Dissertation > Literature > Chinese Literature > Literature Review and Research > Modern literature ( from 1919 to 1949 )

On Wu Mi’s Theory with Moral Saving the Society

Author GuoZuoYan
Tutor WuJiQing
School Hebei Normal
Course Modern Chinese History
Keywords Wu Mi Moral Tradition Modernization
CLC I206.6
Type Master's thesis
Year 2008
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People thought the relationship between unenlightened China and traditional culture from the failure in saving the motherland from dangers again and again. In the period of New Culture Movement, New Culture Parties advocated democracy and science, the traditional culture was strongly criticized especially the traditional morals .Wu Mi is deeply influenced by Confucianism, and later accepted the New Humanism advocated by Babbitt. He asserted we should combine the old cultural with new , and grasp the culture both from the west and east in all aspects, and we should cherish mankind’s moral civilization contain Confucianism and he thought we could save the imperfection within process of modernization in China and the world with it. He hoped to rescue a society with morals, and encouraged people to preserve mankind’s ultimate concern. In this thesis, the author mainly divides it into three parts to discuss, as follows:First, it introduces the source of the theory of Wu Mi’s ideas. Wu Mi grew up in the place dominated by ancient Qing Dynasty in the past, and was influenced by his family traditional style of advocate Confucianism since his childhood, so he read a great many of books of Confucianism. With the increase of his age, he was educated well. All of these cultivated Wu Mi’s ideal basis. Later Wu Mi studied abroad in the United States, and learned from Babbitt about morality theory. So the firm conviction of combining the civilization of China with the West and saving the world with morality was formed in his heart.Second, Wu Mi introspected modernity and rectified the deficiencies about the New Culture parties. In this part of the thesis, the author will study the problem between two mainly angles lying in the literature and culture. Wu Mi thought the literature should contain moral strength, concern life, concern society and shouldn’t concentrate on romantic emotionalism, Wu Mi had no objection to modern culture either, but emphasized a careful processing of preservation of Chinese tradition culture and how to expand it, and dealed with the problem about how to learn from western culture. For the tradition, he insisted on putting forth new ideas from old ones. We shouldn’t abandon old culture in brief, and then seek the new culture. For the western culture, he claimed to study completely, and take in it cautiously, but we must not bring everything blindly without choices. In a word, in the process of modernization, we should keep our excellent morals cultural inheritance in order to keep our national trait, and bring in advanced western civilization, and gain lessons from the development of western countries, in order not to make mistakes or make fewer errors on the way to modernization.Third, Wu Mi introspected human being’s modernization. Aimed at the philosophy of life of scientism and naturalism, Wu Mi advocated moral philosophy of life. He criticized the partial comprehension of the modernity of New Culture Parties, and affirmed the value of traditional moral civilization.Wu Mi’s ideas lay in the western and eastern culture; meanwhile he understood both the new and old culture. His views were outstanding. He kept objective attitude in the current of time and rational understanding to mankind’s civilization. He affirmed the function that nothing could take its place of morals, deeply introspected serious problems which there was no moral standards in the modern society, initiated the ultimate concern towards mankind’s destiny, and had foresight in many important mankinds’ problems. His standpoint enlightened us that we shouldn’t learn from the west briefly and blindly, and abandon valuable nation characteristics during the modern process. We should get morals civilization resources of mankind’s culture. We should desert the bad; expand the good in the process of modernization.At that time, few people supported to Wu Mi’s ideas, his personal fate was unfortunate. The reasons are intricate, but the subjective reason is that his seeking for ideal morals, his seeking wandered from the social reality and the solution given by him was fantastic. But his theory which paid attention to mankind’s seeking for the perfect and the good had its immortal value.

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