Our Country Right or Wrong: A Pragmatic Response to Anti-Democratic Cultural Nationalism in China

Our Country Right or Wrong: A Pragmatic Response to Anti-Democratic Cultural Nationalism in China Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 2 (December 2010), 45­69 Editions Rodopi © 2010 Sor-hoon Tan Since Deng Xiaoping came into power, China has been described as pragmatic in its approach to politics and development, and in the nineties there has been a revival of interest in Chinese cultural tradition. What is the relation between these two phenomena? Do they coexist, separately in mutual indifference, or in tension? Has there been constructive engagement, or at the very least does the potential for such engagement exist? More specifically, what roles, if any, do they play in China's quest for democracy? Does Dewey's pragmatism have any relevance to China in the twenty-first century? The issue of cultural tradition was central in the historical encounter between Dewey's pragmatism and Confucianism in the New Culture movement of early twentieth century. It is still salient in the debates about China's future and whether it would or should follow the democratic path. This essay will examine anti-democratic tendencies in the rising cultural nationalism in China and, through a philosophical exploration of John Dewey's views about tradition, it will suggest how Chinese pragmatists today might defend democracy against attacks by cultural nationalists who reject the democratic http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Our Country Right or Wrong: A Pragmatic Response to Anti-Democratic Cultural Nationalism in China

Contemporary Pragmatism, Volume 7 (2): 45 – Apr 21, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2010 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000167
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 2 (December 2010), 45­69 Editions Rodopi © 2010 Sor-hoon Tan Since Deng Xiaoping came into power, China has been described as pragmatic in its approach to politics and development, and in the nineties there has been a revival of interest in Chinese cultural tradition. What is the relation between these two phenomena? Do they coexist, separately in mutual indifference, or in tension? Has there been constructive engagement, or at the very least does the potential for such engagement exist? More specifically, what roles, if any, do they play in China's quest for democracy? Does Dewey's pragmatism have any relevance to China in the twenty-first century? The issue of cultural tradition was central in the historical encounter between Dewey's pragmatism and Confucianism in the New Culture movement of early twentieth century. It is still salient in the debates about China's future and whether it would or should follow the democratic path. This essay will examine anti-democratic tendencies in the rising cultural nationalism in China and, through a philosophical exploration of John Dewey's views about tradition, it will suggest how Chinese pragmatists today might defend democracy against attacks by cultural nationalists who reject the democratic

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2010

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