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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front. Philos. China    2009, Vol. 4 Issue (3) : 322-342     DOI: 10.1007/s11466-009-0021-6
Research articles |
The formation, development and evolution of Neo-Confucianism ― With a focus on the doctrine of “stilling the nature” in the Song period
ZHU Renqiu ,
Department of Philosophy, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
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Abstract  The formation of the discourse of Neo-Confucianism1 in the Song period was a result of the interactions between many social and cultural trends. In the development of the Neo-Confucian discourse, the Cheng brothers (Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi) played key roles with their charismatic thoughts and impelling personalities, while Zhu Xi pushed Neo-Confucian thought and discourse to a pinnacle with his broad knowledge and precise reasoning. In the warm discussions and debates between different schools and thoughts, the Neo-Confucian discourse proceeded towards completion and perfection, and evolved as contemporary topics and thinking modes changed. The essay argues that “ding xing 定性 (stilling the nature)” was an important Neo-Confucian topic during the Song period. The doctrine of “stilling the nature” involves much central Neo-Confucian discourse such as the definition of xing 性 (human nature), the interior and exterior aspects of human nature, nature and qing 情 (feelings, sentiments), nature and xin 心 (mind, heart), nature and ren 仁 (benevolence, humanity, humaneness) and yi 义 (righteousness), nature and shi 事 (affair) or wu 物 (thing, object), the practice of preservation and cultivation, etc. Therefore, an examination of the formation, development and evolution of Neo-Confucianism is of great importance to the study of its early history.
Keywords Song period      Neo-Confucianism      discourse      stilling the nature      discourse analysis      
Issue Date: 05 September 2009
URL:  
http://academic.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/10.1007/s11466-009-0021-6     OR     http://academic.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/Y2009/V4/I3/322
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[2] HUANG Zhuoyue. Way of Post-Confucianism: Transformation and Genealogy[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2010, 5(4): 543-559.
[3] DING Weixiang. Taking on Proper Appearance and Putting It into Practice: Two Different Systems of Effort in Song and Ming Neo-Confucianism[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2010, 5(3): 326-351.
[4] CAO Feng. A return to intellectual history: A new approach to pre-Qin discourse on name[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2008, 3(2): 213-228.
[5] LIU Gang. Philosophy of information and foundation for the future Chinese philosophy of science and technology[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2007, 2(1): 95-114.
[6] Chai Wenhua. Traditional Confucianism in modern China: Ma Yifu’s ethical thought[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2006, 1(3): 366-381.
[7] Guo Qiyong. An exposition of Zhou Yi studies in modern Neo-Confucianism[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2006, 1(2): 185-203.
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