ABSTRACT

Sinologism is founded on a problematic epistemology, which in turn yields a problematic methodology. In a way, the sinologistic epistemology and methodology were exposed by Bertrand Russell who took to Sinologism from the opposite direction, tending to idealize China and Chinese civilization. Russell is a contemporary of Rudyard Kipling, who articulated the notorious saying: “The white man’s burden.” Unlike Kipling, however, Russell was keenly aware of the problematic Western hegemonic approach to China, writing:

We are firmly persuaded that our civilization and our way of life are immeasurably better than any other, so that when we come across a nation like the Chinese, we are convinced that the kindest thing we can do to them is to make them like ourselves. I believe this to be a profound mistake.1