This analytical presentation of major Neo-Confucian philosophers, from the eleventh to the sixteenth centuries, examines Zhou Dun-yi (1017-1073), Shao Yong (1011-1077), Zhang Zai (1020-1077), Cheng Hao (1032-1085), Cheng Yi (1033-1107), Zhu Xi (1130-1200), Lu Xiang-shan (1139-1193), and Wang Yang-ming (1427-1529). With its focus on metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical philosophical issues, Huang's study presents the historical development of the Neo-Confucian school, an outgrowth of ancient Confucianism, and characterizes its thought, background, and influence. Key concepts--for example, DEGREESUtai-ji (supreme ultimate), DEGREESUxin (mind), and DEGREESUren (humanity)--as interpreted by each thinker are discussed in detail. The two major schools that developed during these six centuries are examined as well. Lu-Wang, School of Mind, developed in criticism of Cheng-Zhu, School of Principle. The two schools, despite different approaches toward their philosophical pursuits, were convinced that their common goals, to bring about harmonious relationships between man and the universe and between man and man, could be achieved through different ways of philosophizing. To understand the Chinese mind, it is necessary to understand Neo-Confucianism as a reformation of early Confucianism.
Scholars of Eastern religions and philosophy will appreciate the objective interpretations of each thinker's philosophy, for which pertinent passages spoken by each man have been selected and translated by the author from the original Chinese, and the comparisons of the Neo-Confucian philosophies with those of the West. An introduction provides the historical background in which to study the rise of Neo-Confucianism. The study is organized ehronologically and includes a glossary of terms and a bibliography which serves as a helpful guide for further research.
She begins the work by clarifying the intellectual tradition of Confucianism and discussing the importance of the Confucian cultural categories yin-yang and nei-wai (inner-outer) for gender ethics. In addition, the Chinese tradition of biographies of virtuous women and books of instruction by and for women is shown to provide a Confucian construction of gender. Practices such as widow chastity, footbinding, and concubinage are discussed in light of Confucian ethics and Chinese history. Ultimately, Rosenlee lays a foundation for a future construction of Confucian feminism as an alternative ethical ground for women’s liberation.
Building on his long-standing work in metaphysics and Asian philosophy, Robert Cummings Neville presents a series of essays that cumulatively articulate a contemporary, progressive Confucian position as a global philosophy. Through analysis of the metaphysical and moral traditions of Confucianism, Neville brings these traditions into the twenty-first century. According to Confucianism, rituals define most of our relations with other individuals, social institutions, and nature, and while rituals make possible the positive institutions of high human civilization, they may also lead to harmful behaviors, including racism, xenophobia, and sexism. Neville argues that the amendment of rituals that institutionalize oppression is a positive task, which should be undertaken from within a skillfully ritualized life rather than in the form of external criticism. Confucianism, in Neville’s hands, is a left-wing, progressive, liberal political philosophy, one that can address institutionalized oppression and suggest a path for moving forward.