Title

中国古代专制说的知识考古

Translated Titles

An Intellectual History of the Ancient Chinese Despotism Thesis

Authors

侯旭东(Xu-Dong Hou)

Key Words

专制主义 ; 专制政体 ; 孟德斯鸠 ; 明治维新 ; 梁启超

PublicationName

近代史研究

Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

2008卷4期(2008 / 07 / 01)

Page #

4 - 28

Content Language

簡體中文

Chinese Abstract

19世纪末以来,秦至清的帝制时代的中国政体为专制政体、皇帝为专制皇帝的论断影响广泛,流行不衰,并成为中国史研究的基本观点之一。本文从思想史的角度对这一说法产生、传播的历史及其后果加以分析,指出此一论断并非科学研究的结果,而是亚里斯多德以来的西方人对东方的偏见。18世纪时个别西方,恩想家开始以此来描述中国,19世纪末以后经由日本广为不同立场的中国知识分子所接受,并通过辞书与历史教科书渗透到大众中,罕有质疑者。这一说法实际未经充分的事实论证,不加反思地用它来认识帝制时代中国的统治机制只会妨碍研究的深入。

English Abstract

Since late 19(superscript th) century, the thesis that the imperial Chinese polity from Qin to Qing was despotic and that Chinese emperors were despots has been popular and influential. Indeed, it has constituted one of the basic theses employed in studies of Chinese history. This paper looks at this thesis from the angle of intellectual history, analyzing its emergence, its spread and its consequences. The paper points out that this thesis was not a result of scientific research, but a Western bias towards the Orient dating to Aristotle that a few Western thinkers began to use in the 18(superscript th) century to describe China. It was introduced into China via Japan in the late 19(superscript th) century and was widely accepted by Chinese intellectuals of all standpoints. Through dictionaries and history textbooks, it also seeped nearly unquestioned into the general populace. The despotism thesis has not been sufficiently demonstrated by historical facts, so if we use it without any re-considerations to understand the Chinese ruling mechanism in imperial times, it will only hinder our research.

Topic Category 人文學 > 歷史學