|Literal meaning||"Song-Ming [dynasty] rational idealism"|
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Neo-Confucianism (Chinese :宋明理學; pinyin :Sòng-Míng lǐxué, often shortened to lixue 理學) is a moral, ethical, and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, and originated with Han Yu and Li Ao (772–841) in the Tang Dynasty, and became prominent during the Song and Ming dynasties.
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.
Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.
Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness".
Neo-Confucianism could have been an attempt to create a more rationalist and secular form of Confucianism by rejecting superstitious and mystical elements of Taoism and Buddhism that had influenced Confucianism during and after the Han Dynasty.Although the neo-Confucianists were critical of Taoism and Buddhism, the two did have an influence on the philosophy, and the neo-Confucianists borrowed terms and concepts. However, unlike the Buddhists and Taoists, who saw metaphysics as a catalyst for spiritual development, religious enlightenment, and immortality, the neo-Confucanists used metaphysics as a guide for developing a rationalist ethical philosophy.
Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or simply a way of life. Confucianism developed from what was later called the Hundred Schools of Thought from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who considered himself a recodifier and retransmitter of the theology and values inherited from the Shang and Zhou dynasties. In the Han dynasty, Confucian approaches edged out the "proto-Taoist" Huang–Lao as the official ideology, while the emperors mixed both with the realist techniques of Legalism.
Taoism, or Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao. The Tao is a fundamental idea in most Chinese philosophical schools; in Taoism, however, it denotes the principle that is the source, pattern and substance of everything that exists. Taoism differs from Confucianism by not emphasizing rigid rituals and social order, but is similar in the sense that it is a teaching about the various disciplines for achieving "perfection" by becoming one with the unplanned rhythms of the universe called "the way" or "dao". Taoist ethics vary depending on the particular school, but in general tend to emphasize wu wei, "naturalness", simplicity, spontaneity, and the Three Treasures: 慈 "compassion", 儉 "frugality", and 不敢為天下先 "humility".
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana.
Neo-Confucianism has its origins in the Tang Dynasty; the Confucianist scholars Han Yu and Li Ao are seen as forebears of the neo-Confucianists of the Song Dynasty.The Song Dynasty philosopher Zhou Dunyi (1017–1073) is seen as the first true "pioneer" of neo-Confucianism, using Daoist metaphysics as a framework for his ethical philosophy. Neo-Confucianism developed both as a renaissance of traditional Confucian ideas, and as a reaction to the ideas of Buddhism and religious Daoism. Although the neo-Confucianists denounced Buddhist metaphysics, neo-Confucianism did borrow Daoist and Buddhist terminology and concepts.
Han Yu, courtesy name Tuizhi, was a Chinese writer, poet, and government official of the Tang dynasty who significantly influenced the development of Neo-Confucianism. Described as "comparable in stature to Dante, Shakespeare or Goethe" for his influence on the Chinese literary tradition, Han Yu stood for strong central authority in politics and orthodoxy in cultural matters.
Li Ao (772–841), courtesy name Xizhi (習之), was Chinese philosopher and prose writer of the Tang Dynasty.
Zhou Dunyi was a Song dynasty Chinese Neo-Confucian philosopher and cosmologist born during the Song Dynasty. He conceptualized the Neo-Confucian cosmology of the day, explaining the relationship between human conduct and universal forces. In this way, he emphasizes that humans can master their qi in order to accord with nature. He was a major influence to Zhu Xi, who was the architect of Neo-Confucianism. Zhou Dunyi was mainly concerned with Taiji and Wuji, the yin and yang, and the wu xing. He is also venerated and credited in Taoism as the first philosopher to popularize the concept of the taijitu or "yin-yang symbol".
One of the most important exponents of neo-Confucianism was Zhu Xi (1130–1200). He was a rather prolific writer, maintaining and defending his Confucian beliefs of social harmony and proper personal conduct. One of his most remembered was the book Family Rituals, where he provided detailed advice on how to conduct weddings, funerals, family ceremonies, and the veneration of ancestors. Buddhist thought soon attracted him, and he began to argue in Confucian style for the Buddhist observance of high moral standards. He also believed that it was important to practical affairs that one should engage in both academic and philosophical pursuits, although his writings are concentrated more on issues of theoretical (as opposed to practical) significance. It is reputed that he wrote many essays attempting to explain how his ideas were not Buddhist or Taoist, and included some heated denunciations of Buddhism and Taoism.
Zhu Xi, also known by his courtesy name Yuanhui, and self-titled Hui'an, was a Chinese philosopher, politician, and writer of the Song dynasty. He was a Confucian scholar who founded what later became known as the "learning of principle" or "rationalist" school and was the most influential Neo-Confucian in China. His contributions to Chinese philosophy including his editing of and commentaries to the Four Books, which later formed the curriculum of the civil service exam in Imperial China from 1313 to 1905; and his emphasis on the process of the "investigation of things" and mediation as a method for self cultivation. He has been described by scholar Edward Slingerland as the second most influential thinker in Chinese history, after Confucius himself.
After the Xining era (1070), Wang Yangming (1472–1529) is commonly regarded as the most important neo-Confucian thinker. Wang's interpretation of Confucianism denied the rationalist dualism of Zhu's orthodox philosophy.
Wang Shouren, courtesy name Bo'an, was a Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist and general during the Ming dynasty. After Zhu Xi, he is commonly regarded as the most important Neo-Confucian thinker, with interpretations of Confucianism that denied the rationalist dualism of the orthodox philosophy of Zhu Xi. Wang was known as Yangming Xiansheng and/or Yangming Zi in literary circles: both mean "Master Yangming".
There were many competing views within the neo-Confucian community, but overall, a system emerged that resembled both Buddhist and Taoist (Daoist) thought of the time and some of the ideas expressed in the I Ching (Book of Changes) as well as other yin yang theories associated with the Taiji symbol (Taijitu). A well known neo-Confucian motif is paintings of Confucius, Buddha, and Lao Tzu all drinking out of the same vinegar jar, paintings associated with the slogan "The three teachings are one!"
The I Ching or Yi Jing, also known as Classic of Changes or Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. Possessing a history of more than two and a half millennia of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to the worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, literature, and art. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000–750 BC), over the course of the Warring States period and early imperial period (500–200 BC) it was transformed into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings". After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, and eventually took on an influential role in Western understanding of Eastern thought.
Taiji is a Chinese cosmological term for the "Supreme Ultimate" state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potential, the oneness before duality, from which Yin and Yang originate, can be compared with the old Wuji.
A taijitu is a symbol or diagram in Chinese philosophy representing Taiji representing both its monist (wuji) and its dualist aspects. Such a diagram was first introduced by Song Dynasty philosopher Zhou Dunyi in his Taijitu shuo 太極圖說.
While neo-Confucianism incorporated Buddhist and Taoist ideas, many neo-Confucianists strongly opposed Buddhism and Taoism. Indeed, they rejected the Buddhist and Taoist religions. One of Han Yu's most famous essays decries the worship of Buddhist relics. Nonetheless, neo-Confucian writings adapted Buddhist thoughts and beliefs to the Confucian interest. In China neo-Confucianism was an officially recognized creed from its development during the Song dynasty until the early twentieth century, and lands in the sphere of Song China (Vietnam and Japan) were all deeply influenced by neo-Confucianism for more than half a millennium.
Neo-Confucianism is a social and ethical philosophy using metaphysical ideas, some borrowed from Taoism, as its framework. The philosophy can be characterized as humanistic and rationalistic, with the belief that the universe could be understood through human reason, and that it was up to humanity to create a harmonious relationship between the universe and the individual.
The rationalism of neo-Confucianism is in contrast to the mysticism of the previously dominant Chan Buddhism. Unlike the Buddhists, the neo-Confucians believed that reality existed, and could be understood by humankind, even if the interpretations of reality were slightly different depending on the school of neo-Confucianism.
But the spirit of Neo-Confucian rationalism is diametrically opposed to that of Buddhist mysticism. Whereas Buddhism insisted on the unreality of things, Neo-Confucianism stressed their reality. Buddhism and Taoism asserted that existence came out of, and returned to, non-existence; Neo-Confucianism regarded reality as a gradual realization of the Great Ultimate... Buddhists, and to some degree, Taoists as well, relied on meditation and insight to achieve supreme reason; the Neo-Confucianists chose to follow Reason.
The importance of li in Neo-Confucianism gave the movement its Chinese name, literally "The study of Li."
Neo-Confucianism was a heterogeneous philosophical tradition, and is generally categorized into two different schools.
In medieval China, the mainstream of neo-Confucian thought, dubbed the "Tao school", had long categorized a thinker named Lu Jiuyuan among the unorthodox, non-Confucian writers. However, in the 15th century, the esteemed philosopher Wang Yangming took sides with Lu and critiqued some of the foundations of the Tao school, albeit not rejecting the school entirely.Objections arose to Yangming's philosophy within his lifetime, and shortly after his death, Chen Jian (1497–1567) grouped Wang together with Lu as unorthodox writers, dividing neo-Confucianism into two schools. As a result, neo-Confucianism today is generally categorized into two different schools of thought. The school that remained dominant throughout the medieval and early modern periods is called the Cheng-Zhu school for the esteem it places in Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao, and Zhu Xi. The less dominant, opposing school was the Lu–Wang school, based on its esteem for Lu Jiuyuan and Wang Yangming.
In contrast to this two-branch model, the New Confucian Mou Zongsan argues that there existed a third branch of learning, the Hu-Liu school, based on the teachings of Hu Hong (Hu Wufeng, 1106–61) and Liu Zongzhou (Liu Jishan, 1578–1645). The significance of this third branch, according to Mou, was that they represented the direct lineage of the pioneers of neo-Confucianism, Zhou Dunyi, Zhang Zai and Cheng Hao. Moreover, this third Hu-Liu school and the second Lu–Wang school, combined, form the true mainstream of neo-Confucianism instead of the Cheng-Zhu school. The mainstream represented a return to the teachings of Confucius, Mengzi, the Doctrine of the Mean and the Commentaries of the Book of Changes. The Cheng-Zhu school was therefore only a minority branch based on the Great Learning and mistakenly emphasized intellectual studies over the study of sagehood.
Zhu Xi's formulation of the neo-Confucian world view is as follows. He believed that the Tao (Chinese :道; pinyin :dào; literally: 'way') of Tian (Chinese :天; pinyin :tiān; literally: 'heaven') is expressed in principle or li (Chinese :理; pinyin :lǐ), but that it is sheathed in matter or qi (Chinese :氣; pinyin :qì). In this, his system is based on Buddhist systems of the time that divided things into principle (again, li), and function (Chinese :事; pinyin :shì). In the neo-Confucian formulation, li in itself is pure and almost-perfect, but with the addition of qi, base emotions and conflicts arise. Human nature is originally good, the neo-Confucians argued (following Mencius), but not pure unless action is taken to purify it. The imperative is then to purify one's li. However, in contrast to Buddhists and Taoists, neo-Confucians did not believe in an external world unconnected with the world of matter. In addition, neo-Confucians in general rejected the idea of reincarnation and the associated idea of karma.
Different neo-Confucians had differing ideas for how to do so. Zhu Xi believed in gewu (Chinese :格物; pinyin :géwù), the Investigation of Things, essentially an academic form of observational science, based on the idea that li lies within the world.
Wang Yangming (Wang Shouren), probably the second most influential neo-Confucian, came to another conclusion: namely, that if li is in all things, and li is in one's heart-mind, there is no better place to seek than within oneself. His preferred method of doing so was jingzuo (Chinese :靜坐; pinyin :jìngzuò; literally: 'quiet sitting'), a practice that strongly resembles zazen or Chan (Zen) meditation. Wang Yangming developed the idea of innate knowing, arguing that every person knows from birth the difference between good and evil. Such knowledge is intuitive and not rational. These revolutionizing ideas of Wang Yangming would later inspire prominent Japanese thinkers like Motoori Norinaga, who argued that because of the Shinto deities, Japanese people alone had the intuitive ability to distinguish good and evil without complex rationalization. Wang Yangming's school of thought (Ōyōmei-gaku in Japanese) also provided, in part, an ideological basis for some samurai who sought to pursue action based on intuition rather than scholasticism. As such, it also provided an intellectual foundation for the radical political actions of low ranking samurai in the decades prior to the Meiji Ishin (1868), in which the Tokugawa authority (1600–1868) was overthrown.
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In Joseon Korea, neo-Confucianism was established as the state ideology. The Yuan occupation of the Korean peninsula introduced Zhu Xi's school of neo-Confucianism to Korea. [ citation needed ] At the time that An Hyang introduced neo-Confucianism, the Goryeo dynasty was in the last century of its existence and influenced by the Mongol Yuan dynasty.[ citation needed ]Neo-Confucianism was introduced to Korea by An Hyang during Goryeo dynasty.
Many Korean scholars visited China during the Yuan dynasty and An Hyang was among them. In 1286, he happened to read a book of Zhu Xi in Yanjing. He was so moved by this book that he transcribed this book in its entirety and came back to Korea with his transcribed copy. It greatly inspired Korean intellectuals at the time and many, predominantly from the middle class and disillusioned with the excesses of organized religion (in the form of Buddhism) and the old nobility, embraced neo-Confucianism. The newly rising neo-Confucian intellectuals were leading groups aimed at the overthrow of the old (and increasingly foreign-influenced) Goryeo dynasty.
After the fall of the Goryeo dynasty and the establishment of the Joseon Dynasty by Yi Song-gye in 1392 AD, neo-Confucianism was installed as the new dynasty's state ideology. Buddhism, and organized religion in general was considered poisonous to the neo-Confucian order. Buddhism was accordingly restricted and occasionally persecuted by the new dynasty. As neo-Confucianism encouraged education, there were a number of neo-Confucian schools (서원 seowon and 향교 hyanggyo) founded throughout the country. Such schools produced many neo-Confucian scholars, including individuals such as Jo Gwang-jo (조광조, 趙光祖; 1482–1520), Yi Hwang (이황, 李滉; pen name Toegye 퇴계, 退溪; 1501–1570) and Yi I (이이, 李珥; 1536–1584).
In the early 16th century, Jo Gwang-jo attempted to transform Joseon into the ideal neo-Confucian society with a series of radical reforms until he was executed in 1520. Despite the failure of his attempted reforms, neo-Confucianism soon assumed an even greater role in the Joseon Dynasty. Soon Korean neo-Confucian scholars, no longer content to only read and remember the Chinese original precepts, began to develop new neo-Confucian theories. Yi Hwang and Yi I were the most prominent of these new theorists. Yi Hwang's most prominent disciples were Kim Seong-il （金誠一, 1538–1593), Yu Seong-ryong (柳成龍 1542–1607）and Jeong Gu (한강 정구, 寒岡 鄭逑, 1543—1620), known as the "three heroes". These were followed by a second generation of scholars which included Jang Hyungwang (張顯光, 1554—1637) and Jang Heung-Hyo (敬堂 張興孝, 1564—1633), and by a third generation (including Heo Mok, Yun Hyu, Yun Seon-do, Song Si-yeol) which brought the school into the 18th century
But neo-Confucianism in the Joseon Dynasty became so dogmatic in a relatively rapid time that it prevented much needed socio-economic development and change, and led to internal divisions and criticism of many new theories, regardless of their popular appeal. For instance, Wang Yangming's theories, which were popular in the Chinese Ming Dynasty, were regarded as heresy and severely condemned by Korean neo-Confucianists. Furthermore, any annotations on Confucian canon which are different from Zhu Xi were excluded. During the Joseon Dynasty, the newly emerging ruling class, called Sarim (사림, 士林), also became divided into political factions according to their diversity of neo-Confucian views on politics. There were two large factions and many subfactions.
During the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598), many Korean neo-Confucian books and scholars were taken to Japan. They influenced Japanese scholars such as Fujiwara Seika and affected the development of Japanese neo-Confucianism.
Neo-Confucianism became the interpretation of Confucianism whose mastery was necessary to pass the bureaucratic examinations by the Ming, and continued in this way through the Qing dynasty until the end of the Imperial examination system in 1905. However, many scholars such as Benjamin Elman have questioned the degree to which their role as the orthodox interpretation in state examinations reflects the degree to which both the bureaucrats and Chinese gentry actually believed those interpretations, and point out that there were very active schools such as Han learning which offered competing interpretations of Confucianism.
The competing school of Confucianism was called the Evidential School or Han Learning and argued that neo-Confucianism had caused the teachings of Confucianism to be hopelessly contaminated with Buddhist thinking. This school also criticized neo-Confucianism for being overly concerned with empty philosophical speculation that was unconnected with reality.
The Confucian canon as it exists today was essentially compiled by Zhu Xi. Zhu codified the canon of Four Books (the Great Learning , the Doctrine of the Mean , the Analects of Confucius, and the Mencius ) which in the subsequent Ming and Qing Dynasties were made the core of the official curriculum for the civil service examinations.
In the 1920s, New Confucianism, also known as modern neo-Confucianism, started developing and absorbed the Western learning to seek a way to modernize Chinese culture based on the traditional Confucianism. It centers on four topics: The modern transformation of Chinese culture; Humanistic spirit of Chinese culture; Religious connotation in Chinese culture; Intuitive way of thinking, to go beyond the logic and to wipe out the concept of exclusion analysis. Adhering to the traditional Confucianism and the neo-confucianism, the modern neo-Confucianism contributes the nation's emerging from the predicament faced by the ancient Chinese traditional culture in the process of modernization; Furthermore, it also promotes the world culture of industrial civilization rather than the traditional personal senses.
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Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years; some can be found in the Yi Jing, an ancient compendium of divination, which dates back to at least 672 BCE. It was during the Warring States era that what Sima Tan termed the major philosophical schools of China: Confucianism, Legalism, and Taoism, arose, along with philosophies that later fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism, Mohism, Chinese Naturalism, and the Logicians.
The Great Learning or Daxue was one of the "Four Books" in Confucianism. The Great Learning had come from a chapter in the Book of Rites which formed one of the Five Classics. It consists of a short main text attributed to the teachings of Confucius and then ten commentary chapters accredited to one of Confucius' disciples, Zengzi. The ideals of the book were supposedly Confucius's, but the text was written after his death.
Korean Confucianism is the form of Confucianism that emerged and developed in Korea. One of the most substantial influences in Korean intellectual history was the introduction of Confucian thought as part of the cultural influence from China. Today the legacy of Confucianism remains a fundamental part of Korean society, shaping the moral system, the way of life, social relations between old and young, high culture, and is the basis for much of the legal system. Confucianism in Korea is sometimes considered a pragmatic way of holding a nation together without the civil wars and internal dissent that were inherited from the Goryeo dynasty.
New Confucianism is an intellectual movement of Confucianism that began in the early 20th century in Republican China, and further developed in post-Mao era contemporary China. It is deeply influenced by, but not identical with, the neo-Confucianism of the Song and Ming dynasties. It is a neo-conservative movement of various Chinese traditions and has been regarded as containing religious overtones; it advocates for certain Confucianist elements of society – such social, ecological, and political harmony – to be applied in a contemporary context in synthesis with Western philosophies such as rationalism and humanism. Its philosophies have emerged as a focal point of discussion between Confucian scholars in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States.
Korean philosophy focused on a totality of world view. Some aspects of Shamanism, Buddhism, and Neo-Confucianism were integrated into Korean philosophy. Traditional Korean thought has been influenced by a number of religious and philosophical thought-systems over the years. As the main influences on life in Korea, often Korean Shamanism, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Silhak movements have shaped Korean life and thought.
Lu Jiuyuan, or Lu Xiangshan, was a Chinese scholar and philosopher who founded the school of the universal mind, the second most influential Neo-Confucian school. He was a contemporary and the main rival of Zhu Xi.
Yi Saek, also known by his pen name Mogeun, was a Korean writer and poet. His family belonged to the Hansan Yi clan. Yi Saek played a crucial role in the introduction and localisation of philosophy of Zhu Xi. He studied Neo-Confucianism in Yuan Dynasty China and opened an academy after his return to Goryeo, and from his academy the founders of Joseon Dynasty were educated.
The White Deer Grotto Academy is a former school at the foot of Wulou Peak in Lushan, now in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province. It was one of the Four Great Academies of China, and today it is maintained as an important landmark.
Taoism or "Do" is thought to be the earliest state philosophy for the Korean people spanning several thousand years. However, its influence waned with the introduction of Buddhism during the Goryeo as the national religion and the dominance of neo-Confucianism during the Joseon dynasty. Despite its diminished influence during those periods, it permeated all strata of the Korean populace, integrating with its native animism as well as Buddhist and Confucian institutions, temples, and ceremonies. The Taoist practice in Korea developed, somewhat in contrast to China, as an esoteric meditative practice in the mountains taught by the "mountain masters" or "mountain sages". One of Korea's well-known founding myths in which a tiger and a bear seek to become human during an encounter with Hwanung may be viewed as a Taoist parable. The exact origin, despite various theories by historians, is in question because the royal records maintained by the early Korean kingdoms were destroyed during the two occasions in which the royal libraries were burned by invading Chinese armies. Later attempts to study the history and philosophy of Korean Taoism were suppressed during the Joseon kingdom which embraced only Confucianism as the proper field of study.
Cheng Yi, courtesy name Zhengshu (正叔), also known as Yichuan Xiansheng (伊川先生), was a Chinese philosopher of the Song Dynasty. He worked with his older brother Cheng Hao. Like his brother, he was a student of Zhou Dunyi, a friend of Shao Yong, and a nephew of Zhang Zai. The five of them along with Sima Guang are called the Six Great Masters by his follower Zhu Xi. He became a prominent figure in neo-Confucianism, and the philosophy of Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao and Zhu Xi is referred to as the Cheng–Zhu school or the Rationalistic School.
Li is a concept found in neo-Confucian Chinese philosophy. It refers to the underlying reason and order of nature as reflected in its organic forms.
Pan Pingge, was a notable Chinese philosopher during the late-Ming and early-Qing period.
Gwon Geun (1352–1409) was a Korean Neo-Confucian scholar at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty, and a student of Yi Saek. He was one of the first Neo-Confucian scholars of the Joseon dynasty, and had a lasting influence on the rise of Neo-Confucianism in Korea.
This is a list of articles in Eastern philosophy.
Edo Neo-Confucianism, known in Japanese as Shushi-Gaku, refers to the schools of Neo-Confucian philosophy that developed in Japan during the Edo period. Neo-Confucianism reached Japan during the Kamakura period. The philosophy can be characterized as humanistic and rationalistic, with the belief that the universe could be understood through human reason, and that it was up to man to create a harmonious relationship between the universe and the individual. The 17th-century Tokugawa shogunate adopted Neo-Confucianism as the principle of controlling people and Confucian philosophy took hold. Neo-Confucians such as Hayashi Razan and Arai Hakuseki were instrumental in the formulation of Japan's dominant early modern political philosophy.
The Cheng–Zhu school, is one of the major philosophical schools of Neo-Confucianism, based on the ideas of the Neo-Confucian philosophers Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao, and Zhu Xi. It is also referred to as the Rationalistic School.