What shaped the ideas and actions of one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century? Presenting a new account of Mao Zedong's lifelong engagement with philosophy, Robert Allinson reveals the extent to which Chinese and Western thinkers determined Mao's political career. For the first time Mao's understanding of early philosophers such as Confucius, Laozi, Aristotle, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche is looked at in close detail. Drawing upon his exposure as a student to both traditional Chinese and Western philosophy, Allinson shows how Mao's reading of Marxism utilized concepts from the traditional Yijing to produce a philosophy that departs from Engels and the Soviet model. By revealing how Mao's reading of Western political thought, as well as misreadings of traditional Chinese thought impacted his thinking, Allinson presents a fresh and challenging study of the man who ushered in anti-intellectualism during the dark period of the Cultural Revolution.
Table of contents:
Preface 1.The Philosophical Mao 2. Mao's Early Philosophical Development 3. Mao in the Margins: Mao's Philosophy of Egoism 4. Confucianism and a Flash Forward to China's Future 5. Mao's Key Misinterpretation of Confucius 6. Mao's Departure from the Classical Chinese Philosophical Tradition 7. Mao's Dialectical Thinking 8. Mao on Continuous Contradiction 9. Zizek's Misunderstanding of Confucius 10. Mao as Metaphysician Epilogue Whither China? Bibliography Index
Robert Allinson is Professor of Philosophy at Soka University, USA and Professor Emeritus of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.