Chińskie konstruowanie historii

Dawid Rogacz


Chinese Constructing of History


The aim of my paper is to demonstrate the structuring of history in the classical Chinese historiography. I would like to show the crucial position of historiography in Chinese culture and how the latter influences its proportions, scientific status and standards of criticism. Notwithstanding the selectivity of those standards and the political supervision over the transcribing of history, the history in ancient China proved to have been actually constructed. That fact is confirmed by the ethical and didactic function of historiography proposed by Confucius. Political projects were probably formulated in the most ancient times, so as to supply new institutions with the legitimization they needed. The idealization of the past had its reflection in the worship of ancestors and in some features of Chinese language. That overlapped with cyclical view on history, generalizing dynastic histories, where the concept of the Mandate of Heaven played a key role. As a result, the schema of the constructing of history came to life. It embraced four stages: the founder, the crisis, the restorer and the collapse.

Keywords: philosophy of history, Chinese historiography, Confucianism, constructivism.

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