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- A STUDY ON YEN FU
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- 대학원 사학과
- 이화여자대학교 대학원
- Yen Fu is the translator who have introduced systematically Western thought into China- at the first. Yen Fu tried to incorporate into classical ancient style Chinese the concepts of Western thought. The object of translation was to spread civilized ideas among the people.
The radical nature of Yen Fu's ideas expressed in the essays of 1895, are boldly presented as Western ideas. He tried to transvalue values which had lain at the very heart of Confucian culture and presented a new vision of both cosmic and human reality.
The influence of Yen Fu's translation of social darwinism, utilitarianism and logic upon thc intellectuals was very great. Such as the "struggle for existence" and "survival of the fittest by natural selection" had become a native maxims and were used as battle cries for the new reformers.
After 1902, Yen Fu gradually became conservative. He preferred reform by education to revolution and rejected liberalism and nationalism.
But despite of this backsliding from the radical element to the reactionary traditionalist, one can hardly deny the persistence of underlying preoccupation and of a substantial inner coherence of thought. The conservative bent is already visible in the early essays. It had been influenced by Darwinism. The foreground of his concern remains very much occupied by an overwhelming anxiety concerning the survival of the state.
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