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Philosophy is the talk of town in Beijing
Updated: 2004-08-10 09:11

The first nationwide meeting of Chinese philosophers began in Beijing yesterday, with more than 900 scholars, experts and students attending.

Named "Philosophy and China in the New Century," the China Congress of Philosophy includes three topics: "Tradition vs Modernity," "East vs West" and "Science and Technology vs Humanism."

The participants are scheduled to discuss philosophies of Marxism, Buddhism, natural sciences, ethics, politics, aesthetics and culture.

Wang Luolin, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, delivered a welcom speech at the inaugural session, which was presided over by Li Deshun, vice director of the CASS Institute of Philosophy and a well-known philosopher.

The participants will exchange views from different academic perspectives to prevent isolation in the study of philosophy at the four-day meeting.

According to Chinese scholastic categorization, philosophy contains eight sub-studies: Marxism, Chinese thought, Eastern thought, Western logic, aesthetics, ethics and science and technology.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee issued a document in March encouraging interdisciplinary research not only between different social sciences but also between social sciences and natural sciences.

In his speech, Wang said that China should adhere to developed Marxism, which is now represented by the Deng Xiaoping Theory and the "Three Represents" idea.

The Deng Xiaoping Theory and "Three Represents" mean the CPC must always represent the development of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people in China, he added.

Philosophy research in China must be guided by Marxism and the study on Marxist philosophy is the most important in the country's social scientific studies, Wang acknowledged.

Li Tieying, vice chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee and former CASS president; Yang Chungui, former vice president of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee; and Li Jingyuan, director of the CASS Institute of Philosophy, also spoke.

The congress is expected to be held every three years.

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