Department of Philosophy

Peking University

Philosophy at Peking University

Established in 1912, the Philosophy Department of Peking University was the earliest Philosophy Department in China's universities. The first name of the department was “the Division of Philosophy”, and in 1919 it was renamed as “the Department of Philosophy”. 
Hu Shi (1891 - 1962)In its history, many famous scholars used to teach in the Philosophy Department of Peking University, including Cai Yuanpei, Hu Shi (right), Jiang Menglin, Xiong Shili, Tang Yue, Deng Yizhe, Tang Yongtong, Liang Shuming, Jin Yuelin, Feng Youlan (Yu-lan Fung, below), Zong Baihua, Zhu Guangqian, Feng Ding, Chen Kang, He Lin, Shen Youding, Hong Qian (Tscha Hung), Zhang Dainian, Hu Shihua, etc. They trained generations of best Chinese philosophers and made the department the cradle of Modern Chinese Philosophy.
In the past 90 years, more than 900 students graduated from the Philosophy Department, among whom there are leading scholars (such as Zhang Shenfu, Feng Youlan, Sun Benwen, Luo Changpei, Gu Jiegang, Yang Hui, Pan Shu, Zhu Qianzhi, Mou Zongsan, He Qifang, Hu Shihua), revolutionaries (just like Deng Zhongxia), and backbones of various professions.

In the past 90 years, the faculty of Philosophy Department have produced a great deal of academic masterpieces, such as: Outline of the History of Chinese Philosophy (Hu Shi), History of Buddhism of Han, Wei, Jin and Northern and Southern Dynasties (Tang Yongtong), Eastern and Western Cultures and Philosophies (Liang Shuming), New Citta-matra (Xiong Shili), History of Chinese Philosophy, Zhen Yuan LiuShu, A New History of Chinese Philosophy (Feng Youlan), On Tao, Theory of Knowledge (Jin Yuelin), Outline of Chinese Philosophy (Zhang Dainian), History of Yi-ology Philosophy (Zhu Bokun), etc. These classics, widespread in society, have become one of the most important parts of Modern Chinese Philosophy.


In 1937, due to the Japanese intrusion of China, together with other departments of the university, the Philosophy Department moved to Kunming, Yunnan Province, and formed the Philosophy Department of National South-western Unied University together with the related departments of Tsinghua University and Nankai University. After the end of the War, the Philosophy Department was back to Beijing when Peking University was reestablished in 1946.
Feng Youlan (1895-1990)In 1952, because of the National Adjustment of Departments, many leadings of other philosophy departments joined the Philosophy Department of Peking University. In 1978, the psychology discipline was separated from the Philosophy Department and became the Department of Psychology.
Since 1978, the Philosophy Department developed rapidly in the reform and opening-up environment: all fields of philosophy are established, there is a reasonable faculty board, library resources are increasingly enriched, and the conditions for scientific research were improved significantly.
In 1981, Marxist Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy, Foreign Philosophy, Logics and Aesthetics became the first doctor's degree authorization centers.
In 1988, three disciplines including Marxist Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy and Foreign Philosophy were evaluated as national key disciplines.
Since 1994, the Philosophy Department has been listed as the Country's education and research base of humanities and social sciences.
In 1995, the Department of Religious Studies was established, which, conjoined with the Philosophy Department, was the first Department of Religious Studies in national universities of China. 
In 1998, the Philosophy Department was authorized to award PHD of the primary discipline of philosophy by the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council. Doctor students and master students are enrolled in all the eight subfields of Philosophy (Marxist Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy, Foreign Philosophy, Logics, Ethics, Aesthetics, Religious Studies and Philosophy of Science and Technology ).
In 1999, the Philosophy Department established the Station for the Post-doctors of Philosophy Discipline with the approval of the Ministry of Education.

In 2002, four disciplines including Marxist Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy, Foreign Philosophy and aesthetics were evaluated as national leading disciplines.
In 2007, the Philosophy Department was evaluated as national first-level kleading disciplines, in which all the eight secondary subjects have become national leading disciplines.
Currently, the department has 9 teaching and researching fields including “Marxist Philosophy”, “Chinese Philosophy”, “Foreign Philosophy”, “Logics”, “Ethics”, “Aesthetics”, “Christianity and Theories of Religious Studies”, “Buddhism and Taoism”, “Philosophy of Science and Technology”, 2 leading research bases appointed by the Ministry of Education: “Foreign Philosophy Research Institute, “Aesthetics and Esthetic Education Research Center”, 12 research centers including “Research Institute of Chinese Philosophy and Culture”, “Research Center of Marxism Philology”, “Research Institute of Religion”, etc,  and the Codification Center of Ru Zang (Complete Collection of Confucius works).