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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front. Philos. China    2009, Vol. 4 Issue (3) : 343-359     DOI: 10.1007/s11466-009-0022-5
Research articles |
Theories of family in ancient Chinese philosophy
ZHANG Zailin ,
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China;
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Abstract  Unlike traditional Western philosophy, which places no special emphasis on the importance of family structure, traditional Chinese philosophy represented by Confucianism is a set of theories that give family a primary position. With family as the foundation, a complete framework of “human body → two genders → family and clan” is formed. Therefore, family in Chinese philosophy is existent, gender-interactive and diachronic. It should also be noted that family also plays a fundamental role in Chinese theories on cosmology, religion, and many other subjects. In other words, Chinese culture as a whole is imprinted with reflections on family. Nowadays, as the value of family becomes less prominent, re-examining ancient Chinese philosophy will undoubtedly bear theoretical significance. Meanwhile, traditional Chinese philosophy can also offer an ideological framework for the re-construction of family values in the contemporary world.
Keywords homelessness in Western philosophy      traditional Chinese family philosophy      family with ethical significance      family of universe      family with religious significance      family with cognitive significance cognition      
Issue Date: 05 September 2009
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