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The Hermeneutics of Recovery: Leo Strauss, Carl Schmitt, and the Reception of the Western Classics in China

Michael Puett

Concurrent with the growing interest in the Western classics in China is a growing interest in the philosophies of Leo Strauss and Carl Schmitt.  The goals of this paper will be, first, to discuss why Strauss and Schmitt are becoming influential in China, and, second, to analyze how the Western classics are being interpreted in China from this Straussian perspective.   I will be particularly interested in exploring the implicit parallels that are being drawn by Chinese scholars between indigenous commentarial traditions of the Chinese classics and Straussian interpretations of the Western classics.

I will argue that these implicit parallels are crucial for understanding the ways in which the Western classics are being read in China, as well as the larger narratives of world history that are being constructed around these readings.

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Classics and Reaction: Modern China Confronts the Ancient West

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