may fourth movement

Topics: Critical thinking, Sociology, Thought Pages: 2 (670 words) Published: November 1, 2013
According to the article, Hu Shih suggested that the significance of the new thought lies on the critical attitude. The critical attitude means people have to judge things by distinguishing both their pros and cons. In order to achieve this attitude, Hu Shih claimed that two methods should be adopted, which are study of the problems and the introduction of academic theories. He has explained the rationale behind in detail. Through this thinking method, Hu also mentioned that national heritage should be preserved and the final aim of the movement should be to recreate civilization.1

Generally, Hu Shih tended to apply a very logical and objective way of thinking in this movement. He stated that one should critically re-evaluate the traditional systems and teaching of sages and philosophers in order to see if they are still valid in modern society.2 However, I doubt if it is effective to evaluate them in this way as they are rather objective. For instance, Confucianism emphasizes on moral values and it suggests using humanity and morality to rule a country. Yet, things that are morally correct may not necessarily be lawfully correct. There was a famous example in ancient time, saying that if you discovered your father stole things, as his son, you should not accuse him but shelter him. Confucianism approved this act as it showed the relationship between son and father was not ruined by hiding the fact. But in terms of law, we all know that stealing is a serious offense and those who harbor criminals should also be charged. I am not trying to compare the strength between morality and law. What I want to express is that, in this traditional society which was dominated by these kinds of philosophy, is it possible to carry out such a critical and logical thinking when judging a matter? Could people at that time accept it?

Specifically, Hu Shih emphasized the importance of re-evaluating the problems critically. Though I doubted that critical thinking might not...
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