The City and the Empire: Financial Debates and Intellectual Trauma in Eleventh-Century China
During the 1030s and 1040s, literati believed that they were close to discerning the universal pattern that inhered in all things and that had informed the perfect governance of the ancient sages. By perceiving the city as a living organism—whose traffic flowed like water, whose money circulated like the vital essences of the body, and whose trade flourished like a well-tended garden—they hoped to gain an understanding of the regularities that determined the movement of people, goods, and money through the empire. By the 1080s, however, irreconcilable disagreements about financial and economic policy had defeated the earlier intellectual optimism and revealed the lack of a grounded philosophical hermeneutics, thereby strengthening the resolve to seek absolute value in the self, away from the city and its unsettling economic activity.
Intervention de Christian de Pee (University of Michigan) dans le cadre du séminaire de Christian Lamouroux, « Lettrés, financiers et militaires - les monnaies des Généralités dans la Chine des XIIe et XIIIe siècles »