Sinology, and the case for the integrity of it: the one key word in that phrase has been as hard to define as the other has been to achieve in practice. If we can scarcely define it, and if there is no hope of achieving it for the masses, why then talk about it at all in the year 1964?
I believe we can try to define Sinology, and we can point to some who have achieved it in practice. It might have seemed wisest to ask someone who has at least come close to achieving the Sinological ideal to be its spokesman on this panel. And, in fact, I urged that course upon Mr. Skinner when he first asked me to participate. He ruled that out, not so much perhaps for fear that we'd have to import one, or that such a one could be expected to speak in an unintelligible accent and would read footnotes in seven languages from original sources only—but perhaps, anomalous as it is, from the justifiable fear that the real Sinologist might speak in a way that would confuse his own green and well-worked fields with the entire province, or his own home province with the whole realm. And integrity is what we are here to talk about. For it is that integrality of the whole realm, or world, of Chinese studies that I think should define Sinology. Therefore, let someone who thinks he sees a meaningful and universal ideal, but who does not expect the ideal to be judged by himself, discuss it with the freedom that can come from having nothing personal to defend. Otherwise, it would be indeed presumptuous for me to appear here as the spokesman for Sinology; this dilemma of the spokesman vis-à-vis his subject today clearly is one that does not afflict my colleagues on this panel (for reasons at least partially nattering to them all).