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

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.

 

Keywords

Translation, Darwinism, Yan Fu, Ma Junwu, Scientificness

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

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Tsing-song Vincent Shen (University of Toronto)

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