Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Listening to ChinaSound and the Sino-Western Encounter, 1770-1839$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Thomas Irvine

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226667126

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226667263.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2021

China and the Enlightened Ear

China and the Enlightened Ear

(p.25) One China and the Enlightened Ear
Listening to China

Thomas Irvine

University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that the rise of Enlightenment “new anthropology,” especially the notion that senses were more culturally de­termined than universal, made continuing dialogue with China, however multidimensional, impossible. The “new anthropology,” of course, was itself the product of a similarly complex network. It emerged out of interactions between philosophers, anatomists, novelists, theologians, travel writers, nat­uralists, economists, and many professions in between. These interactions unfolded in a complex media landscape in which texts circulated through different media, languages, and channels of distribution. Later in the eigh­teenth century, distrust of the rationalist ideas of Wolff’s generation was a frequent common denominator. But some of the new anthropologists also shared with Wolff a certain faith in the universality of human senses and the possibility that humans might come together around certain ideas— such as “compassion”— regardless of their race, gender, or geographic ori­gin. Indeed, key protagonists of the “new anthropology,” such as Rousseau, imagined that history unfolded on a global stage born of shared original sentiments, if not exactly language. The language these sentiments used, more song than speech, was marked by its simple and pure sonic expres­sion.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, "new anthropology", universality of senses, circulation of texts, compassion, Wolff, Herder, Rousseau, global stage, sonic expression

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.