On the Ideological Progress of Feng You-lan

Vol. 25 No. 3   12/1995  


On the Ideological Progress of Feng You-lan


Cai Zhong-de









Key words

ideological development, ideological transformation, realize one’s Self, Lose one’s Self, recover one’s Self,“Feng You-lan Phenomenon”


      This thesis consists mainly of for parts.

    The first part argues with abundant material that Feng You-lan’s ideological progress should be divided into three periods1918-1948, 1949-1976 and 1977-1990 instead of the two periods before and after 1949. A survey of his life shows that the relationship between Feng You-lan and Marxism developed from free acceptance and free rejection to forced acceptance and then back to free acceptance and rejection. In accordance with this development, Feng You-lan’s thinking also underwent a changing process from a well-established system to forced abandonment of this system and finally a return to his own system.

    The second part illustrates through comparison that many other thinkers or philosophers, such as He Lin, Jin Yue-lin, Liang Shu-ming or Xiong Shi-li went through similar ideological transformation after 1949, their differences being those of aspects of ideology and the extent or depth of the changes.

    The third part is an analysis of the causes, both subjective and objective, that brought about those changes in Feng You-lan’s thinking. It is maintained that, because of the objective environment, Feng You-lan’s ideological trans formation was often forced and passive. However, subjectiv3e elements enabled this transformation to be active and conscious. The interaction of subjective and objective elements resulted in the historical inevitability of the transformation of his ideology.

    The fourth part discusses Feng You-lan’s ideological development in the context of contemporary Chinese cultural history. It maintains that the three states of Feng You-lan’s ideological transformation are those of the realization f his identity, the loss of identity and the recovery of his identity. Such ideological transformation or the loss of identity in China’s Mainland after 1949 is not a unique phenomenon to be found only in Feng You-lan. Feng You-lan’s ideological development for almost a century actually corresponds with the progress of contemporary Chinese intellectuals and of the tortuous development of contemporary academic learning and culture. The ideological development of realizing one’s Self, losing one’s Self, and recovering one’s Self can be called the “It is, however, actually an epitome of the miserable journey undertaken by contemporary Chinese intellectuals and of the tortuous development of contemporary academic learning and culture. A study of this“Feng You-lan phenomenon”and its lessons and revelations will surely yield far-reaching significance for future generations.




Author: Cai Zhong-de
Genre: Article