The epochal concept of "Early Modernity" and the intellectual history of late imperial China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In response to the recent historiographical interests in testing the cross-cultural ten-ability of the epochal concept of "early modernity," this essay ponders the usefulness of the notion in Chinese intellectual history, focusing on the historical dynamics of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century China. It does so by exploring three interrelated issues derived from the intellectual experiences of "early modern" Europe: the nature of knowledge, the sense of the past, and the claim of the ultimate grounds for ethicomoral values. The article concludes that late imperial Chinese thought displayed a historical trajectory quite different from that of Europe. It is thus problematic to dislodge the notion of early modernity from its European moorings and demonstrate its Chinese variety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-61
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of World History
Volume14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

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Early Modernity
Imperial China
Intellectual History
Testing
Usefulness
Trajectory
Early Modern Europe
China
Chinese Thought

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History

Cite this

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The epochal concept of "Early Modernity" and the intellectual history of late imperial China. / Ng, On-cho.

In: Journal of World History, Vol. 14, No. 1, 01.03.2003, p. 37-61.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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