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Virtue, Reason, and Cultural Exchange: Leibniz's Praise of Chinese Morality

Virtue, Reason, and Cultural Exchange: Leibniz's Praise of Chinese Morality Franklin Perkins I should regard myself very proud, very pleased and highly rewarded to be able to render Your Majesty any service in a work so worthy and pleasing to God; for I am not one of those impassioned patriots of one country alone, but I work for the well-being of the whole of mankind, for I consider heaven as my country and cultivated men as my compatriots. --Leibniz (to Peter the Great), 17161 Diversity and Harmony Leibniz worked tirelessly to promote tolerance, peace, and the exchange of ideas, perhaps most in his attempts to bridge religious factions in Europe, but also in his receptiveness to the past and his attitude toward other cultures. This accommodation of differences is rooted in the belief that the most perfect possible world maximizes both diversity and harmony. In a time of rapid globalization, as the imperative to maximize diversity and harmony grows, I believe it is worthwhile to turn our attention to Leibniz's philosophy, particularly as it is expressed in his writings on China. The ground of Leibniz's openness toward other cultures is different from the ground to which we are accustomed. Multiculturalism is usually grounded in skepticism. We should accept http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Ideas University of Pennsylvania Press

Virtue, Reason, and Cultural Exchange: Leibniz's Praise of Chinese Morality

Journal of the History of Ideas , Volume 63 (3) – Jan 7, 2002

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 The Journal of the History of Ideas, Inc.
ISSN
1086-3222
Publisher site
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Abstract

Franklin Perkins I should regard myself very proud, very pleased and highly rewarded to be able to render Your Majesty any service in a work so worthy and pleasing to God; for I am not one of those impassioned patriots of one country alone, but I work for the well-being of the whole of mankind, for I consider heaven as my country and cultivated men as my compatriots. --Leibniz (to Peter the Great), 17161 Diversity and Harmony Leibniz worked tirelessly to promote tolerance, peace, and the exchange of ideas, perhaps most in his attempts to bridge religious factions in Europe, but also in his receptiveness to the past and his attitude toward other cultures. This accommodation of differences is rooted in the belief that the most perfect possible world maximizes both diversity and harmony. In a time of rapid globalization, as the imperative to maximize diversity and harmony grows, I believe it is worthwhile to turn our attention to Leibniz's philosophy, particularly as it is expressed in his writings on China. The ground of Leibniz's openness toward other cultures is different from the ground to which we are accustomed. Multiculturalism is usually grounded in skepticism. We should accept

Journal

Journal of the History of IdeasUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Jan 7, 2002

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