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China in the German Enlightenment

China in the German Enlightenment (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Over the course of the eighteenth century, European intellectuals shifted from admiring China as a utopian place of wonder to despising it as a backwards and despotic state. That transformation had little to do with changes in China itself, and everything to do with Enlightenment conceptions of political identity and Europe's own burgeoning global power. China in the German Enlightenment considers the place of German philosophy, particularly the work of Leibniz, Goethe, Herder, and Hegel, in this development. Beginning with the first English translation of Walter Demel's classic essay "How the Chinese Became Yellow," the collection's essays examine the connections between eighteenth-century philosophy, German Orientalism, and the origins of modern race theory.

Bettina Brandt is on the faculty of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Penn State University. Daniel Leonhard Purdy is on the faculty of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Penn State University.

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