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postgraduate thesis: Toward the common good : G.L. Dickinson and China

TitleToward the common good : G.L. Dickinson and China
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Gao, Y. [高一波]. (2014). Toward the common good : G.L. Dickinson and China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5388005
AbstractThis is a study of Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson’s intellectual oeuvre in terms of his representation and appropriation of Chinese civilization. Dickinson is a prominent Cambridge intellectual who is best known for his popular and influential book Letters from John Chinaman (1901), his astute assessment of Chinese character and achievement in his collection of travel writings entitled Appearances -- Being Notes of Travel (1914), and his reflections on Eastern civilizations recorded in An Essay on the Civilizations of India, China and Japan (1915). This study is motivated by the thought that Dickinson’s representation of China, which has been largely unattended, may serve as a point of departure to study what F.W. Stella Browne has called a “completely intellectualized” mind, the critic’s moral and political thought, and of the set of socio-historical conditions that shaped his thinking. With the assessment of the development of Dickinson’s intellectual enterprise, this thesis recalls one of those earliest phases of cultural and civilizational exchange in the history of intellectual globalization. Reading Dickinson’s literary, historical and philosophical works, this thesis discusses how Dickinson’s idea of China influences, stimulates and challenges the formation of his moral and political thought. The discussion shall proceed in two chapters. Chapter one explores Dickinson’s motivations for writing Letters from John Chinaman in relation to his vision of an ideal culture and polity. Through a reading of Letters from John Chinaman, it contends that Dickinson’s idea of China played an important role in the knowledge circulation and transformation of the image of “Chinaman” in Europe. This chapter discusses his criticism of Victorian culture and politics and his conception of ideal democracy with reference to his idea of China. It examines how Dickinson’s perception of Chinese civilization contributes to the formation of Dickinson’s moral and political thought, which is foundational to the development of his liberal internationalism in the critical historical conjuncture of WWI. Chapter two analyzes Dickinson’s conceptualization of Chinese civilization and discusses how it contributes to the development of his moral and political thought during and after his trip to China. Dickinson’s view of Chinese civilization, especially traditional Chinese philosophical ideals, echoes as well as challenges his moral and political thought; his idea of China provides the impetus for the shift of his intellectual interest from domestic politics to international politics. The discussion of Dickinson’s idea of China and the development of his political philosophy may contribute to the understanding of the ideology of liberal internationalism he subscribed to in the campaign for the League of Nations.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
Dept/ProgramEnglish
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222889

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGao, Yibo-
dc.contributor.author高一波-
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-05T23:12:31Z-
dc.date.available2016-02-05T23:12:31Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationGao, Y. [高一波]. (2014). Toward the common good : G.L. Dickinson and China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5388005-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222889-
dc.description.abstractThis is a study of Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson’s intellectual oeuvre in terms of his representation and appropriation of Chinese civilization. Dickinson is a prominent Cambridge intellectual who is best known for his popular and influential book Letters from John Chinaman (1901), his astute assessment of Chinese character and achievement in his collection of travel writings entitled Appearances -- Being Notes of Travel (1914), and his reflections on Eastern civilizations recorded in An Essay on the Civilizations of India, China and Japan (1915). This study is motivated by the thought that Dickinson’s representation of China, which has been largely unattended, may serve as a point of departure to study what F.W. Stella Browne has called a “completely intellectualized” mind, the critic’s moral and political thought, and of the set of socio-historical conditions that shaped his thinking. With the assessment of the development of Dickinson’s intellectual enterprise, this thesis recalls one of those earliest phases of cultural and civilizational exchange in the history of intellectual globalization. Reading Dickinson’s literary, historical and philosophical works, this thesis discusses how Dickinson’s idea of China influences, stimulates and challenges the formation of his moral and political thought. The discussion shall proceed in two chapters. Chapter one explores Dickinson’s motivations for writing Letters from John Chinaman in relation to his vision of an ideal culture and polity. Through a reading of Letters from John Chinaman, it contends that Dickinson’s idea of China played an important role in the knowledge circulation and transformation of the image of “Chinaman” in Europe. This chapter discusses his criticism of Victorian culture and politics and his conception of ideal democracy with reference to his idea of China. It examines how Dickinson’s perception of Chinese civilization contributes to the formation of Dickinson’s moral and political thought, which is foundational to the development of his liberal internationalism in the critical historical conjuncture of WWI. Chapter two analyzes Dickinson’s conceptualization of Chinese civilization and discusses how it contributes to the development of his moral and political thought during and after his trip to China. Dickinson’s view of Chinese civilization, especially traditional Chinese philosophical ideals, echoes as well as challenges his moral and political thought; his idea of China provides the impetus for the shift of his intellectual interest from domestic politics to international politics. The discussion of Dickinson’s idea of China and the development of his political philosophy may contribute to the understanding of the ideology of liberal internationalism he subscribed to in the campaign for the League of Nations.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.titleToward the common good : G.L. Dickinson and China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5388005-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEnglish-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5388005-

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