Reflections on discourse and critique in China and the West

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The term “critical”, as used by scholars writing under the banner of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), is in need of review in a new global intellectual environment in which diverse philosophical and political traditions are increasingly in contact with one another. This chapter is particularly concerned with the question of how a shared understanding of the concept of the critical can be developed among Western and Chinese scholars. To this end the chapter gives an overview of notions of critique in the historical traditions of China and the West, addressing issues of conceptualisation, discourse practice and translation. This leads us to consider, from a “critical” point of view, what the appearance of the “critical” approach may mean in the Chinese context. The need for continued dialogue oriented to a deepened understanding of existing ideas and approaches is highlighted.


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