Chang Tsai

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Chang Tsai


Born 1020; died 1077. Chinese philosopher; one of the founders of neo-Confucianism.

Chang Tsai held that the universe is one but differs in its manifestations; its unifying “material force” is the ch’i, which as a result of objective necessity sometimes comes together, forming a multitude of things, and sometimes is dispersed, reverting to the hsü, or Great Vacuity. Another one of Chang Tsai’s basic tenets was that every human relationship is associated with a particular requirement. Such relationships, however, are always contained within love; consequently, the man who loves becomes identified with Heaven and Earth, which give birth to everything and everyone. Chang Tsai also advocated a return to the ching t’ien system, which equalized the availability of land for peasant use.


Konrad, N. I. “Filosofiia kitaiskogo Vozrozhdeniia (O Sunskoi shkole).” In this book Zapad i Vosíok [2nd ed.]. Moscow, 1972.
Forke, A. Geschichte der mueren chinesischen Philosophie. Hamburg, 1938. Pages 56–69.
Chan Wing-Tsit. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, 1963. Pages 495–517.