Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(1,285 words)

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, China borrowed the traditional European term "philosophy" (which refers to an academic discipline with sub-fields, methods, and its own history) from the Western cultural sphere via Japan (Chinese zhexue, analog to the Japanese word tetsugaku). Philosophy was established as an academic discipline when the traditional examination system was abolished, and a modern educational system developed in line with Western models. Before this background, the discipline remained subject to tensions throughout the …

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Möller, Hans-Georg, “Philosophy”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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