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Chinese History and CultureSeventeenth Century Through Twentieth Century$
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Ying-shih Yü

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178600

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178600.001.0001

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The Study of Chinese History

The Study of Chinese History

Retrospect and Prospect

Chapter:
(p.329) 17. The Study of Chinese History
Source:
Chinese History and Culture
Author(s):

Ying-shih Yü

, Josephine Chiu-Duke, Michael S. Duke
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231178600.003.0017

This essay delineates the main trends of modern Chinese historiography through a critical review of the two major historical schools—“the school of historical data,” and “the school of historical interpretation.” The “Data school” is seen to be deliberately indifferent to its own time and the “Interpretation school” is shown to make a too close connection between its interpretations and the times in which they are made. It suggests going beyond the positivistic confines of these two schools, affirms that Chinese culture has its own unique pattern, and can be more fully understood through comparative studies.

Keywords:   school of historical data, school of historical interpretation, objectivity, subjectivity, historical laws, materialism

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