This paper has the purpose to study Liang Chi-chao and Shin Chae-ho's perception for the theory of social evolution. They are the representative intellectual of Korea and China from late in 19th century to early in 20th century when traditional value order is changed. From late in 19th century to early in 20th century, East Asian three countries became to face unparalleled crisis due to internal contradiction of traditional order and external impact of Western modern order. Specially, invasion of Western imperialism in earnest had intellectuals who previously absorbed in traditional thought to search the necessity to percept new reality and countermeasure for it.
Western authority revealed in the process of expansion was major cause that had revolution-oriented intellectuals to actively introduce Western thought. Utilitarianism, liberalism, the theory of social contract, democracy, the theory of social evolution and other various Western thought were introduced but the theory of social evolution was most rapidly introduced among them. The theory of social evolution was suitable for ideology to support the right of the strong in imperialism country but did a different role for East Asian country. The theory of social evolution became the theory to explain the reason that East Asian country became the weak in the struggle for existence, the method to be the strong and the necessity of modernization and civilization and provide the reasonableness for it. So the theory of social evolution in East Asian country is transformed to not the theory to justify the interest of the strong but the theory to help the weak to become the strong by itself.
But the context of Western thought absorbed in East Asian countries is different according to the corresponding method of intellectuals, the subject of absorption in each country. Specially, Japan was under different international environment to Korea and China from the view of international politic order of Confucianism area and showed lukewarm aptitude for rapid escape from international politic order of Confucianism area and rapid entry to international order of Western area through most sensitively reacting to Western menace although it was slow and narrow when it is compared to Korea and China. The resistance against new order on the basis of old order was so powerful so absorption of Western civilization was delayed.
Due to above reason, the type and context of absorbing Western thought of Korea was more similar to one of China and that Western thought introduced to Korea was not directly introduced from West but introduced through filtration of China so it has the type of indirect absorption. Specially, among many thoughts introduced to Korea, the theory of social evolution was largely influenced by one of China, specially, the theory of social evolution Liang Chi-chao largely influenced to one of Korea.
The theory of social evolution was introduced when traditional thought and Western thought was variously mixed and Liang Chi-chao and Shin Chae-ho were powerful in China and Korea respectively in the process that Western thought affects to intellectual's establishment of national thought. This paper starts studying with the assumption that two peoples' character of the theory of social evolution was similar because the transmission course that the theory of social evolution was introduced to Shin Chae-ho via Liang Chi-chao was confirmed. The reason to select those two peoples as targets was due to judgment that two people could explain the contemporary social state well because those two peoples' thought was organized early in 20th century when the conflict between traditionalism and modernization was appeared and various ideologies was absorbed.
With those assumptions, this paper will unfold study on the basis of following articles.
First, what is the background of the theory of social evolution introduced to China and Korea and how it was developed?
Second, how Liang Chi-chao and Shin Chae-ho who affected to development of the theory of social evolution of China and Korea recognized the theory of social evolution.
Third, what function has the theory of social evolution in the period of patriotic enlightenment and how it influenced to organization of the theory of nation.
Fourth, how Liang Chi-chao's Sin-min theory affected to Shin Chae-ho's Sinkookmin theory.
This paper was organized like follows.
Chapter II, Surveyed the context of the theory of social evolution of Spencer and Huxley as the assumption to absorb the theory of social evolution.
Chapter III, On the basis of understanding absorption and unfolding process of the theory of social evolution of China and Korea, in Paragraph 1, surveyed international politic environment of East Asia and the background to absorb the theory of social evolution and in Paragraph 2, surveyed the type to absorb the theory of social evolution and unfolding process of it.
Chapter IV, surveyed Liang Chi-chao's perception for the theory of social evolution. In Paragraph 1, surveyed Liang Chi-chao's organization of thought and type to absorb the theory of social evolution and in Paragraph 2, surveyed Liang Chi-chao's Sin-min theory.
Chapter V, surveyed Shin Chae-ho's Sinkookmin theory and the effect of Liang Chi-chao's Sin-min theory to it
Chapter VI, referred the result of study from Chapter I to Chapter V.