Le regard européen vers l’Asie au travers du cas du voyageur français François Bernier (1620-1688)

Auteur Ping ZELLER
Directeur /trice Jean-François Staszak
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s) Thierry Maynard
Résumé de la thèse

My project is above all to rethink the role of a voyage in the intellectual evolution of a thinker, and through the case of Bernier, the readers will be invited to ponder how to improve the mutual understanding between Asia and Europe.

Secondly, from the perspective of decolonization, rethink the concept of "cognitive injustice" which has led to the distortion of the relationship between the Self and the other, between Asia and Europe, and between the "Global South" and the "Global North". To restore the justice of epistemologies, one of my ways is to call for us to go back to the 17th century, an era that has generated all sorts of possibilities, in order to examine the original source of colonialism, and argues that, besides the texts and ideas that eventually led to colonialism, there must be some other ideas to prevent the so-called Orientalism from happening, they have just been forgotten or ignored by posterity.

In one word, by employing biography research and discourse analyses, I am trying to restore, in the case study of Bernier, his huge reservoir of knowledge about Asia. His approach of erudition, inherited from his teacher Gassendi, enabled him to recognize that Asian people, just like other people across the globe, have different ways of knowing by which they run their lives and provide meaning to their existence. This is how Bernier resolved the problem of the relationship between the Self and the Other.


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