Man and Nature in the Philosophical Thought of Wang Fu-Chih

Man and Nature in the Philosophical Thought of Wang Fu-Chih

Man and Nature in the Philosophical Thought of Wang Fu-Chih

Man and Nature in the Philosophical Thought of Wang Fu-Chih

Excerpt

Why should a reader of our own time care to study the philosophy of the seventeenth-century Chinese thinker Wang Fu-chih (1619-92)?

There are many answers to this question, a fact that in itself illustrates the richness and diversity of his thought. In terms of the Chinese cultural tradition alone, many different lines of interest converge on him. They are as diverse as ancient Chinese numerology, the new critical learning of the seventeenth century, Neo‐ Confucian orthodoxy, Chinese literary theory, Taoist relativism and Buddhist nihilism, Chinese nationalism, and Chinese Marxism. These are not merely subjects on which he touches or to which his works are of slight relevance. His relationship to any one of them could be (and in one case has been) made the subject of a substantial and profitable study.

What tends to make his ideas significant from the philosophical standpoint is the relative integrity of his thought taken as a whole. We may take our soundings in different areas of his philos-

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