In this novel engagement with Ming Dynasty philosopher Wang Fuzhi (1619–1692), Nicholas S. Brasovan presents Wang’s neo-Confucianism as an important theoretical resource for engaging with contemporary ecological humanism. Brasovan coins the term “person-in-the-world” to capture ecological humanism’s fundamental premise that humans and nature are inextricably bound together, and argues that Wang’s cosmology of energy (qi) gives us a rich conceptual vocabulary for understanding the continuity that exists between persons and the natural world. The book makes a significant contribution to English-language scholarship on Wang Fuzhi and to Chinese intellectual history, with new English translations of classical Chinese, Mandarin, and French texts in Chinese philosophy and culture. This innovative work of comparative philosophy not only presents a systematic and comprehensive interpretation of Wang’s thought but also shows its relevance to contemporary discussions in the philosophy of ecology.
“This is a fine study of Wang Fuzhi’s complex and fascinating neo-Confucian cosmology. I learned an immense amount about one of China’s last great Confucian intellectuals.” — John Berthrong, author of Expanding Process: Exploring Philosophical and Theological Transformations in China and the West