例子大家都耳熟能详,可能有些例子大家没有想到,这个是印度字母,印度字母的排列非常符合语音规则的,非常规则按照发音位置和发音方式来排列的。这种排列方式其实启发了藏语,大家都知道藏族文字是从印度文字来的,但日文实际上也是按照梵文字母的排列方式,受它启发,创制出了五十音图,五十音图字母的形状有可能来自汉字的草书,但字母排列的方式,这个想法是按照发音规律排列的想法是来自梵文,(a,i,u,e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko),不像abcd它是完全没有规律的。

犍陀罗艺术也传到了中国,像龙门石窟,在犍陀罗这些工匠后来来到了新疆,到了新疆又被抓到凉州,就是今天的甘肃武威,又从甘肃武威被抓到山西大同去,建了云冈石窟,你看它的衣服就有点像希腊人那种,贴在身上的那种衣服,所以希腊的影响我们在中国也能看到。中国还有(希腊神话)大力士赫拉克勒斯的雕像。

这个是青花瓷,这个大家都知道是蒙元时期,受西方影响,远销土耳其。

前几年得了诺贝尔文学奖的帕慕克写的《我的名字叫红》,那个就讲的在土耳其奥斯曼帝国的宫廷细密画画家,他们的传统就是从中国传来的细密画的方法受到了欧洲画派的冲击,然后新老画派间的一些谋杀啊,一些非常紧张的情景。这个也和丝绸之路上的交流有关系。
xinjiang  west  trade  archaeology  culture  history  presentation  podcast 
january 2018 by aries1988
There is no such thing as western civilisation | Kwame Anthony Appiah | World news | The Guardian
culture was the “pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world”.

Often, in recent years, “the west” means the north Atlantic: Europe and her former colonies in North America.

here’s the important point: it would not have occurred to Herodotus to think that these three names corresponded to three kinds of people: Europeans, Asians, and Africans. He was born at Halicarnasus – Bodrum in modern Turkey. Yet being born in Asia Minor didn’t make him an Asian; it left him a Greek. And the Celts, in the far west of Europe, were much stranger to him than the Persians or the Egyptians, about whom he knew rather a lot. Herodotus only uses the word “European” as an adjective, never as a noun. For a millennium after his day, no one else spoke of Europeans as a people, either.

The natural contrast was not between Islam and the west, but between Christendom and Dar al‑Islam, each of which regarded the other as infidels, defined by their unbelief.

Only in 1529, with the defeat of Suleiman the Magnificent’s army at Vienna, did the reconquest of eastern Europe begin. It was a slow process. It wasn’t until 1699 that the Ottomans finally lost their Hungarian possessions; Greece became independent only in the early 19th century, Bulgaria even later.

modern concept of western culture largely took its present shape during the cold war. In the chill of battle, we forged a grand narrative about Athenian democracy, the Magna Carta, Copernican revolution, and so on. Plato to Nato. Western culture was, at its core, individualistic and democratic and liberty-minded and tolerant and progressive and rational and scientific.

So how have we bridged the chasm here? How have we managed to tell ourselves that we are rightful inheritors of Plato, Aquinas, and Kant, when the stuff of our existence is more Beyoncé and Burger King?

No Muslim essence stops the inhabitants of Dar al-Islam from taking up anything from western civilisation, including Christianity or democracy. No western essence is there to stop a New Yorker of any ancestry taking up Islam.
culture  history  thinking  west  concept  islam 
september 2017 by aries1988
How castles became monuments to myth and whimsy

Here’s the romance: this church was dedicated to St Mary, then a patroness of militant types because her womb was deemed impregnable, except to God. Shown in medieval paintings and tapestries in a paradise garden, her symbolic hortus conclusus is very conclusive indeed, bound and defended by locked gates and crenellations. So whole castles like Santa Maria da Feira in Portugal took her name, along with chapels serving castles from Prague to Dover.

The psychologist Bruno Bettelheim suggests we all hold a psychological disposition toward castles, and as children conjure them to process our understanding of the world. He wrote: “ ‘Once in an old castle in the midst of a large and dense forest’ — such beginnings suggest that what follows does not pertain to the here and now that we know . . . The old castles, dark caves, locked rooms one is forbidden to enter . . . all suggest that something normally hidden will be revealed.”

Ryman went on to design the Cinderella Castle in Orlando, completed in 1971 at 183ft. This concrete and fibreglass construction looks more French, specifically the 15th-century Château de Saumur. There are now six Disney centrepiece castles, designed as variants of a theme, the latest in Shanghai completed in 2016, which Disney describes as “seven towers, two of which embody the guiding creative principle of Shanghai Disneyland”. And yes, it also has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
romantic  caste  children  architecture  design  disney  disneyland  west  tale  history 
august 2017 by aries1988
His Kampf

Was Hitchens’s critique of Christianity, he said, not as wan and naive as Christianity itself? Christianity had bound together the civilizations of Europe, and now Hitchens wanted to replace it with—well, what exactly? American neoliberal internationalism? Why should anyone care if Christianity was irrational and illiberal, when rationality and liberalism had never been its purpose? Hitchens had missed the point.

In his view, the Bush administration had manipulated the country into war. “Spreading democracy” and “freedom” are, Spencer said, false ideals, distracting Americans from what really matters—namely, a consciousness of their identity as whites with a shared Christian heritage.

In December, the hipster-Marxist magazine Jacobin published an online essay, “The Elite Roots of Richard Spencer’s Racism,” that sought to understand his white supremacy. “He represents a common and longstanding (if overlooked) phenomenon: the well-educated and financially comfortable bigot,” the author, Michael Phillips, wrote. “His blend of racism and elitism represents only an extreme version of a worldview that has long prevailed among the affluent in Spencer’s hometown.”

Among the German ideas he adopted was a concept of race different from the one he and I had been taught in our multicultural workshops in the ’90s. In the modern era, American discussion of race has limited itself, by convention, to a few canonical categories: black, white, Asian, American Indian, Hispanic. “Race isn’t just color,” Spencer told an audience in December. “Color is, in a way, a minor aspect of race.”

For Spencer, race is more akin to the German Volksgeist, literally “the spirit of a people.” Volksgeist is associated, historically, with Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803), and Germans became enchanted with it during the 19th century. Some would say the Second World War was the culmination of German devotion to their own Volksgeist. Herder’s followers proposed that each people has an essence that distinguishes it from others.

As one who knew Spencer when we were both hapless, overprivileged adolescents, sharing a desire to transcend our origins, what interests me the most about him is his self-reinvention, the intellectual costume changes (foppish actor, grad-school blowhard, opera-director manqué, and now architect of a white utopian dream of world-historical consequence) spanning three decades. After all, it is said that one of the great advantages of America is that its daughters and sons can escape the strictures of the world in which they were raised, be unlike their forefathers. Spencer has certainly done that.
portrait  altright  leader  university  idea  opinion  religion  usa  west  african  racism  Philosophy  intelligentsia  nazi 
june 2017 by aries1988

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