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|Authors: ||關啟匡;HONG, KWAN KAI|
|Keywords: ||康有為;經世儒學;孔子;孔門弟子;晚清;Kang Youwei;Confucian political thought;Confucius;Confucius disciple;Late Qing|
|Issue Date: ||2019-09-03 12:27:11 (UTC+8)|
;In general, Kang Youwei’s works on Confucianism inclines towards applied governance. His core issue is: How did Confucianism tradition in China drove political reforms during the Guangxu period? To answer this question, Kang proposes that the Confucianist theory of human nature is the theoretical foundation of the origins of the driving forces for reformation.
The focus of this paper is to unearth the threads of thought throughout Kang’s various works. The writer revisits Kang’s theory of human nature and practicality of moral effort in order to outline the main theme throughout his works on Confucianism. Kang’s interpretation of Mencius’ and Xunzi’s thoughts under this main theme proposes a unique idea of Qixing (physically endowed nature) which unifies both Mencius’ and Xunzi’s thoughts on the theory of human nature and theory of moral effort, which should not be overlooked.
Hence, the writer sorts out Kang’s theoretical framework that unifies Mencius’ and Xunzi’s theory of human nature to reveal the theory of human nature and theory of moral effort in Confucius’ physically endowed nature. Kang proposes that there are three grades of physically endowed nature. Only a handful of people are born into the “superior” class and the “inferior” class. Most people fall into the “middle” class. Kang’s theory on moral effort must provide a theoretical explanation on the theory of moral effort that supports the above grading. Moreover, Kang’s “Confucianist Theory of Moral Effort System” proposes that humans have to both “expand the inner kindness” and “practice the teachings of sage rulers” in order to achieve supreme kindness and accomplish virtue. This theory of moral effort can effectively raise the people’s moral in general and can provide an explanation on why Confucianism can drive people of different nature on the path to pursue supreme kindness and accomplish virtue. On the other hand, Kang’s description of Confucius as a person with “innate knowledge” explains the origins of the sages, rites and laws. In fact, the spectrum of Kang’s theory of human nature system is also the origin theory in the Progressive System of the Three Civilization Ages. From Kang’s perspective, the system is hidden within the legacy of Confucius’ Weiyan Dayi (great meanings conveyed in subtle words) and is meant to comprehensively drive people with different grades of physically endowed nature to pursue supreme kindness and accomplish virtue.
According to Kang, Confucius is the Ruler of Rules, which is why he can unveil the “Progressive System of the Three Civilization Ages”. On this, the writer further points out that Kang refers to Confucius as the Godly Bright Sage Ruler and he uses this as the theoretical basis for Confucius to become the Ruler of Rules. Kang had always believed that the inner kindness of humans is born in the form of intellectual perception and when it is pushed to its supreme form, it would achieve a status called “Shenming” (Godly Bright) Which is why giving the title of Godly Bright Sage Ruler and Godly Man is not meant to mystify Confucius but to stress that Confucius is a wise man who has innate knowledge. Based on this, Kang separates the Confucian School into four different intellectual traditions. This chapter will analyze Kang’s reconstruction of the four intellectual traditions and discuss its meaning and shortcomings.
In conclusion, the objective of this paper is to sort out Kang’s Applied Governance tendency in his Confucianism thought, and further examine how this line of thought would reconstruct how we view Confucius, his disciples and the whole history of the Confucianism School. The writer propose that, sorting out the theoretical foundations may be the basis to examine the shortcomings of Kang’s thought effectively.
|Appears in Collections:||[中國文學研究所] 博碩士論文|
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