The Taiping Ideology: Its Sources, Interpretations, and Influences

The Taiping Ideology: Its Sources, Interpretations, and Influences

The Taiping Ideology: Its Sources, Interpretations, and Influences

The Taiping Ideology: Its Sources, Interpretations, and Influences

Excerpt

An analytical study of an ideology is believed to be a key to the understanding of the society in which it takes form. This belief is based on the assumptions that ideas are functions of the persons who express them and that "the shape that ideas take is relative to the culture and era in which they develop and are used." On the other hand we are also aware that "there are internal standards of validity in ideas themselves." It is precisely this study of the intrinsic validity of ideas themselves (or categories of the understanding, according to philosophers) that distinguishes philosophy from ideology, the latter being a system or systems of ideas always conceived in conjunction with social, economic, political, and other objective conditions. However inadequate this view of the sociology of knowledge may be in reference to ideas which have intrinsic . . .

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