ABSTRACT

This chapter studies the history of Sinologism, but it does not attempt to offer a full historical account. In fact, it does not even aim to provide a broad sketch of its historical formation. Rather, it has the modest aim to offer a historical critique of it at some crucial stages of development from its early rise through its maturity to its modern forms. I will critically examine the works of some major thinkers and scholars in Western history, who, I believe, have contributed to the formation of distinctive ways of doing scholarship on China. Through critical analyses, I seek to grasp the pivotal points in the formation of “Sinologism” as a system of China knowledge production with an internal logic, give a brief description of its characteristic features, and locate some epistemological and methodological principles that eventually evolved into its inner logic. Thus, the chapter is not so much a historical review of Sinologism, which would take volumes of work, as a critical examination of how its fundamental principles came to be formulated in history.