MORAL CULTIVATION BY WU KANGZHAI

A Mentalism Pioneer in Ming Dynasty

  • Jun Wang Qilu Institute of Culture, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China
  • Hua Li Qilu Institute of Culture, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China
  • Jianfeng Zou School of Marxism, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
Keywords: Chen Baisha, learning of the heart-mind, literary ethics, moral criticism, theory of cultivation, Wang Yangming

Abstract

Wu Kangzhai, an educator in Ming Dynasty of China (AD 1368-1644), expressed his philosophical thoughts through various literary forms such as poetry and journal. An analysis of his works shows that his moral cultivation in different periods reflected his wisdom and sensitivity. However, his theory of moral cultivation and the ‘heart-mind’ duality has been given little to no due attention within the academia. Most scholars regard Wu Kangzai as a scholar of ‘learning of the principle’ rather than a scholar of ‘learning of the heart’. His learning and understanding about ‘heart-mind’ duality may have manifested in his progress of moral practice. This study aims to show Wu’s important role in encouraging learning of the ‘heart-mind’ by Chen Baisha and Wang Yangming. Wu Kangzhai’s learning of the ‘heart-mind’ duality was not only enlightenment and guidance for Wang Yangming’s theory, but also inspired literary schools in Ming Dynasty such as the Tang-Song school, the Gongan school, and later the Ming prose. His observation of self-cultivation and subtle inspection of moral development over the years, parallels the sentimentalism and spiritual writing in the middle and later Ming Dynasty literary works.

Author Biographies

Jun Wang, Qilu Institute of Culture, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China

Jun Wang is a Researcher at Qilu Culture Research Institute, Shandong Normal University, on Traditional Chinese culture.

 

Hua Li, Qilu Institute of Culture, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China

Hua Li is a visiting scholar at the Center for Chinese Studies and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley, and works at the Qilu Institute of Culture.

Jianfeng Zou, School of Marxism, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China

Jianfeng Zou is Associate Professor at the School of Marxism, Ningbo University and researches on Chongren school and the extant literature of Wang Yangming.

References

Israel, George L. “Review of The Journal of Wu Yubi: The Path to Sagehood.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 135. 3: 650-652.

Lin, Huang. “Review of The Journal of Wu Yubi: The Path to Sagehood.” ASIA Network Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts 22.2 (2015): 64-65.

Lukas, Pokorny. “Review of The Journal of Wu Yubi: The Path to Sagehood.” Religious Studies Review 43.3 (2017): 298-298

Van Norden, Bryan W. “Review of The Journal of Wu Yubi: The Path to Sagehood.” Dao 14.3 (2015): 459-462.

Wu, Yubi. The Collective Works of Kangzai in the Complete Library of the Four Branches. Shanghai Classics Publishing House, 1987.

Published
2020-12-30
How to Cite
Wang, J., Li, H., & Zou, J. (2020). MORAL CULTIVATION BY WU KANGZHAI. Journal of Dharma, 45(4), 561-574. Retrieved from http://dvkjournals.in/index.php/jd/article/view/3422