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an idealistic school of Chinese philosophy, which evolved mainly during the Sung dynasty (960–1279).

Neo-Confucianism took shape during Confucianism’s struggle with Buddhism and Taoism; as a result, neo-Confucianism adopted elements from both Buddhism and Taoism. Han Yü, a writer and philosopher of the eighth and ninth centuries, and Li Ao, a student of Han Yü, may be considered precursors of neo-Confucianism. They were concerned with the revival and further development of Confucianism for the purpose of counteracting the influence of Taoist and Buddhist teachings in China.

Unlike early Confucianism, with its predominantly ethical and political conceptions, questions of ontology, natural philosophy, and cosmogony occupied an important place in neo-Confucianism. One of the founders of neo-Confucianism, the 11th-century thinker Chou Tun-i, advanced the concept of the Great Ultimate (t’ai chi) as the fundamental principle of the world. The world of nature and the world of ethical relations as a single system, as two aspects of a single whole, is subordinated to this absolute Great Ultimate. The teachings of Chou Tun-i were developed by Chang Tsai and the brothers Ch’eng Hao and Ch’eng I.

A major Sung scholar of the 12th century, Chu Hsi, a commentator, historian, and dualist philosopher, was the most prominent representative of neo-Confucianism. He systematized the principal philosophical ideas of his predecessors. Chu Hsi believed that the Great Ultimate contained two principles: the ideal, incorporeal li and the material ch’i. He considered the li as preceding and dominating all things but existing only with the ch Y. Wang Yang-ming, a philosopher of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, is regarded as the most prominent representative of the subjective idealist trend in neo-Confucianism. He expanded Confucius’ and Mencius’ idea about the innateness of knowledge with the assertion that the world is a product of consciousness.

Neo-Confucianism supported ancient Confucianism’s reactionary conception of the immutability of existing social orders and the natural practice of dividing people into higher and lower strata: “noble men” and “petty people.” The Neo-Confucianists reexamined the interpretation of the basic code of Confucianist canonical literature, the Wu Ching (Five Classics). At the suggestion of Chu Hsi, the Ssu shu (Four Books) was proclaimed the new Confucianist canon.

In the late 13th and early 14th centuries, Neo-Confucianism became an official ideology. It retained its dominant position in the philosophical and sociopolitical thought of China until the early 20th century. It greatly influenced philosophy in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.


References in periodicals archive ?
He emphasizes that Neo-Confucian philosophy, which was officially adopted by the government as state ideology during the Ming Dynasty and continued throughout the Qing Dynasty, suppressed innovation.
1402-1424], was especially critical in this Neo-Confucian Way learning movement, by which he was legitimized as an ideal sage-king.
1997: The neo-Confucian right and family politics in South Korea: The nuclear family as an ideological construct.
Within the Neo-Confucian tradition that developed out of Korea, issues concerning human nature took center stage in a dispute now known as the Horak Debate that began in the eighteenth century.
Huang's real weakness, in my opinion, is that he acquiesced to (or perhaps did not dare to break away from) certain traditional Western assumptions about Chinese culture and Confucian religion, such as the so-called "degeneration" of the idea of God in Confucian history and the absolute monism of the Neo-Confucian worldview.
The discussion of 'heroic exemplarity' initially covers familiar ground, and rightly emphasises the importance of neo-Confucian values in defining exemplary models of behaviour for others to emulate.
His topics include the psychophysical energy of the Way in Daoist thought, the promise and peril of Toegye's neo-Confucian heterodoxy, the empathetic plurisingularity of the great ultimate in Nongmun's thought, and a neo-Confucian trinity in conversation with Deleuze and Keller.
One of the most intriguing ceramics provides an unusual insight into Korea's strict Neo-Confucian philosophy.
This is the first systematic study in English of Xue Xuan the first Ming (1368-1644) Neo-Confucian enshrined in the Temple to Confucius (congsi)--and the Hedong SchooL a loosely defined group of scholars, which retrospectively took Xue as the founder.
When the late fourteenth century witnessed a sea change in the security landscape of East Asia with the founding of the Ming empire in 1368 that replaced the previous Mongol empire, newly rising neo-Confucian forces in Koryo Korea welcomed Chinese resurgence under Ming.
In his famous "Western Inscription" (xi-ming), Zhang Zai (1022-77), one of the best-known neo-Confucian scholars, states,