New Book: Interpreting Chinese Philosophy

Jana S. Rošker’s Interpreting Chinese Philosophy: A New Methodology has been published by Bloomsbury.

Understanding Chinese philosophy requires knowledge of the referential framework prevailing in Chinese intellectual traditions. But Chinese philosophical texts are frequently approached through the lens of Western paradigms. Analysing the most common misconceptions surrounding Western Sinology, Jana Rošker alerts us to unseen dangers and introduces us to a new more effective way of reading Chinese philosophy.

Acknowledging that different cultures produce different reference points, Rošker explains what happens when we use rational analysis, a major feature of the European intellectual tradition, to read Chinese philosophy. We rely on impossible comparisons, arrive at prejudiced assumptions and fail to arrive at the truth, the consequence of applying a different methodology to the process of perceiving, understanding and interpreting reality.

Instead of transferring concepts and categories from Western sinology onto socio-cultural Chinese contexts, Rošker constructs a new methodology of reading, understanding and interpreting Chinese philosophy. She opens our eyes to the basic problems of Western paradigms, encourages intercultural approaches and allows us to master a more autochthonous understanding of Chinese philosophy.


“In this reinterpretation of Chinese philosophy vis-à-vis Western philosophy, Rošker has persuasively repudiated the “China has no philosophy” fallacy and offered a new approach to understanding Chinese philosophy. Provocative and lucidly written, it is a must read for scholars and thinkers interested in the fusion of Chinese and Western thought and culture.” ―Ming Dong Gu, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Texas at Dallas, USA

“Jana Rošker’s innovative volume does more than provide a new way of interpreting Chinese philosophy. Her insightful notion of a transcultural philosophy of sublation, which draws upon the dynamic structuring of complementary binary categories and referential frameworks of traditional Chinese philosophy, provides a new model for doing post-comparative philosophy creatively.” ―John Makeham, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University and The Australian National University, Australia

“Erudite, nuanced, and refreshing, Rošker’s book makes a significant contribution to studying fundamental issues of Chinese philosophy from a comparative perspective. I strongly recommend it to everyone interested in the topic.” ―Chenyang Li, Professor of Philosophy, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

“In this thorough reflection on Chinese and comparative philosophy, Jana Rošker combines her lifelong expertise with an impressive overview of contemporary Chinese scholarship. This book adds fascinating insights to ongoing debates on the increasing relevance of Chinese thought in the world’s unending philosophical conversation.” ―Carine Defoort, Professor of Chinese Studies, KU Leuven,

4 thoughts on “New Book: Interpreting Chinese Philosophy

  1. Irony must have been lost somewhere when it is imperialism that is invoked to disparage scholars, most of whom are Chinese, studying Chinese intellectual traditions as philosophy.

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