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Abstract 摘要

The aim of this article is to describe and explain the seeming paradox that although the social situation of French philosophers is significantly better than that of Chinese philosophers, their life expectancy is lower. The lives of important Chinese and French philosophers of the 20th and 21st centuries are compared and the average life expectancy in their respective nations is explored. Based on the findings of this investigation, it is speculated that the most important cause of the abovementioned paradox lies in differences in “ways of life.” Compared with French philosophers, Chinese philosophers advocate a more natural and harmonious way of life, which is argued to considerably influence their life expectancy.

The creativity and influence of an individual’s philosophical thought do not depend on the length of his life. Longevity is not the highest purpose of life, let alone its only goal. Nevertheless, it is important for individuals to experience full and meaningful lives and reach their natural life ends.

比較中國和法國20 世紀以來重要哲學家的壽數,以及兩國哲學家和普通人口平均預期壽命的差異,可以發現一個似乎乖謬的事實:法國哲學家在社會境遇優於中國哲學家的情況下,壽命總的來說低於中國哲學家的壽命。本文推測,這事實主要和兩國哲學家持有的不同“生命之道”有關:即中國崇尚自然中和的“生命之道”,在相當程度上使中國哲學家得享高壽。

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