The Thought of Chang Tsai (1020-1077) by Ira E. Kasoff

By Ira E. Kasoff

Chang Tsai is without doubt one of the 3 significant chinese language philosophers who, within the 11th century, revitalised Confucian notion after centuries of stagnation and shaped the root for the neo-Confucian pondering that was once foremost until the 19th century. The booklet analyses intensive Chang's perspectives of guy, his nature and endowments, the cosmos, heaven and earth, the issues of studying and self cultivation, definitely the right of the sage - and the way that excellent may be attained. It appears to be like on the highbrow weather of the 11th century, the assumptions chinese language intellectuals shared, and the issues which involved them. It describes the triumph of Chang's opponents in the neo-Confucian move and the next emergence of neo-Confucianism to nation orthodoxy within the 13th century.

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He felt that there were too many problems in the Classics to be able to 'take the Classics as teacher': The world has not seen the complete Classics for a long time. '98 Wang's solution was broad reading. Others, however, felt that one could understand directly from the Classics themselves, and that one should not bother with the Commentaries. , Han Po (fl. 371-85)] in order to seek [the general meaning] of the great Change, able to fully comprehend the great Change. I have not seen anyone, adhering exclusively to the Commentaries of Tso, Kung-yang, Ku-liang, and Messrs.

94 Ssu-ma also criticized the attitude of many of his contemporaries towards the Classics: There are even those who read the Change and do not know the hexagrams and lines... "'95 The intellectual climate 21 One scholar has written that the Sung marked a shift in attitude towards Confucius and the Classics. In his view, before the Sung the Classics had been primary and Confucius had been important because he was the transmitter of the Classics. Since the Sung dynasty, Confucius' Way, and Confucius himself as exemplar of that Way, became primary, and the Classics became the means by which to grasp that Way.

Buddhists]... '70 And Buddhist thought greatly influenced eleventh-century philosophy. For example, Ch'eng Hao noted that Buddhism was more pernicious than the philosophies of Yang Chu or Mo-tzu precisely because its doctrines were so good: The words of the Buddha are close to principle, and are [thus] not comparable to those of Yang [Chu] and Mo[-tzu]. 72 For example, Yeh Shih (1150-1223) observed: The Ch'eng brothers and Chang Tsai attacked the Taoists and Buddhists most thoroughly. But without realizing it they drew heavily from Buddhist learning.

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