Following are some sentences translated from the prologue of Zhao’s book ‘One or all questions’.
This is just an amateur version of translation, not certified or authorized.
Philosophy should be able to be represented in more flexible ways, even in spoken language(one usually thinks theoretical language is more accurate, in face theoretical language can’t represent all the accuracy, while the spoken language can represent a different kind of accuracy).
Or to say, development of human values, is far behind the development of how we live and how we produce, this is an interior disharmony of human culture. knowledge and technology can develop human’s ‘capability’, but can’t guarantee the ‘meaning’ of human life and human minds, ‘meaning’ has to be provided by ideas of humanity science. When ‘capability’ far more exceeds ‘meaning’, our life and minds become meaningless, the knowledge of value is so far behind, that human minds are so boring and there won’t be any meaning at all.
In fact our life and our thoughts have a feeling of meaningless. A typical phenomenon is that, we don’t produce something because we need it, we simply need it because we have produced it. Same happens to our thoughts, we usually don’t think about something because we see a question or opportunity , instead, a question appears because we have thought about something and said something.
From another perspective, one of the main results of knowledge and technology is productivity in everything. The characteristic of modern civilization is that it makes everything into production activities and products. When everything turned into production, production makes everything meaningless. The uniqueness of existence and the difficulty of making are deprived by production. To make anything you need not creation, you need only labour. Now even destruction, deconstruction, criticize, antisocial, or nostalgia, seeking roots, retrospect, seclusion etc etc, all become stereotyped production. Blab and prank are tolerated, so that they too become vulgar production. Arts are almost all production. everything becoming production deprived our right to feel, we can’t feel anything specially needed to feel. All human activities are now production, human too are production, the person we meet is just an instance of the same kind(We even have lost the right to love, because we can’t tell the difference between one and another). But here I am not criticizing knowledge and technology, like those humanities thinkers, I am just saying, it is a fact knowledge and technology have such capabilities. If there is anything that needs to be criticized, it must be the incapability and weakness of our humanity thoughts, must be our thinkers who only know how to criticize and interpret, need to be criticized, not the power of knowledge and technology itself.
Now the philosophy question we are facing, is not what meaning do we revive (the old meanings are not good any more), is not what meaning do we deconstruct(before the thinkers deconstruct anything, the facts of life have already deconstructed everything that needs to deconstructed), the question is, how to invent meaning for being, or, how to invent meaning for ideas and cultures. This means we need the ‘revival of wisdom’, wisdom is an ability, not words of tradition or anti-tradition. Of course we don’t know what meaning we need to invent for life and culture, it is still unclear, it needs specific studies.
Humanities and Social Science are too much like ‘knowledge’, this is a big problem, Humanities and Social Science can’t have definite objects to learn, in other words, the knowledge of humanities and social science is ‘live’, it’s relative, and based on particular, random inspiration and wisdom, the knowledge of humanities and social science is the transformation of things, rather than reflection on things, As an example, a legal thought or a social system, once it is accepted by people, it will make the social facts according to it, as if it is reflecting the facts. In fact it is not that a certain humanities and social knowledge or thought is accepted because it reflects the facts correctly, it is that because it is accepted, then it makes the facts according to it. Law, sociology, history are hard to be knowledge in a strict sense, even logic, psychology, such study looks so much like strict science, but anyhow there are so many philosophical assumptions in it.
I just want to say, all studies are ultimately philosophical questions, as long as they are the study of the being of human, there can’t possibly be a final question in all these philosophical questions. Obviously none of the humanities and social knowledge can be a reflection to some ‘posed’ objects. To say it completely, none of the humanities and social knowledge can possibly be a ‘reflection’ or ‘knowledge’ in the usual sense, humanities and social knowledge are part of the uncertain movements of the uncertain human and society, in it philosophy is the creative thinking.