This essay examines the internal colonial structure in Confucian discourse and how it transforms itself at different historical points of time, changes its conceptual framework, in order to respond to the demand of the time. I call such conceptual transformation ＂semiotic syncretism.＂ Tu Weiming's discussion of ＂Tian-ren-he-yi＂ and ＂Selfhood as creative transformation＂ through Confucian Entrepreneurial Ethic demonstrates distinctly such semiotic syncretism and exemplifies how neo-Confucian scholars adapt themselves to the Cold War conditions and the industrial development in East Asia boosted by US. The recent Renaissance of Confucianism in China in the wave of the rise of Pax Sinica in the neoliberal age, in addition to the several political revivals of Confucianism to serve the reason of the state in the 20th century, also witness the logic of ＂tien-ren-he-yi＂ and ＂selfhood as creative transformation＂ explicated by Tu Weimng. I argue that the method of epistemic decolonization is not to resort to another epistemology, but to examine and expose the colonial power structure from within the present epistemology. Zhang Taiyan's concept of substitutional semiosis and Benveniste's concept of ＂shifters＂ can help us to see through the process of semiotic syncretism and bring the demand of the time into analytic perspective. I point out that the colonial power structure within Confucianism could be carried out in different social institutions and cultural discourses to suit the material needs of the time while at the same time reinforces the hierarchical structure of politico-economic social order. Only when we unveil the mask of the colonial power relation within Confucian discourse of different historical moment can we begin to think the project of epistemic decolonization.
|Translated title of the contribution||Semiotic Syncretism and Internal Colonization: Re-visiting Neo-Confucianism's Epistemic Structure of ＂Tian-Ren-He-Yi＂ and ＂Creative Transformation＂|
|Original language||Chinese (Traditional)|
|Number of pages||40|
|State||Published - Dec 2017|
- internal colonization
- epistemic decolonization
- creative transformation