(names and terms are in Pinyin, with Wade-Giles romanizations in parentheses)


Counter-attack against Buddhism: Han Yu and Ouyang Xiu

Song Confucianism

Zhou Dunyi (Chou Tun-yi, 1017-1073)

  • Great Ultimate emanating reality by Yin/Yang vibration

  • People can become a sage by learning, as Mencius taught.

Shao Yong (1011-1077)

  • Numerology and I Ching.

  • Historiography: “Correct Mandate, Accepted Mandate, Modified Mandate, and Substituted Mandate”

  • sincerity as core ethic

Zhang Zai (uncle of Cheng brothers; 1021-1077)

  • qi (ch’i) – substance or essence; energy

  • “Western Inscription”: “All people are my brothers and sisters, and all things are my companions.”

School of Principle (li), aka the Cheng-Zhu school

Cheng Yi (1033-1107) younger brother to Cheng Hao

  • Qi (ch’i) and li (principle/abstract).

Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi; 1130-1200)

  • Commentaries on the Four Books (becomes standard education/examination text) (Four books are Analects, Mencius, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean)

School of Mind (xin), aka Cheng-Lu school

Cheng Hao (1032-1085) older brother to Cheng Yi

  • Emphasis on “humanity” jen

  • unity of original mind (xin; hsin) with great ultimate

Lu Xiangshan (1139-1192)

  • Mind is Principle

Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529) Ming dynasty, really

  • Unity of knowledge and action: intuition as route to truth and morality

Confucian Politics

Wang Anshi (1021-1086), noted poet and classics scholar, chief councilor, promulgates 15-point reform program between 1069 and 1073, including:

  1. Administrative centralization

  2. Bureaucratic recruitment exams which stressed rote learning, eliminated in favor of exam based on writing skill and application of classics and practical history to current problems. Local schools specializing in vocational/technical skills expanded.

  3. Military reform: well-trained motivated militia/nationalguard model, paid for by taxes on wealthy landowners.

  4. Government involvement in moneylending to peasants to forestall foreclosure and debt

  5. Consistent taxes on merchant guilds, as well as state-run commodities stockpiles to ease price fluctuations.

Chinese Dynasties

Sui (589-618)

Tang (618-960) — An Lu-shan Rebellion (755-783), Huang Chao Rebellion (875- )

“Five [Northern] Dynasties and Ten [Southern] Kingdoms” (907-960)

Song (960-1279) — Wang An-shih reforms (1069-1073), Southern Song (1115-1279)

© 2003, 2004 — Jonathan Dresner

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