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Encyclopedia > Zhu Xi
Chinese Philosopher
Song Dynasty
Zhu Xi
Name: Zhu Xi
Birth: October 18, 1130
Death: April 23, 1200
School/tradition: Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism
Influences: Cheng Hao, Cheng Yi
Influenced: Joseph Needham, Wang Yangming, Wang Fuzhi

Zhu Xi or Chu Hsi (born October 18, 1130, Yuxi, Fujian province, China – died April 23, 1200, China) was a Song Dynasty (960-1279) Confucian scholar who became the leading figure of the School of Principle and the most influential rationalist Neo-Confucian in China. His contribution to Chinese philosophy included his grouping of the Four Books, his emphasis on the investigation of things (gewu), and the synthesis of all fundamental Confucian concepts. The Song Dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) was a ruling dynasty in China from 960-1279. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... October 18 is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years). ... Events February 13 - Innocent II is elected pope An antipope schism occurs when Roger II of Sicily supports Anacletus II as pope instead of Innocent II. Innocent flees to France and Anacletus crowns Roger King. ... April 23 is the 113th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (114th in leap years). ... Events University of Paris receives charter from Philip II of France The Kanem-Bornu Empire was established in northern Africa around the year 1200 Mongol victory over Northern China — 30,000,000 killed Births Al-Abhari, Persian philosopher and mathematician (died 1265) Ulrich von Liechtenstein, German nobleman and poet (died... Confucian temple in Jiading district, Shanghai. ... This section does not cite its references or sources. ... Cheng Yi (Wade-Giles: Cheng I; also known as Cheng Yichuan [Cheng I-chuan]; courtesy name: Zhengshu; 1033-1107) was a philosopher in China who worked with his older brother Cheng Hao. ... Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham (December 9, 1900 – March 24, 1995) was a British biochemist and pre-eminent authority on the history of Chinese science. ... Wang Yangming (王陽明, Japanese ÅŒ Yōmei, 1472–1529) was a Ming Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian scholar–official. ... Wang Fuzhi (王夫之), styled Quanshan (船山 Ch’uan-shan), also known as Wang Fu-zi or Wang Zi (1619–1692) was a Chinese philosopher of the late Ming, early Qing dynasties. ... Zhu Xi Earliest likely date for works of Gwalchmai ap Meilyr Categories: | ... Yuxi (建阳) is a city with more than 100 000 inhabitants in Yunnan province of the Peoples Republic of China. ...   (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Fu-chien; Postal map spelling: Fukien, Foukien; local transliteration Hokkien from Min Nan Hok-kiàn) is one of the provinces on the southeast coast of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Zhu Xi Categories: | ... Alternative meaning: Song Dynasty (420-479) The Song dynasty (Chinese: 宋朝) was a ruling dynasty in China from 960-1279. ... Confucian temple in Jiading district, Shanghai. ... This section does not cite its references or sources. ... Yin Yang symbol and Ba gua paved in a clearing outside of Nanning City, Guangxi province, China. ... The Four Books, or the Four Classics, are the Chinese classic texts selected by Zhu Xi in the Song dynasty to serve as an introduction to Chinese philosophy and Confucianism. ...

Contents

Life

Names
Chinese: 朱熹
Pinyin: Zhū Xī
Wade-Giles: Chu Hsi

Zhu Xi was originally from Fukien (in pinyin: Fujian), where his father worked as the head of various departments, but left due to disgust with the alliance to Mongol invaders. From 1158 he studied under Li Tong, who followed the Neo-Confucian tradition of Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi. He rebuilt and taught at the famous White Deer Grotto Academy for some time. Throughout his life Zhu Xi was perpetually a temple guardian, preferring to study, write, and talk with other scholars in the quiet. He repeatedly declined official positions. In 1179 he was appointed a prefect and got demoted 3 years later for attacking the incompetency of officials. There were several instances of such an appointment with an accompanying demotion. Even though his teachings were severely attacked, almost a thousand people attended his funeral.[1] In 1241 his tablet was placed in the Confucian Temple. Personal names in Chinese culture follow a number of conventions different from those of personal names in Western cultures. ... It has been suggested that Pinyin_method be merged into this article or section. ... Wade-Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration) system for the Chinese language based on Mandarin. ... Fujian (Chinese: 福建; pinyin: Fújiàn; Wade-Giles: Fu-chien; Postal System Pinyin: Fukien, Foukien; local transliteration Hokkien from Min Nan Hok-kiàn) is one of the provinces on the southeast coast of China. ... The Song Dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) was a ruling dynasty in China from 960-1279. ... Cheng Yi (Wade-Giles: Cheng I; also known as Cheng Yichuan [Cheng I-chuan]; courtesy name: Zhengshu; 1033-1107) was a philosopher in China who worked with his older brother Cheng Hao. ... The White Deer Grotto Academy (白鹿洞书院 Báilùdòng ShÅ«yuàn, sometimes translated as White Deer Cave Academy or White Deer Hollow Academy) was located at the foot of Wulou Peak in Lushan, now in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province. ... Apricot Platform in the Confucian Temple at Qufu. ...


Teachings

The Four Books

During the Song Dynasty, Zhu Xi's teachings were considered to be unorthodox. Rather than focusing on the Book of Changes like other Neo-Confucians, he chose to emphasize the Four Books: the Great Learning, the Doctrine of the Mean, the Analects of Confucius, and the Mencius as the basis for his philosophy. For all these classics he wrote extensive commentaries that were not widely recognised in his time; however, they later became accepted as standard commentaries. The Four Books served as the basis of civil service examinations through to 1905.[2] The Four Books, or the Four Classics, are the Chinese classic texts selected by Zhu Xi in the Song dynasty to serve as an introduction to Chinese philosophy and Confucianism. ... The word orthodoxy, from the Greek ortho (right, correct) and doxa (thought, teaching, glorification), is typically used to refer to the correct theological or doctrinal observance of religion, as determined by some overseeing body. ... Alternative meaning: I Ching (monk) The I Ching (Traditional Chinese: 易經, pinyin yì jīng; Cantonese IPA: jɪk6gɪŋ1; Cantonese Jyutping: jik6ging1; alternative romanizations include I Jing, Yi Ching, Yi King) is the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. ... The Great Learning (Chinese: 大學, pinyin: Dà Xué) is the first of the Four books which were selected by Zhu Xi in the Song Dynasty as a foundational introduction to Confucianism. ... The Doctrine of the Mean (Chinese: 中庸; Pinyin: ) is one of the Four Books, part of the Confucian canonical scriptures. ... Engraving of Confucius. ... Mencius (most accepted dates: 372 BC – 289 BC; other possible dates: 385 BC – 303 BC or 302 BC) was born in the State of Zou (鄒國), now forming the territory of the county-level city of Zoucheng (邹城市), Shandong province, only 30 km (18 miles) south of Qufu, the town of Confucius. ...


Vital force (qi), principle (li), and the Great Ultimate (taiji)

He argued that all things are brought into being by two universal elements: qi, translated as vital (or physical, material) force; and li, translated as rational principle (or law). The source and sum of li is the Taiji (Wade-Giles: Tai Chi), meaning the Great Ultimate. For other uses, see QI (disambiguation). ... A commonly used version of a symbol for Taiji, called Taijitu, 太極圖 Another Taijitu attributed to Zhou Dun-yi. ... Wade-Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration) system for the Chinese language based on Mandarin. ...


According to Zhu Xi's theory, every physical object and every person contains li and therefore has contact with the Taiji. What is referred to as the human soul, mind, or spirit is defined as the Taiji, or the supreme regulative principle at work in a person.


Qi and li operate together in mutual dependence. These are not entirely non-physical forces; one result of their interaction is the creation of matter. When their activity is rapid the yang energy mode is generated, and when their activity is slow, the yin energy mode is generated. The yang and yin constantly interact, gaining and losing dominance over the other. This results in the structures of nature known as the five elements (fire, water, wood, metal, and earth). Look up yang in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Yin may refer to: Yin Dynasty, another name for the first historic Chinese nation and dynasty, the Shang. ...


In terms of li and qi, Zhu Xi's system strongly resembles Buddhist ideas of li (again, principle) and shi (affairs, matters), though Zhu Xi and his followers strongly argued that they were not copying Buddhist ideas. Instead, they held, they were using concepts present in the Book of Changes. A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by...


Zhu Xi discussed how he saw the Great Ultimate concept to be compatible with principle of Taoism, but his concept of Taiji was different from the understanding of Tao in Daoism. Where Taiji is a differentiating principle that results in the emergence of something new, Dao is still and silent, operating to reduce all things to equality and indistinguishability. He argued that there is a central harmony that is not static, empty but dynamic, and that the Great Ultimate is in constant movement.


Human nature

Zhu Xi considered the earlier Confucian Xun Zi to be a heretic for departing from Mencius' idea of innate human goodness. Even if people displayed immoral behaviour, the supreme regulative principle was good. It is unclear whence exactly immorality arises; Zhu Xi argued that it comes about through the muddying effect of li being shrouded in qi, but this does not fully answer the question, as qi itself shares part of the Taiji. Xunzi Xún Zǐ (荀子, or Hsün Tzu c. ... Mencius (most accepted dates: 372 BC – 289 BC; other possible dates: 385 BC – 303 BC or 302 BC) was born in the State of Zou (鄒國), now forming the territory of the county-level city of Zoucheng (邹城市), Shandong province, only 30 km (18 miles) south of Qufu, the town of Confucius. ...


Knowledge and action

According to Zhu Xi, knowledge comes first, but action is more important.[3] This is in contrast to Wang Yangming's doctrine of the unity of knowledge and action. Wang Yangming (王陽明, Japanese Ō Yōmei, 1472–1529) was a Ming Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian scholar–official. ...


The investigation of things and the extension of knowledge

Zhu Xi advocated gewu, the investigation of the things. How to investigate and what these things are is the source of much debate. To Zhu Xi, the things are moral principles and the investigation involves paying attention to everything in both books and affairs[4] because "moral principles are quite inexhaustible".[5]


Religion

Zhu Xi did not hold to traditional ideas of God or Heaven (Tian), though he discussed how his own ideas mirrored the traditional concepts. He encouraged an agnostic tendency within Confucianism, because he believed that the Great Ultimate was a rational principle, and he discussed it as an intelligent and ordering will behind the universe. He did not promote the worship of spirits and offerings to images. Although he practiced some forms of ancestor worship, he disagreed that the souls of ancestors existed, believing instead that ancestor worship is a form of remembrance and gratitude. This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Heaven is an afterlife concept found in many religions or spiritual philosophies. ... Tian (天 Pinyin Tiān) is the Chinese character for heaven or sky. ... The term agnosticism and the related agnostic were coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869. ... Spirits redirects here. ... Ancestor worship, also ancestor veneration, is a religious practice based on the belief that ones ancestors possess supernatural powers. ...


Meditation

Zhu Xi practiced a form of daily meditation similar to, but not the same as, Buddhist dhyana or chan ding (Wade-Giles: ch'an-ting). His meditation did not require the cessation of all thinking as in Buddhism; rather, it was characterised by quiet introspection that helped to balance various aspects of one's personality and allowed for focused thought and concentration. A large statue in Bangalore depicting Shiva meditating The term Meditation describes a variety of practices with a variety of goals. ... Dhyāna is a term in Sanskrit which refers to a type or aspect of meditation. ...


His form of meditation was by nature Confucian in the sense that it was concerned with morality. His meditation attempted to reason and feel in harmony with the universe. He believed that this type of meditation brought humanity closer together and more into harmony.


On teaching, learning, and the creation of an academy

Zhu Xi heavily focused his energy on teaching, claiming that learning is the only way to sagehood. He wished to make the pursuit of sagehood attainable to all men.


He lamented more modern printing techniques and the proliferation of books that ensued. This, he believed, made students less appreciative and focused on books, simply because there were more books to read than before. Therefore, he attempted to redefine how students should learn and read. In fact, disappointed by local schools in China, he established his own academy, White Deer Hollow Academy, to instruct students properly and in the proper fashion.


Taoist and Buddhist influence on Zhu Xi

Zhu Xi wrote what was to became the orthodox Confucian interpretation of a number of concepts in Taoism and Buddhism. While he appeared to have adopted some ideas from these competing systems of thought, unlike previous Neo-Confucians he strictly abided by the Confucian doctrine of active moral cultivation. He found Buddhist principles to be darkening and deluding the original mind[6] as well as destroying human relations.[7] Taoism (sometimes written as and actually pronounced as Daoism (dow-ism)) is the English name for: Dao Jia [philosophical tao] philosophical school based on the texts the Tao Te Ching (ascribed to Laozi and alternately spelled Dào Dé Jīng) and the Zhuangzi; a family of organized Chinese religious... Template:Buttism Buttism is a dharmic, non-theistic religion, a philosophy, and a system of psychology. ...


Zhu Xi's influence

From 1313 to 1905, Zhu Xi's commentaries on the Four Books formed the basis of civil service examinations in China.[8] His teachings were to dominate Neo-Confucians such as Wang Fuzhi, though dissenters would later emerge such as Wang Yangming and the School of Mind two and a half centuries later. Wang Fuzhi (王夫之), styled Quanshan (船山 Ch’uan-shan), also known as Wang Fu-zi or Wang Zi (1619–1692) was a Chinese philosopher of the late Ming, early Qing dynasties. ... Wang Yangming (王陽明, Japanese ÅŒ Yōmei, 1472–1529) was a Ming Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian scholar–official. ...


His philosophy survived the Intellectual Revolution of 1917, and later Feng Youlan would interpret his conception of li, qi, and taiji into a new metaphysical theory. Feng Youlan (Simplified Chinese: 冯友兰; Traditional Chinese: 馮友蘭; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Feng Yu-lan; also: Fung Yu-Lan; 1895–1990) was a Chinese philosopher who was important for reintroducing the study of Chinese philosophy. ...


He was also influential in Japan known as Shushigaku (朱子学, School of Zhu Xi), and in Korea known as Jujahak (주자학), where it became an orthodoxy.


Trivia

  • Life magazine ranked Zhu Xi as the forty-fifth most important person in the last millennium.

A cover of Life Magazine from 1911 Life has been the name of two notable magazines published in the United States. ... A millennium is a period of time, equal to one thousand years (from Latin mille, thousand, and annum, year). ...

See also

Confucian temple in Jiading district, Shanghai. ... This section does not cite its references or sources. ... Wang Yangming (王陽明, Japanese ÅŒ Yōmei, 1472–1529) was a Ming Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian scholar–official. ... Wang Fuzhi (王夫之), styled Quanshan (船山 Ch’uan-shan), also known as Wang Fu-zi or Wang Zi (1619–1692) was a Chinese philosopher of the late Ming, early Qing dynasties. ... Feng Youlan (Simplified Chinese: 冯友兰; Traditional Chinese: 馮友蘭; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Feng Yu-lan; also: Fung Yu-Lan; 1895–1990) was a Chinese philosopher who was important for reintroducing the study of Chinese philosophy. ... Roof of Yuelu academy The Yuelu Academy (also as known as the Yuelu Academy of Classical Learning, S.Chinese: 岳麓书院, T.Chinese: 嶽麓書院, pinyin: yuè lǔ shū yuàn) is located on the east side of Yuelu Mountain in Changsha, the capital... The White Deer Grotto Academy (白鹿洞书院 Báilùdòng ShÅ«yuàn, sometimes translated as White Deer Cave Academy or White Deer Hollow Academy) was located at the foot of Wulou Peak in Lushan, now in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province. ...

Footnotes and references

  1. ^ Chan 1963: 588.
  2. ^ Chan 1963: 589.
  3. ^ The Complete Works of Chu Hsi, section 20 in Chan 1963: 609.
  4. ^ The Complete Works of Chu Hsi, section 26 in Chan 1963: 609.
  5. ^ The Complete Works of Chu Hsi, section 27 in Chan 1963: 610.
  6. ^ The Complete Works of Chu Hsi, section 147 in Chan 1963: 653.
  7. ^ The Complete Works of Chu Hsi, section 138 in Chan 1963: 647.
  8. ^ Chan 1963: 589.
  • Chan, Wing-tsit (translated and compiled). A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1963.

Further reading

  • Bruce, J. Percy. Chu Hsi and His Masters, Probsthain & Co., London, 1922.
  • Gardener, Daniel K. Learning To Be a sage, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1990.
  • Carpenter, Bruce E. 'Chu Hsi and the Art of Reading' in Tezukayama University Review (Tezukayama daigaku ronshū), Nara, Japan, no. 15, 1977, pp. 13-18.
  • Wing-tsit Chan, Chu Hsi: Life and Thought (1987)
  • Wing-tsit Chan, Chu Hsi: New Studies (1989)
  • Hoyt Cleveland Tillman, Utilitarian Confucianism: Ch‘en Liang's Challenge to Chu Hsi (1982)
  • Wm. Theodore de Bary, Neo-Confucian Orthodoxy and the Learning of the Mind-and-Heart (1981), on the development of Zhu Xi's thought after his death
  • Wing-tsit Chan (ed.), Chu Hsi and Neo-Confucianism (1986), a set of conference papers
  • Donald J. Munro, Images of Human Nature: A Sung Portrait (1988), an analysis of the concept of human nature in Zhu Xi's thought

Translations

  • Chan, Wing-tsit. Reflections On Things at Hand, New York, 1967.

External links

  • Chu Hsi and Divination - Joseph A. Adler
  • Stillness & Activity - Joseph A. Adler
  • Works by Zhu Xi at Project Gutenberg

  Results from FactBites:
 
Zhu Xi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (881 words)
Zhu Xi contributed to Confucian philosophy by articulating what was to become the orthodox Confucian interpretation of a number of beliefs in Daoism and Buddhism.
According to Zhu Xi, the Tai Ji causes qi to move and change in the physical world, resulting in the division of the world into the two energy modes (yin and yang) and the five elements (fire, water, wood, metal, and earth).
Zhu Xi discussed how he saw the Great Ultimate concept to be compatible with principle of Daoism, but his concept of Tai Ji was different from the understanding of Dao in Daoism.
Neo-Confucian Philosophy [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] (9956 words)
Zhu understood his analysis of principle and vital force to be the answer to the question of interpreting the relationship of the human mind-heart, human natural tendencies and the emotions.
Zhu Xi was equally famous for this theory of the praxis of the self-cultivation of the ultimately moral axiology of his multi-level system of philosophical analysis.
Zhu Xi believed that all the objects and events of the world had their own distinctive principle and that it was important for the student to study and comprehend as many of these principles as possible.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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