Angle, S. C. (2013). Review of Makeham: Learning to Emulate the Wise. The China Journal.
Not long ago, twentieth-century Chinese philosophy was little studied and poorly understood in non-Sinophone countries. Thanks in no small part to the energies of one person, John Makeham, this situation is improving rapidly. In less than a decade, Makeham has edited and contributed two chapters to New Confucianism: A Critical Examination, published Lost Soul: "Confucianism" in Contemporary Chinese Academic Discourse, inaugurated the “Modern Chinese Philosophy” series at Brill, and now edited Learning to Emulate the Wise, to which he contributes both introduction and epilogue as well as three chapters. As is well-known, the term “zhexue” (or tetsugaku in Japanese) was coined in the late nineteenth century to correspond to “philosophy” and its correlates in Western languages. This new volume’s subject is thus two-fold: on the one hand, what is philosophy/zhexue? On the other hand, what specifically is Chinese philosophy—if indeed there is such a thing?