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Chinese Philosophers and Western Philosophy

Evolutionism through Chinese Eyes: Yan Fu, Ma Junwu and Their translations of Darwinian Evolutionism

Author:

Tsing-song Vincent Shen

University of Toronto, CA
About Tsing-song

Lee Chair in Chinese Thought and Culture

Department of East Asian Studies and Department of Philosophy

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Abstract

The huge impact that Darwinian Evolutionism has effected over Chinese intellectuals through Yan Fu's translation of Huxley's "Evolution and Ethics" into the Tianyanlun, is in fact based on Chinese traditional worldview on the one hand and the novel ideas it brings to the Chinese mind facing the challenge of transition. However, Yan Fu's translation is not as scientific as it should be when dealing with Huxley's discourse. Ma Junwu's translation of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" attempts to be more scientific, in an effort to supply exact scientific terms and discourse in Chinese. However, at the end it is social Darwinism that has won the mind of the Chinese people. This paper analyses the ideas in Chinese past that leads to Chinese perception of Darwimism evolutionism and examines the ways it has been translated by Yan Fu and Ma Junwu.

 

DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.135
How to Cite: Shen, T.-. song V., (2015). Evolutionism through Chinese Eyes: Yan Fu, Ma Junwu and Their translations of Darwinian Evolutionism. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 22(1), pp.49–60. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.135
Published on 10 Apr 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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