and Culture Review
VOLUME 6 ·Number 1 ·March 2019
4 Potent Medicine Needs a Doctor’s Guiding Hand: A Tendency That Must Be Noted with the Popularization of Wang Yangming’s Teachings
------ Ni Peimin
16 Returning to Texts and Questions in Zhu Xi Studies: Author’s Preface for Rereading Zhu Xi
------ Wu Zhen
26 Xiong Shili’s Appropriation of Wang Yangming’s School of the Mind
36 A Theoretical Discussion of Cultural Confidence
------ Wu Guang
46 Knowledge and Virtue: A Comparative Study of Virtue Education in the Book of Rites and the Republic
------ He Shanmeng and Chen Chen
57 Theories of Emotion and Sound in Kong Yingda’s Rectified Interpretation of Five Classics
------ Liu Shun
63 A Study on the Thought of Mencius
------ Xia Hai
74 Several Thoughts on Confucianism in the Zhou and Qin Dynasties
------ Tian Jun
Overseas Confucian Studies
82 An Empirical Study and Theoretical Reflection on the Knowledge and Perceptions of Ruism in the United States
------ Song Bin and Benjamin L. Butina
99 Yu Ronggen (ed.): The Li–Fa Tradition and Rule of Law in Modern China Series (Volume I)
------ Yang Yifan
101 Li Chenggui: Tradition of Creating Creativity: A Study of the Epistemological Paradigms of Traditional Chinese Philosophy in the Twentieth Century
------ Yang Haiwen
Main Articles Abstract
Potent Medicine Needs a Doctor’s Guiding Hand: A Tendency That Must Be Noted with the Popularization of Wang Yangming’s Teachings
Abstract: Wang Yangming’s theory of the heart-mind is a potent medicine to heal the ills of contemporary society, but like every medicine it must be used cautiously. First, it is essential to confirm the medicine is real and not a fake. The so-called “Yangming theory” used as an empty slogan or even a means to fame and fortune is itself against the spirit of Wang Yangming. Second, potent medicine must nevertheless be used in a proper way. Otherwise, it will not only not cure old illness, but lead to new ones as well. For example, Wang Yangming’s thesis of the unity of knowledge and action seeks to overcome the dangers in Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi’s separating of knowledge and action. However, it is easy for itself to lead to reducing action for knowledge. Its notion that the heart-mind is principle directly reaches the source of morality, protecting against the tendency for the Cheng–Zhu school’s “principle” to become abstracted and externalized. Still, it can easily lead to subjectivism and excessive self-confidence. The Cheng–Zhu theory of principle and Wang Yangming’s theory of the heart-mind should be understood as two major contesting methods of Confucian internal gongfu cultivation. One looks externally to find binding standards of morality, and through the process of investigating things and extending one’s knowledge and constant inquiry and study, to understand the universal principle, and thereby indirectly and gradually develop the heart-mind of the Way and remake ourselves; the other directly illuminates one’s own original heart-mind and leads to enlightenment through honoring virtuous nature from the individual’s inner heart-mind. Of these two kinds of cultivation methods, the first is more suitable for the average people, while the other is more suitable for people with special capacities. In Wang Yangming’s time, his theory served as a prescription written to correct the problems specific to the Cheng–Zhu theory of principle. It is a mistake to treat this medicine as a cure-all, and to do so might seem to ostensibly promote Wang Yangming’s theory, but in actuality it does the greatest harm to it.
Returning to Texts and Questions in Zhu Xi Studies: Author’s Preface for Rereading Zhu Xi
Abstract: The last few decades have seen a striking contrast between the explosion of studies on Wang Yangming and his followers and the inadequate attention paid to studying Zhu Xi and his followers’ thoughts. To make a breakthrough in advancing the study of Zhu’s theory, it is imperative to return to his texts and, from a broader theoretical perspective, revisit the basic issues therein. Rereading Zhu’s thought falls largely under the category of the multipronged studies on the history of philosophical issues. By probing the multiple aspects of Zhu’s philosophy, it is possible to gain new insights that will reveal the theoretical purport of Zhu’s teachings.
Xiong Shili’s Appropriation of Wang Yangming’s School of the Mind
Abstract: This essay explores Xiong Shili’s creation of his own philosophical system and the reasons for it. Xiong’s system represents a selective appropriation from Wang Yangming’s School of the Mind that also, according to the needs of the era, contained supplementary additions on such topics as science and epistemology. In Xiong’s book Original Confucianism, written in his later years, he abandoned Wang Yangming for Confucius, seemingly wishing only to make certain adjustments to Wang’s system to make it cohere better with Confucius. Confucius’s ideas of inward sageliness and outward kingliness, heavenly virtue and the kingly Way, and democracy and science are all contained in Xiong’s Book of Changes-based system in a way that reflects Xiong’s selectivity.
A Theoretical Discussion of Cultural Confidence
Abstract: This paper, guided by Xi Jinping’s theory of cultural confidence, gives specific illustrations of the connotation and nature of cultual confidence based on the definition of culture itself. In the tradition of China, wenhua (culture) refers to human cultivation, that is, cultivation in literacy and morality. Cultural confidence refers to the belief in and practice of humanity and morality on a national level. In essence, it is confidence in morality itself. This paper also gives an account of the contributions of Chinese civilization to the world. First, Chinese civilization offers the model of a core value system with benevolence as the root and righteousness, propriety, wisdom, faithfulness, loyalty, integrity, harmony, and reverence as its commonly practised virtues. Second, it has contributed a moral humanism that is oriented for the people and values harmony, with morality as its key substance. In addition, the author discusses policies for constructing cultural confidence, and criticizes or clarifies the misunderstandings and obscure ideas about it from four aspects, including transcending national pathos consciousness and supporting the rejuvenation of Confucianism and Guoxue (studies of traditional Chinese culture).
Knowledge and Virtue: A Comparative Study of Virtue Education in the Book of Rites and the Republic
He Shanmeng and Chen Chen
Abstract: The present paper conducts a comparative interpretation of the relationship between virtue education and knowledge education in the Book of Rites (mainly the “Record on Education” and “Great Learning” chapters) and Plato’s Republic, and demonstrates that both support the idea that the cultivation of virtue is the goal of knowledge education, endowing educational content with a metaphysical status. Confucian education directly concerns the learning of human relationships and ritual system and thus it has obvious impact on virtue; on the other hand, Plato argues that any kind of virtue has its corresponding idea, and he includes virtue in the category of knowledge education and believes that training in recognizing ideas can elevate rationality, harmonize the soul, and attain justice of the individual. In addition to their different modes of argumentation, the two texts also differ in their expectations of ideal virtue. In Confucianism, a gentleman is willing to accept the political task of “transforming the people and changing their manners and customs,” while Plato’s imagined philosopher king must be forced to return to govern the city-state.
Theories on Emotion and Sound in Kong Yingda’s Rectified Interpretation of the Five Classics
Abstract: The Rectified Interpretation of the Five Classics is a systematic and detailed text achieved in the form of canonical annotation. It was an effective response that met the dual challenges of providing guidelines of governance for the Tang Empire as well as increasing the influence of Confucian ideas. Kong Yingda’s annotations are centered on political designs oriented toward the matters of principles, system and governance of ruling a state, and thereby makes the literary style of the Five Classics a mutually enhanced whole. Kong’s theories on the terms emotion and sound are his achievements in poetics and also serve as the core concepts for his political thought. In this context, we can examine Rectified Interpretation of the Five Classics on its metaphysical subtleties, its concerns for the physical world, and its status in the middle-ancient Chinese intellectual tradition.
A Study on the Thought of Mencius
Abstract: As a great thinker and leading figure in ancient Confucianism, Mencius inherits and develops Confucius’s thought, proposing new ideas in philosophy, politics, personality development, and education. In philosophy, he proposes the innate goodness of human nature; in politics, the idea of benevolent governance; in personality development, the spirit of the great man; and in education, the notion of educating talented students. Mencius’s thought makes an important contribution to Confucian doctrines, play a guiding role in the development of Confucianism, and help construct the Chinese nation’s cultural artery.
Several Thoughts on Confucianism in the Zhou and Qin Dynasties
Abstract: The Hundred Schools of Thought emerged after the Six Confucian Classics were disseminated widely in ancient China, which shows the influence and enlightenment that the Six Classics had on these schools. The Six Confucian Classics, as the forerunners, were holistic in nature whereas the Hundred Schools of Thought, coming afterward, were relatively partial and incomplete. The Jixia Academy of the State of Qi, the then academic and cultural center, gathered scholars from various schools for academic exchanges. As a result, Confucians deepened their understanding of Confucian doctrines in contentions and Confucianism eventually moved toward pluralistic integration with other schools of thought. The burning of books ordered by the First Emperor of Qin, did not block the spread of Confucian classics. The Qin erudite system inherited the scholastic system of the Jixia Academy and played a special role in inheriting and transmitting Confucianism in the Qin dynasty. Confucianism, in turn, played a major role in and exercised extensive influence over the building of Qin dynasty institutions. Throughout this process, official schools and private schools coexisted and played their respective roles in the development of Qin Confucianism.
An Empirical Study and Theoretical Reflection on the Knowledge and Perceptions of Ruism in the United States
Song Bin and Benjamin L. Butina
Abstract: To date, no empirical research has been conducted to assess American public knowledge of, and attitudes toward Ruism. This paper presents and discusses the results of an atheoretical, descriptive survey study that addresses this gap. An empirical baseline of public knowledge and perceptions of Ruism in the U.S. is therefore established to inform further research and to guide practical efforts of promoting Ruism among the general public and academia. The study concludes with a theoretical reflection upon the results and their potential application from the perspectives of Ruist philosophy and history.