Evolution Logic and Modern Value of Chinese Knowledge-based View

From Confucian View of Knowing and Doing to Mao Zedong's Theory on Practice

Authored by: Jin Chen , Zhen Yang , Yue-Yao Zhang

The Routledge Companion to Knowledge Management

Print publication date:  May  2022
Online publication date:  May  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367631055
eBook ISBN: 9781003112150
Adobe ISBN:


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The 21st century is the era of knowledge economy and digital intelligence economy. Human production activities have gradually moved from the industrial era of traditional machine production to an intelligent society led by knowledge and wisdom, and the value of knowledge has been highlighted. The concept of knowledge has a long history in China. China’s concept of knowledge can be traced back to the pre-Qin dynasty. The value goal of the concept of knowledge under the Confucian ideological system is “seeking Tao,” the highest state of human life movement is “walking Tao,” and its logic is unified in human value and human development. This chapter systematically reviews the basic context of China’s view of knowledge from pre-Qin Confucianism and Yangming’s theory of “unity of knowledge and doing” in the Middle Ages to Mao Zedong’s materialistic view of knowledge and practice in modern times. This chapter holds that the logical starting point of China’s view of knowledge lies in people’s virtue ethics, and has always been discussed around the basic relationship between “knowledge” and “doing” in the process of evolution, resulting in basic problems such as where knowledge comes from, how to obtain knowledge, the basic process of knowledge innovation and the value of knowledge. China’s view of knowledge directly points to people and human society, namely the inward knowledge system, including the object of knowledge, the ways and means of acquiring knowledge, the value of knowledge, which can promote human beings to deal with the relationships between good people and adjust the conflict of interest between good people. However, China’s view of knowledge ignores the full use of human relations in nature, which has a serious and negative effect on the development of material society and productivity. Finally, based on the basic relationship between “knowledge” and “action” under China’s view of knowledge, this chapter puts forward the modern value and strategic enlightenment of China’s view of knowledge toward the goal of building a world scientific and technological power in the middle of the 21st century. Specifically, first, adhere to problem orientation and build a scientific and technological innovation strategy for the prominent problems in a powerful country of scientific and technological innovation; second, strengthen the dominant position of enterprises in knowledge innovation and continuously promote the optimization of enterprise knowledge management system. Finally, based on the various needs of people, build and strengthen human-oriented and meaning-oriented knowledge innovation to realize the internal unity of knowledge, morality and value.

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