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An Inter-cultural Study between Chen Duxiu and Tagore’s Anti-imperialist Strategies

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DOI: 10.25236/iche.2022.028


Haiyan Yao, Wenbin Wang

Corresponding Author

Haiyan Yao


Tagore’s visit to China in 1924 caused two kinds of reactions from domestic intellectual circle, including welcome and fierce attack. Chen Duxiu was the representative who opposed Tagore’s oriental civilization theory. Chen Duxiu refuted Tagore’s cosmopolitanism with materialism tool theory. Chen Duxiu’s anti-imperialist practice is the victory of effective pragmatism, while Tagore’s anti-imperialist strategy is utopianism. Tagore was involved in the dispute between science and metaphysics between 1923 and 1924, and became the reinforcement invited by the intellectuals of metaphysical school in China. The differences between Chen Duxiu and Tagore are not only due to the differences in national conditions and historical views, but also due to their different cultural identities. Tagore participated in the post-colonial anti-imperialist context as a poet, and his theory of oriental civilization salvation was sometimes a set of effective methods, but sometimes it would become a tool used by imperialism.


Materialistic Tool Theory, Utopianism, Pragmatism, The Dispute between Science and Metaphysics, Cultural Identity