(nickname Tokpo; pen name Tamhong). Born 1731, in Seoul; died 1783, in Mokchon, Chunchon Province. Korean scholar; an adherent of the sirhak school.
Hong Tae-yong was of noble birth; educated as a Confucian, he soon displayed an interest in the study of the natural sciences and and the reorganization of society. He gained some knowledge of European scientific ideas. In his own works he explored some major problems in the natural sciences and mathematics and expounded original ideas concerning the spherical form of heavenly bodies, the earth’s rotation, and the causes of solar and lunar eclipses. Hong Tae-yong’s philosophical views were close to materialism. Criticizing the existing order, he advocated the equal distribution of land, the people’s deliverance from heavy requisitions, the abolition of class differences, and the establishment of compulsory labor and education for all.