Individual Autonomy and Responsibility in Late Imperial China is a major new work by one of Europe's most respected senior scholars of Chinese studies, Paolo Santangelo. In it, he questions the common premise that individualism was lacking in premodern China. It is Santangelo's contention that not only was the concept of the individual important in traditional China, but that it existed in interesting ways that are different from modes of individualism in the West.
One of the strengths of this study is the masterful manner in which Professor Santangelo treats key terms of his discussion, terms such as xing ("human nature”), xin ("heart-mind"), ji ("self"), and uses them to analyze various texts.
The study deftly weaves together many ideas from history, philosophy, art, and literature, especially the literary dimensions of late imperial history (both classical and vernacular).
Another unusual facet of Santangelo's investigations is his thorough familiarity with the the Western intellectual tradition and his expert incorporation of the ideas of thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, David Hume, John Stuart Mill, and the Romantics
This inquiry into the moral philosophy and ethics of the self—seen in both its public and private dimensions—in late imperial China is an important resource for scholars and students in many subfields of Chinese studies, such as history, intellectual history, art history, history of literature, and history of religion.
《帝制中国晚期的个人自主权与责任》（Individual Autonomy and Responsibility in Late Imperial China）是欧洲最受尊敬的汉学学者之一史华罗的新作。他在书中对前现代中国缺少个人主义的通说提出质疑。史华罗的论点是：「个人」观念不仅在传统中国很重要，其存在的方式也很耐人寻味，与西方认知的个人主义有所不同。
Paolo Santangelo is Professor Emeritus of East Asian history at Sapienza University of Roma, and Editor-in-Chief of Ming Qing Studies. His books include Sentimental Education in Chinese History: An Interdisciplinary Textual Research in Ming and Qing Sources, Materials for an Anatomy of Personality in Late Imperial China, Shan’ge, the ‘Mountain Songs’: Love Songs in Ming China (coauthored with Oki Yasushi), Zibuyu, “What the Master Would Not Discuss”, according to Yuan Mei (1716-1798): A Collection of Supernatural Stories (in cooperation with Yan Beiwen),Passion, Romance and Qing: The World of Emotions and States of Mind in Peony Pavilion (coauthored with Tian Yuan Tan), Revisiting Liaozhai zhiyi, and The Culture of Love in China and Europe (with Gábor Boros).