Chu Hsi and Neo-Confucianism

By Wing-Tsit Chan | Go to book overview

8

On Chu Hsi's Theory of
the Great Ultimate

TENG AIMIN

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CHU Hsi should be considered the summation of idealism in old China. His doctrine was accepted as the official philosophy, possessing unquestionable authority and serving the interests of feudalistic dynasties for more than seven hundred years, from the late Southern Sung (1127-1279) to the end of the Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1912). Chu Hsi's philosophy also had a tremendous influence in Korea and Japan.

Compared with the West, Chinese feudal society developed more fully and lasted much longer. In its late period, the development of science and technology was slow, and the emergence of capitalist production lagged much behind Western society. Chu Hsi's doctrine, being the dominant official philosophy, evidently had negative effects in this respect.

Since the beginning of the modern period (1840-1949), China has passed from a semifeudal and semicolonial society to socialism through revolutionary transformation. The influence of Chu Hsi's philosophy, however, has persisted. Even now, feudal ideology remains an obstacle to the modernization of China.

Since Chu Hsi was so influential, we should make an unbiased evaluation of his achievements and draw useful lessons from them, instead of merely emphasizing the negative aspect of his philosophy. This paper is a preliminary study of Chu Hsi's theory of the Great Ultimate from this approach.

Some researchers of Chu Hsi's philosophy have used the Chu Tzu yü-leia (Classified conversations of Master Chu) as the main text. It is true that the Chu Tzu yü-lei, as the record of his dialogues, treats some problems more concretely than do his other writings, as well as reflecting his thoughts in his late years. However, since there are discrepancies among the records of different disciples, these records are not as reliable as his own writings. Therefore, although I shall also use the Chu Tzu yü-lei as an important reference, I prefer the "T'ai-chi-t'u shuo chieh"b (Commentary on the "Explanation of the Diagram of the Great Ultimate") as the main text for this discussion, because in this writing Chu Hsi himself systematically elucidated his theory of the Great

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Chu Hsi and Neo-Confucianism
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 644

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.