Frontiers of Philosophy in China

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 517–538 | Cite as

The evolution of tianxia cosmology and its philosophical implications

Research Article

Abstract

The terminology tianxia has both historical evolution and cultural and philosophical connotations. This concept not only denotes a geographical and spatial meaning, but also implies the moral construct of metaphysics. A systematic study of its historical and cultural repercussions can show that the evolution of the meaning “tianxia” not only embodies the cosmological construction, moral belief and self-identity of the Chinese nation, but also manifests the historical processes of modern China evolving from “tianxia” to a modern nation-state. Meanwhile, the deconstruction of the tianxia cosmology has shattered the old Chinese concept of a single united tianxia, or the whole world under one Heaven. Also, “Confucian China” has been increasingly losing its vitality and strong hold on the people, while the concept of nation-state has gained its way into people’s consciousness, which has added more diversity and open-mindedness to the concept of tianxia.

Keywords

Chinese philosophy tianxia cosmology nation-state nation morality 

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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Foreign LanguagesWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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