|dc.description.abstract||The thinking system of Wang Chuanshan is exceptional, his interpretation of various aspects of Mencius including human nature, heart, ＂the theory of the discipline of identifying discourse and cultivating qi＂ , ＂the distinction between the kingly way and hegemony＂, ＂the theory of Imperial Power＂ are different from Mencius in terms of conceptual setting and thinking system. Instead, his elaboration is based on the fundamental argumentation of Confucianism.
In order to avoid the limitation of the Neo-Confucianism upon the thinking of Wang Chuanshan’’s philosophy, and also avoid as the discourse with Mencius in “The Complete Sayings in Reading the Four Books”, this paper focuses on Wang Chuanshan’’s responses to important topics of Mencius as the main argument subject. The reinterpretation of Mencius in “The Complete Sayings in Reading the Four Books” highlights the emphasis of practice and orientation of Wang Chuanshan, which not only provides a portrait of his unique argumentation system, but also present the academic shift during the transformation from Ming to Qing dynasty.
This paper is divided into five sections. The first section is introduction. The second section discusses ＂the distinction between human being and animals＂, and also estabishes the positioning of nature, feeling , body within Chuanshan’’s “study of human nature”. In this section, we first argue that his emphasis of “humaneness and justice” are based on instinct and bear the ability of external expression , then argue that his interpretation of Menius’ “innate goodness” is rooted from honesty, which is based on Menius’’ belief that human nature is no good nor evil, shift to the importance of how human nature can show goodness from “goodness according to moral”, thereby further reinterprets ＂inborn nature＂. Wang Chuanshan believed that feeling and body form the value of human nature. As human can practice “heavenly virtue” , he drew the conclusion that both human body and spirit are superior to animals. Therefore, his interpretation is a transformation of Mencius “emphasis of human nature” to a moral practice theory in which Qi and human nature combine together.
The third section discusses mind. Wang Chuanshan gave different interpretation about Mencius’’ ＂seek for the lost mind＂ , use human mind and moral mind to construct the fundamental concept of mind in way of same-body-different-functions , he also reinterpreted the thinking in Gaozi (I, 15) 〈告子上‧15〉 , which is a concept of purely goodness and a concept of adoption of heavenly virtue and activity, it also combines the abilities of perception and moral practicing , therefore can unify human mind and moral mind , so that “mind can thoroughly understand the divine order of things”. Such emphasis of ideal moral practice shows that human mind is revealed from moral mind. “Sense organs” is manipulated by “mind” , so that human lives can reveal the “divine order of things” . Such moral practice of mind eliminates the binary opposition between sense organs and minds.
The fourth section discusses discipline . Wang Chuanshan reinterprets the chapter of ＂the identifying discourse and cultivating qi＂. The importance of the cultivation of qi is based on the collection of justice , therefore discipline makes use of mind as the fundamental accomplishments, and cultivates qi as an external moral practice. Wang Chuanshan believed that the identifying discourse and cultivating qi is disciplineas well as a state of mind , as confirms that discourse can express truth , and qi can express justice. Identifying discourse is the ＂highest level of understanding＂ , while cultivating qi is the “perfection of behavior”. Both are the practical discipline of humaneness and justice . Lastly, “the understanding and behaviour co-operate” and become saint-to-be discipline.
The fifth section discusses ＂the distinction between the kingly way and hegemony＂. Wang Chuanshan thought that moral enables achievements , and hereby grants moral the value of achievements. Therefore ＂the distinction between the kingly way and hegemony＂ requires the king not only acts based on humaneness, but also practice ＂the arts of humaneness＂ . Only one performs and achieves based on moral is really worthy of the name of king. King must protect civilians through achievements. Being an outer king is an essential step to be an inner saint , this also questions whether the shift of the theory about differences and similarities between “the nature of kingly way and hegemony＂ to moral can enable achievements.