Issue 55, March 2018
Gao Panlong’s Modifications of Wang Yangming’s Philosophy
This paper shall explain and evaluate Gao Panlong’s criticism of Wang Yangming’s philosophy. Compared to his criticism of Wang’s followers, Gao’s criticism of Wang himself is rather mild: much of his objection is to the concept of wushan wu’e. With respect to his own account of gongfu, however, Gao actually incorporates some of Wang’s crucial ideas. Furthermore, he reverts to the Cheng-Zhu position when reflecting on Wang’s understanding of xin. So, through a careful reading of relevant texts, this paper shall specify Gao’s modifications of Zhu’s and Wang’s philosophy respectively and, on that basis, evaluate the coherence of his reconciliation between the two thinkers.