Second essay - Li 1 Jennifer Li Peter Lavelle Environment...

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Li Jennifer Li Peter Lavelle Environment and Agriculture in Modern China 09/21/09 Pragmatism versus Ideology Since the late Imperialism period, China had been taking paths that deviated significantly from its ancient times; people seem to have forgotten the traditions and philosophies that used to matter greatly to their ancestors. It is arguable to say that the balance between nature and humans—as ancient philosophers used to emphasize and follow —was offset by the apparent benefits of industrialization and economic growth. The Western invasion of China in the late eighteenth century opened up a new perspective for the Chinese and geared them in a different direction economically and as a people. In order to adjust to external forces such as economic pressures, population expansion, and modern industrialization, China had no other choice but to abandon some of its traditional ideologies. Throughout the imperial times, nature took a great role in the monarchs’ decision makings; one of the most important philosophies to the Chinese was “tien ren he yi”—the idea that nature and human together are a whole and coexists as a whole (Hou 483). Even as early as the Han dynasty, concepts of the balance between nature and man greatly influenced 1
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This note was uploaded on 12/10/2009 for the course -2 FSA taught by Professor Yehuda during the Spring '09 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Second essay - Li 1 Jennifer Li Peter Lavelle Environment...

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