This book argues that a general understanding of traditional Chinese philosophy can be achieved by a concise elaboration of its truth, goodness and beauty; that goodness and beauty in Chinese philosophy, combined with the integration of man and heaven, knowledge and practice, scenery and feeling, reflect a pursuit of an ideal goal in traditional Chinese philosophy characterized by the thought mode uniting man and nature.
This book also discusses the anti-traditionalism of the May Fourth Movement, explaining that the true value of “sagacity theory” in traditional Chinese philosophy, especially in Neo-Confucianism in the Song and Ming dynasties, lies in its insights into universal life. In addition, existing ideas, issues, terminologies, concepts, and logic of Chinese philosophical thought were actually shaped by Western philosophy. It is necessary to be alienated from traditional status for the creation of a viable “Chinese philosophy.” “Modern Chinese philosophy” in the 1930s and 1940s was comprised of scholarly work that characteristically continued rather than followed the traditional discourse of Chinese philosophy. That is to say, in the process of studying and adapting Western philosophy, Chinese philosophers transformed Chinese philosophy from traditional to modern.
In the end of the book, the author puts forward the idea of a “New Axial Age.” He emphasizes that the rejuvenation of Chinese culture we endeavor to pursue has to be deeply rooted in our mainstream culture with universal values incorporating cultures of other nations, especially the cultural essence of the West.