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New pasts for new futures: a temporal reading of global thought

Jenco, Leigh (2015) New pasts for new futures: a temporal reading of global thought. Constellations, 23 (3). pp. 436-447. ISSN 1351-0487

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1467-8675.12175


This paper draws upon the work of the syncretic Chinese Marxist Li Dazhao to elaborate an idea of “global thought” which is more than just a localized form of Western knowledge. Li’s work offers both an example, and also a theory, of global thought: his work emerges from the intersection of multiple trajectories of thought with diverse origins, and in the process offers a theory of agency to explain how action in the present renders those trajectories intelligible as lineages which can inspire future innovations. I argue that this opens the possibility for a global thought defined by a plurality of lineages, whose continuities stretch into the history and future of Asia as well as of Europe. I suggest two such lineages for Li’s work here: one links Li’s work to contemporary Chinese responses; the other to scholarship in political and social theory which emphasizes the vitalist role of time in the exercise of agency. These comparisons demonstrate the extent to which global thought such as Li’s transforms where (and when) thinking in the present and future might ground its arguments, and from which historical materials it might draw its resources.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2015 10:37
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2019 23:06

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