There exists a lacuna in the prevailing understanding of the history of philosophy. It consists of an omission of certain contributions made by China. This paper is an attempt to fill in part of the picture.


Religious Belief Ethical Naturalism Chinese Thought Religious Knowledge Natural Religion 
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  1. 1a.
    Among his recent work on religious scepticism are: The History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Spinoza, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1979, Chapters XI and XII; “Skepticism,” The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1985, pp. 625–633; Isaac La Peyrère, 1596–1676, and the History of His Influence in Theology and Anthropology, forthcoming, Harvard University Press; “Spinoza and Isaac La Peyrère,” The Southwestern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 8,1977, pp. 177–195, also in Spinoza: New perspectives, Robert W. Shahan and J.I. Biro, eds. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1978, pp. 177–195Google Scholar
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    Arnauld’s seven volume La morale pratique des Jésuites, Cologne: Gervinus Quentel [Elzevir], 1669–1694, which consists of a vehement attack on the Jesuits, including their mode of spreading the faith abroad, is along the same line as Pascal’s scathing criticism in his Lettres provinciales, 1656–1657. Against the Jansenist attack, Jesuit Father Michel le Tellier wrote the Défense des nouveaux chrétiens et des missionaires de la Chine, du Japon et des Indes contre deux livres intitulés “la morale pratique de Jésuites” et “l’esprit de M. Arnauld”, Paris: E. Michallet, 1687–1690. Le Tellier was the confessor of Louis XIV, and was powerful at court. A rebuttal was written by Arnauld entitled Lettre d’un théologien contre la défense des nouveaux chrétiens, in La morale pratique des Jésuites, Vol. VI. I am indebted to Arnold Rowbotham for these references. See Missionary and Mandarin in China: The Jesuits at the Court of China, New York: Russell & Russell, 1966, pp. 339, 351.Google Scholar
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    The Confucius Sinarum Philosophus was translated by a group of Jesuits under the leadership of Father Philippe Couplet. It includes the Analects, the Great Learning, and the Doctrine of the Mean. The two extracted translations referred to here include: Simon Foucher, Lettre sur la morale de Confucius, Philosophe de la Chine, Paris: chez Daniel Horthemels, 1688;Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuen-Ting Lai
    • 1
  1. 1.Memorial UniversityCanada

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