Philip J. Ivanhoe is Chair Professor of East Asian and Comparative Philosophy and Religion at City University of Hong Kong. His many books include Mortality in Traditional Chinese Thought (coedited with Amy Olberding); Taking Confucian Ethics Seriously: Contemporary Theories and Applications (coedited with Kam-por Yu and Julia Tao); Religious and Philosophical Aspects of the Laozi (coedited with Mark Csikszentmihalyi); and Essays on Skepticism, Relativism, and Ethics in the Zhuangzi (coedited with Paul Kjellberg), all published by SUNY Press. Sungmoon Kim is Professor of Political Theory at City University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Confucian Democracy in East Asia: Theory and Practice and the editor of Confucianism, Law, and Democracy in Contemporary Korea.
This book explores the history, reception, and use of Freud and his theories in China, and makes an original and substantial contribution to our understanding of the Chinese people and their culture as well as to our appreciation of western attempts to understand the people and culture of China. The essays are organised around three key areas of research. First, it examines the historical background concerning the China-Freud connection in the 20th century, before going on to use reconstructed Freudian theories in order to provide a modernist critique of Chinese culture. Finally, the book deploys traditional Chinese thought in order to challenge various aspects of the Freudian project. Both Freudianism’s universal appeal and its cultural particularity are in full display throughout the book. At the same time, the allure of Chinese cultural and literary expressions, both in terms of their commonality with other cultures and their distinctive characteristics, are also scrutinized.
This collection of essays will be welcomed by those interested in early modern and contemporary China, as well as the work and influence of Freud. It will also be of great interest to students and scholars of psychology, psychoanalysis, literature, philosophy, religion, and cultural studies more generally.