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Zhang Zai Analects studies

Author: QiuZhongTang
Tutor: LinLeChang
School: Shaanxi Normal University
Course: Chinese Philosophy
Keywords: Zhangzai The Study of the Analects of Confucius Natrue and Tiandao Learn to be the Saint
CLC: B244.4
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2010
Downloads: 154
Quote: 1
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Abstract


The revival of Confucianism in the Northern Song was finished in the trend of arguing studies of Confucian classics. In this trend, the Confucians made creative annotation like new wine in old bottles for Confucian classics of the Pre-Qin period under the background of transforming the classics. The Analects of Confucius as the Confucianism symbolic record is attracted much concern by many philosophers, in which Zhang Zai who lived in the period of Song Renzong and Song Shenzong is counted. He creatively gave proper explanations to The Analects of Confucius. Nature, Property and Cognition are three important aspects of Zhang Zai’s philosophical thoughts which have close relations with The Analects of Confucius. This paper will use these three aspects as the main line, through the contrast of The Analects of Confucius and other The Analects explanatory works, to uncover the philosophical connotation and characteristics in Zhang Zai’s The Analects of Confucius studies, and further to indicate the relationship between Zhang Zai’s philosophical thoughts and The Analects of Confucius.Nature emphasized by Zhang Zai is in his eyes the noumenon of Confucianism philosophy. Nature has already had the implication of noumenon on the level of ontology in the Pre-Qin Confucian works, such as The Analects of Confucius, but not as clearly as Song Dynasty’s Confucianism.Zhang Zai annotated the Nature in the Pre-Qin’s Confucianism from the angle of ontology and creatively gave the status and characteristics of Nature to the Universe, which echoed with the Nature in The Analects of Confucius on the level of Confucianism spirits. Zhang Zai’s noumenon Nature is the inheritance and development of the Nature in The Analects of Confucius from the standpoint of Confucianism. On such a basis, Zhang Zai carried out his annotation for The Analects of Confucius on several levels.The Analects of Confucius is one of the thought resources of Zhang Zai’s anthroposophy. Compare with Zhang Zai’s previous explanation to coherency, his interpretations to "By nature, men are nearly alike" and "The Master’s personal displays of his principles and ordinary descriptions of them may be heard" are the main connotations of anthroposophy in Zhang Zai’s The Analects of Confucius studies and have their characteristics respectively. Zhang Zai’s interpretations involve several concepts such as Property, Spirit, Cognition, Nature Law, Saint, and concentratively manifest in "Spirit is between the Property and Cognition" and "When Saint has words out are all show people the moral". These all show the coherency of "Property and Nature Law" interests in Zhang Zai’s The Analects of Confucius studies and the "man is an integral part of nature" theoretical quality in his philosophy.The disciples made the history of revering Confucius as the Saint in The Analects of Confucius. Zhang Zai further explained the "Saint" in The Analects of Confucius from a lot of aspects. He directly saw Confucius as the Saint, and, in the meaning of pursuing knowledge and cultivating, exhibited the scholars to make Confucius as the final destination.Zhang Zai thought that Saint could be achieved by pursuing knowledge, but the theoretical basis and specific approaches to achieve were relate to the thoughts in The Analects of Confucius, especially "knowing propriety", "knowing virus and holding propriety" and "preserving virtue complete to achieve saint", which are concentratively showing the cultivation connotation of Zhang Zai’s The Analects of Confucius studies.Taking a comprehensive view of Zhang Zai’s inheritance and development to Nature in The Analects of Confucius and his interpretation to "By nature, men are nearly alike", "The Master’s personal displays of his principles and ordinary descriptions of them may be heard" and "Four things from which the Master was entirely free", it’s not difficult to find out that Zhang Zai’s The Analects of Confucius studies having the explanatory character of "appreciating tacitly". His explanations to The Analects of Confucius have Confucian true qualities on the annotation to Nature, Property and Saint. These qualities are the instinctive characteristics of Zhang Zai’s theories, that is, basing on Confucius and Mencius. Annotation to many chapters of The Analects of Confucius in Zhang Zai’s The Analects of Confucius studies and their characteristics opened The Analects of Confucius studies’ philosophy systematic annotation mode in Song Dynasty. It also influences many following researchers on The Analects of Confucius.

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CLC: > Philosophy, religion > Chinese Philosophy > Song, Yuan philosophy ( 960 ~ 1368 ) > Zhang Zai ( Chang Tsai,1020 to 1077 )
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