Professor Wang Yuchen: diligence in research, sincerity to people and humility on actions

In golden September, good news came one after another. After getting the honorable title of “famous cultural figure of central propaganda department” and “distinguished professor in WenLan School of Business”, Professor Wang Yuchen was elected as a leading figure of “Ten thousand people plan” in philosophy and social science. During his 20 years of teaching, Wang insisted on his academic ideal and pursuit. He was rigorous in teaching and devoted to making academic research. He obtained great achievements in Foreign Marx Philosophy and theory of ecological civilization, and made great contributions to the construction and development of philosophy discipline.

The reason why Professor Wang Yuchen chose Foreign Marx Philosophy as his research field is because of his master tutor Zhang Shouzheng. Zhang was one of the earliest scholars who studied Western Marx Philosophy especially Italy Marx Philosophy in China. He realized that the development of science and technology and ecological problems would have a great influence on the development of the theory of Marx’s Philosophy. Under the leadership of Zhang, Wang started his research on Foreign Marx Philosophy. However, it was not simple all the way. For a long time, Chinese scholars understood Marx Philosophy through the textbook system of Soviet mode, while Western Marx Philosophy was developed on the opposite of Soviet mode. The mainstream academia held a critic and negative attitude towards Western Marx Philosophy. However, Wang speculated the research of Western Marx Philosophy would create tremendous academic value, it would become an important theory resource for the construction of socialist modernization construction in China. He firmly thought the research would go a long way. Therefore, for nearly 20 years, Wang focused on the research of Foreign Marx Philosophy without considering the changes of external academic conditions. He overcame the difficulties of research conditions and various puzzles about metaphysical or metaphysical existence, achieved academic transcendence. After researching for many years, Wang laid a solid foundation of professional knowledge, formed a profound academic attainment, obtained fruitful research results, and got an important position in the research field of Marx’s philosophy and ecological civilization in foreign countries.

Professor Wang’s method of scientific research, which analyses from character thought, theory school to macro research of basic theory problems, systematizes his research and brings about efficient outputs. Since 1992, Wang have presided many programs sponsored by the state, or by Ministry of Education, or by Hubei province. He published nearly 230 papers in many important magazines such as Chinese Social Sciences, Philosophy Research, Study of Marx DoctrineGuangming DailyPhilosophical Dynamics, Marx Doctrine and Reality and Foreign Social Science, among which there were 9 full text reprints on Xinhua Digest, 9 full text reprints on China Social Sciences Digest and nearly 70 full text reprints on Copy of People's Congress and Journal of Liberal Arts in Colleges and Universities. He published 10 academic compositions, and other 6 were finished with others together. His books get first, second and third prize of Achievements of Social Sciences in Hubei Province six times, his book Critique of Philosophy and Utopia of Liberation gets the second “China Excellent Publication Award” (politics), his academic research always has the research position and value orientation of combining theory research with China’s actual problems, many of his ideas have a leading position in domestic academic circle with important academic influence. He was the first one in China to propose “Research on Western Marx Ethics” which broads the theory space of China’s research on Western Marx doctrine. His concept of “Classical Western Marx Doctrine” is popular in academic circle. He is a leader in Ecological Marx study, his research papers and cited examples in his book were number one in China. He borrowed the Ecological Marx theory and Western Ecological Thoughts on the basis of Historical materialism theory and practical construction of Chinese modernization, suggested the proposition “Excess Hegemonic Discourse Beyond Western Ecological Civilization Theory, construct the ecological civilization theory of Chinese form” which will be expressed in his newly published book Ecological Marx and Ecological Civilization Theory of Later Developing Countries. He actively participates in many academic organizations and groups, he is the vice-President of Institute of Contemporary Studies of Foreign Marx in China, vice-President and Secretary General of Institute of  Philosophy of Hubei Province, Executive Director of Institute of Human Science in China, Executive Director of Institute of Value of Philosophy in China, Director of Institute of Philosophy History of Marx in China, Director of Institute of Research of Marx and Engels in China, and Executive Director of Institute of Ethics of Hubei province. He actively uses these academic platforms to promote the communication and cooperation of academic circles, helps young scholars, and strives hard to push forward the prosperity of philosophy social science.

Wang’s success in academic research is due to his deep love of reading. He reads various books, besides philosophy books, he is interested in politics, history, novel, poem and prose. His biggest hobby is to buy books in bookshop, whether on a business trip or travel, he will wander in local bookshops. When he recalled his poor life in early times, he used his last pence to buy books. At present, Wang has a large amount of books in his house, and some books out of print in market can fortunately be borrowed from his house. Whenever young teachers or students ask him how to read books, he always says “There is no short cut in academic research. It’s just keeping peace, spending time and hard working. And diligence, perseverance, toughness, and patience that make me successful. Except eating and sleep, Wang spends all his time reading and writing, he always works overtime, even in spring festival, he still keeps writing instead of having a rest. He takes it as happiness rather than bitterness. Just as his postscript in Research of Ecological Marx and Ecological Civilization, he writes “it’s my happiest time these years to do the research, not just because I’m interested in the object in study but the dynamic relationship between theory and practice and the value of academic research. Therefore, I feel full and happy when I write relevant books”. He felt faint from sickness after his so many years of diligence and hardship, in 2012, he fell down with apoplexy, but he recovered by his will power to overcome the torment of sickness. When he just felt a little better, he devoted to his research work right now. His partners advised him to take care of his body, but he said humorously “I was slack these two years of poor body, now I should hurry up to continue my work”. With the recovery of his body, he comes to a new peak of his academic creation, he published many monographs and a school quality teaching material for post graduates, over 30 high-level academic papers in many magazines such as Philosophy Research, Wang is confident for future academic research.

Wang not only sticks to his individual academic pursuit, but also dedicates most of his time and efforts to the construction and development of school discipline. As a discipline leader, he has a high sense of mission and responsibility. Since he was responsible for the philosophy discipline in our school in 2003, he strived hard to create a new situation of discipline construction with his colleagues. In order to strengthen the discipline research ability, he took himself as an example to encourage young teachers to have research achievements. In order to bring in talents and create an academic team with rational academic structure and aging structure, he made multiple visits to Fudan University, Nanjing University and Wuhan University himself to bring in academic leaders and excellent doctors. In order to enhance the influence of the discipline and improve its reputation, he actively organizes and holds high-level academic seminars. In order to strengthen academic communication and cooperation, he made full use of his academic resource to invite famous scholars to give lectures in our school. Under the leadership of Wang and his unremitting efforts, we have made breakthrough in discipline construction. The Marx Philosophy Institute was empowered to give doctorate degrees in 2006, and we had bachelors of philosophy in 2007. The philosophy institute was empowered to teach masters of science in first class, and Marx philosophy became the Key disciplines of Hubei Province in 2013. The overall strength of philosophy is in the forefront of the province, gradually becomes a more advantaged and characteristic discipline in similar subjects, and it is recognized as one of the “four important villages” to study Foreign Marx Philosophy in China by the whole academic circle. After certain time of high-speed development, the construction of discipline has come to the bottleneck time, the overall strength of philosophy has slightly slipped. Facing with difficulties and problems, Wang makes summaries and reflections, he says that we should not be anxious for success, the discipline construction must follow certain development law, step by step, gradually form academic results and traditions, only in this way can the discipline have a tremendous potential. Therefore, he suggests that we should transfer from the development of pure increase of degree points to more meaningful development. It can be said that the development of philosophy can’t leave the efforts of professor Wang. He forms a solid foundation and points the right direction of philosophy. Though he is no longer the president of philosophy school, he cares about the development of philosophy discipline and philosophy school, he shows that he will still contribute his intellectuals and efforts to the development of teaching and research.

Wang is not only a good example in academic research but also a sentimental person in life, which means his personality moves everyone around him. He always teaches his students “if you want to do well in study you should first know how to become a good person and how to form a sound personality. If there were something good in my personality, I think it was integrity.” Wang is popular among the academic circle. Many people who visit him the first time are moved by his integrity and become good friends with him. He cares for and helps his colleagues and students sincerely. He understands the difficulties of young teachers in their initial academic research, so he always tries his best to introduce and recommend them to academic circles and magazines. Wang attaches great important to the relationship with students, he cares about students’ study, life and work, sincerely helps them to solve their problems. It is the happiest moment for him to see students have a sound development after graduation. Wang lives a humble, modest and simple life. He always refuses when school wants to report his achievements and honors. He never depends on his academic position and influence to ask more at school. Ambitious as he is for academy, he cares little about food and clothes. A cup of tea and a book is enough for him to live a happy life.

In Wang’s mind, it means not only honor and treatment but also responsibility and requirements as a leading talent in philosophy and social science and a distinguished professor in WenLan school of Business. After leaving his administration duties, Wang devotes all his efforts to academic research. He fulfills various duties, leads academic teams, achieves academic results, cultivates excellent talents and makes more contributions to school. Someone ever said that the thinking and action of people who study philosophy will be equal. Wang’s performance is just the best example. His advocate and pursuit is to be a wise person, to cultivate his quality and to live a simple life.

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