The Department of Philosophy at Tsinghua University is both old and new From its birth to glory, interruption to reestablishment at a full jump, its unique procession can be compared to Beethoven s Symphony No.S on fortune full of ups and downs. Whether it has been high or low, favored or neglected, strong or weak, sharp or dull, easy or hard, the procession has been similar to the rhythm of the rebirth of the phoenix through burning on fire to reach its nirvana, in which we can not only clearly feel the heavy steps of the pioneering and developing of philosophy in China, but also as if we can hear the clanging echo of the steps from a remote and huge valley in the long journey of philo-sophia of human beings.
As one of the two oldest departments of philosophy in China, the Department of Philosophy at Tsinghua University together with that at Peking University shave the honor of initiating a new tradition of humanities studies in the history of Chinese modern higher education and founding the educational genealogy of philosophy in China; had been a part of the Department of Philosophy at Peking University dramatically in 1952 when the government adjusted the educational system as a strategy, while that was not a natural result from free competition among universities but the historical consequence of an artificial allocation on purpose; and has reconstructed like a miracle in only a few years with beautiful cadences of the advance of human civilization and culture in the 21 st century, which is a strategic phase and important achievement of reviving humanities at Tsinghua University.
In a short percod of 80 years, the department, among all the ancient and classic departments of humanities, has unexpectedly showed such a rich and unique charm of life. Even though it has been full of the sufferings from the radical changes, its experience can still be acclaimed as a moving and touching spiritual Ode to Joy!
I like to say, all the individuals of philo-sophia who have contributed and even sacrificed to create the life of the unique cultural community have been the notes chanted by the community, and they have good reasons to be proud of the glorious history and sound rebirth! A long series of brilliant scholars, Jin Yuelin, Feng Youlan, Zhang Dainian..., is the notes with stress-marks, who have set the keynotes of philosophy at Tsinghua University, and established the educational genealogy of knowledge in logic and Chinese philosophy, so that they are deserved to be ranked at the top of the list of celebrities in Chinese philosophy in the 20th century.
Nowadays, the successors coming from home and abroad are willingly endeavoring to bridge the discontinuity, inheriting the legacy of their former masters, standing in the broad and complicated world, competing in the rip currents among the numerous gigs, making friends in all over the world, and going further to philosophical truths, to continue to renew the version of the splendid “Tsinghua Philosophy”!
Finally, I would like to, on behalf of all my colleagues in Department of Philosophy at Tsinghua, give my commitments to all friends of philosophy in the whole world and all the people caring for our department: Tsinghua Philosophy will be always learning from history, standing in the front of the era, concerning China and the world today, expecting from the future of human beings, confronting with all philosophical beings and the philosophical meanings of all beings, and faithfully performing the mandate of philo-sophia.
Shake your hands with my sublime salute!
At the dawn on New Year’ day, 2008.