A Topography of Confucian Discourse
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Throughout history, numerous scholars and intellectuals have tried to define Confucianism one way or another. Despite their efforts, the voices of those who claim to have found the essence of Confucianism are as much at odds as ever. A Topography of Confucian Discourse analyzes Confucian discussion in diverse historical settings, examining how Confucianism has served the different purposes of biased interpreters and how they have manipulated Confucian discourse. To explore their hidden desires, Lee Seung-hwan critically observes various historical contexts in which people interpreted Confucianism: in the heyday of the Jesuit Missionaries, the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, the period of Western Imperialism, late twentieth-century postmodern America, Tokugawa Japan, Choson Korea, China, Taiwan, South Korea, as well as Singapore. The author successfully historicizes Confucian discourse, explaining why, against a certain political background, a certain view on Confucianism has to arise. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lee Seung-hwan received his PhD from the University of Hawaii. A professor of philosophy at Korea University, Lee has authored several books including The Sociopolitical Re-illumination of Confucian Thought and The Exchange of E-Mail between the West and the East for 127 Days. Lee has been known as a progressive philosopher of Chinese philosophy and has dealt with the inherent conflicts in liberal political thought. ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR Jaeyoon Song is a PhD candidate at Harvard University and is interested in Chinese intellectual history and philosophy. He is currently working on Song discourse on government, especially the rise of a proto-constitutional debate in Southern Song China.