Saturday, July 18, 2015
403. Dr. Dave Wang's Paper In Italian
Dr.Dave Wang's Paper, Benjamin Franklin and Chinese Civilization has been translated into Italian.
Scholarship on the study of Benjamin Franklin for the past two centuries shows that Franklin’s “legacy had a distinctive place in American culture.” He is a figure we want to understand if we want to understand the American character. We owe much to him for the formation of the civilization we call American civilization today. No other figure has had such a clear vision concerning the future of American civilization and how American civilization could grow out of European civilization. In the long process of “the breaking of the old world,” Franklin wanted to turn himself from being a European “to be American.” How to be an American? Or put it in another way, how to build an American civilization? I believe that Franklin’s efforts to draw positive elements from Chinese civilization in the course of building an American civilization carried much weight in Franklin’s contribution to the formation of American civilization. With the great vision in the “narrow eighteenth-century ideas about other cultures,” Franklin “kept his eyes open to a “world that went far beyond the wharves jutting out into Boston Harbor and far beyond the canons of Puritanism.” Franklin told us that he “was very fond of reading about China.” His statement was very true. His correspondence and miscellaneous papers throughout his life indicate that he was amazed in Chinese culture. He explored almost every aspect of Chinese civilization, from spiritual to material.