Wang Fu-chih

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wang Fu-chih


Wang Ch’uan-shan. Born Oct. 7, 1619; died Feb. 18, 1692. Chinese materialist philosopher and author of many works. Participant in the armed struggle against the Manchu conquerors.

Wang Fu-chih believed that matter was eternal and opposed the Buddhist doctrine of the illusoriness of the world. As an adherent of the idea of the absolute movement and development of the world, he thought that things do not originate and get destroyed but only “leave and arrive,” “are gathered and dispersed,” and “become dark and light.” He established the “theory of the daily new birth of human nature” whereby he interpreted the essence of human nature as something inherent to biology. Wang Fuchih criticized feudalism and demanded an equal distribution of good and evil in society; his views were progressive in the context of 17th-century China.


Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1957. Page 183.
Hou Wai-lu. Chungkuo tsaoch’i ch’imeng ssuhsiang shih. Peking, 1956. (A history of the early Enlightenment in China.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Wang Fu-chih (1619-92) remarks on this integration in "Discussions to While Away the Days at Evening Hall":
According to Wang Fu-chih's notion, there must be a wholeness or inseparable element of emotion and scene or the reflection of the inner being through an "objective correlative" in the external world.
61 For example, Wang Hsien-ch'ien praises Wang Fu-chih (1619-92) by comparing him with Su Shih: "Whether in victory or defeat, he was always content, / Somewhat like Su Shih during a wei-ch'i match"; see "T'i Wang Ch'uan-shan hsien-sheng shu-chuan," Hsu-shou-t'ang shih-ts'un, in K'ui-yuan ssu-chung, 619.