The living past and self-made future: Li Dazhao’s metaphilosophy of history

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Dawid Rogacz


The paper offers a reconstruction and re-evalutation of the philosophy of history developed by Li Dazhao (1889–1927) – one of the first Chinese Communists. It is argued that despite its marginal treatment in scholarly literature, Li’s philosophy stands out from the thought of other Chinese Marxists for its creative interpretation of historical materialism and a critical engagement with Marx’s view of class struggle and the economic base. Furthermore, in his philosophy of history, Li Dazhao innovatively draws on the Confucian idea of Great Unity (datong), Daoist criticism of heroism, and, most importantly, the concept of ‘life’ in Lebensphilosophie. In addition, the article shows that Li’s view of the historical process was consistently complemented with an exceptional meta-philosophy of history and the philosophy of historiography which shared the premises of the much later narrativist epistemology of history.


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Rogacz, D. (2022). The living past and self-made future: Li Dazhao’s metaphilosophy of history. Człowiek I Społeczeństwo, 53, 187-199.


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