[KS] Yu Kilchun

Afostercarter at aol.com Afostercarter at aol.com
Mon May 8 10:19:41 EDT 2006

Dear Frank,

This is fascinating, but also rather allusive.
Could you kindly say more? - not least, on how
Weberians can be Darwinists. I should have 
thought those were quite distinct traditions.


Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University 

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In a message dated 07/05/2006 21:51:54 GMT Standard Time, frank at koreaweb.ws 

> Subj:Re: [KS] Yu Kilchun 
> Date:07/05/2006 21:51:54 GMT Standard Time
> From:frank at koreaweb.ws
> Reply-to:koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> To:koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> Sent from the Internet 
> With its idealistic notions of social progress and failure this is, 
> same as his texts on the history of other European nations and his 
> writing in general, written under the influence of contemporary 
> British and American historians. Works by non- if not 
> anti-neo-Darwinist historians such as Leopold von Ranke and many 
> other important historians -- works that at the time still informed a 
> majority of continental Europeans, have not found their way to Yu. Or 
> maybe it really just was a pick-and-choose situation, a conscious 
> choice, a matter of what appealed to a reformist leader from an 
> economically and politically stagnating country on the verge of being 
> annexed by its neighbor. Yet again, while this is certainly the 
> leading historiographical take on this issue, we should note that 
> this understanding grew right out of the American neo-Weberian (and 
> still neo-Darwinist) historigraphic tradition. We might well ask why 
> such views were at the time not really that popular in other nations 
> with similar plights ... say for example Poland. Anyone still 
> following me -);  
> Okay then: During the entire 19th century Poland was, just like 
> Korea, fighting over its independence -- here with the Russians, the 
> Austrians, and the Germans. Just like Korea a country with a great 
> and old culture, in political and economic terms it lost out step by 
> step to its neighbors. Polish provinces fell under Russian 
> administration and German farmers settled in Silesia and took over 
> Polish lands. As a result, by 1900 over a million Poles had 
> emmigrated to the United States. Several diplomatic as well as 
> military attempts to regain independence had failed.
> But other than for Korean reform and independence movement scholars 
> neo-Darwinism did not so easily become the great runner in Poland. 
> Maybe because Poland is overwhelmingly Catholic? It certainly seems 
> so, as neo-Darwinian theory is incompatible with Christian faith 
> (clearly stated so in harmony by both, the Catholic Church and 
> neo-Darwinist thinkers).
> We now have a convincing explanation for Poland. But how about other 
> continental European nations? Why was neo-Darwinism here of some 
> appeal during the late 19th century but never really took the lead in 
> teh pool of new ideologies? Why so in Great Britain and in the United 
> States? In short, my main doubt as regards to Korea and neo-Darwinism 
> concerns the *inevitability* in which histories have recorded Korea's 
> embracing of such pseudo-scientific ideology.
> Best,
> Frank
> -- 
> --------------------------------------
> Frank Hoffmann
> http://koreaweb.ws

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