A Comparative Article on Ottoman and Chinese Intellectuals on the Issues of Progress, Science and Modernity (1860s-1910s) (78505)

Session Information:

Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Video Presentation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

The article explores the complex interactions between tradition and modernity in the intellectual landscapes of the Ottoman Empire and China during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The author investigates the concept of modernity and its implications on the intellectuals, questioning whether it is achievable solely through Western techniques or if there is room for adaptation with traditional values.

The historical context of the "sick man" narratives and “saving the empire” rhetoric in both the Ottoman Empire and China was discussed in the 19th century, highlighting the Tanzimat Reforms in the Ottoman Empire and the Self-Strengthening Movement in China. The article focuses on key figures such as radical intellectuals like Chen Duxiu and Beşir Fuad (an Ottoman radical materialist essayist), and relatively conservatist figures like politicians and essayists like Kang Youwei and Namık Kemal who grappled with the dichotomy of tradition and modernity. The intellectual discourse in both regions reflects a nuanced approach, with some advocating for the incorporation of Western ideas to some extent while others sought radical reforms, influenced by experiences in Japan and the West.

The article, looking at the writings of these figures, argues that even seemingly radical figures exhibited a nuanced stance, acknowledging certain traditional values while advocating for modernization, like Yin-Yang. The opposite of this phenomena is valid for the conservatist figures. That means, tradition and modernity does not always create a dichotomy but creates an amalgamation in the non-European world.

Cahit Atil Öder, Bogazici University, Turkey

About the Presenter(s)
Mr Atil Öder is a University Postgraduate Student at Bogazici University in Turkey

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00