Professor Wu Mi (1894-1978), as a student of Irving Babbitt and believer of New Humanism in China, represented a non-radical culture opposite to the New Culture School. While he has interested once again the academia of the Chinese mainland in the past ten years, his concept of One-and-Many has become a focus for researching. But a more effective research should link his concept with his systematic thought. Wu’ssystematic thought is reflected principally in his important work Literature and Life, which consists of an epistemology of limited cognition, as the theoretic base prior to a constructing phenomenalistic schema of three levels or orders of being, i.e. God, Man, and Nature. From this are deduced a cosmology of dualistic and unique Universe-Man, a theory of graded beings of the universe, a ontology synthesizing static Being and dynamic Becoming, and a theory of knowledge classified in accordance with the above-mentioned levels. The concept of One-and-Many is of coherence in Wu’sthought. It shows itself in every place in the system of Wu’sthought. Besides giving a complete list of corresponding pairs of such concepts as One and Many (pp.85-86) in the book,Literature and Life emphasizes that the co-existence of One and Many is not only the basic life attitude (p.12) but also relevant to grasping the truth through knowledge and action. Likewise, both sides of One and Many shouldn’t be opposite or separated. Wu is against ″dualism″. His point of view is ″based on Aristotle’s opinion″ ″that is used to remedy Plato’s weakness″ (pp.82-83) But he is different from Aristotle who, after the link between One and Many mending, still holds One to play the role of the first driving force that never is driven’. So the concept of One-and-Many has striking modern characteristics. Wu’scategory of One-and-Many is on the ground of Ontology of static as well as dynamic constitution.
The ontological constitution of Universe, Man and Thing combines still Being and motive Becoming. Only synthesizing both Being and Becoming can we get the whole truth of the universal things and their phenomena. (p.83) This point is adequate enough to prove the smart modernity of Wu’s thought. The concept of One-and-Many also contains a reflection on realistic status. Whether there is the understanding of One in Many or Co-existence of One and Many is lifted to the highness of civilization of the nation. It is notable that the concept of One-and-Many signifies a critique of nationality, when we realize the fact that Wu has always criticized the shortage in Chinese traditional thinking, i.e. the thinness of metaphysics. Meanwhile, Co-existence of One and Many or One in Many is constantly a process that both sides oppose each other and yet also complement each other. It is evident also in his advocating the philosophic reconstruction which will take the progress and direction from Sense-data to Being (Dao). There is a unique way in Wu’s thinking mode: neither neglecting experiences nor entering in the one-sided matter trap. Hence Wu makes a clear distinction between his thinking and the Western Logos-centralism, while responding to the important turn at which to cast off one-sided rationalism as well as sensationalism in the history of modern thought.