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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 9, 2008

Confucian Philosophy

Young-Jin Choi
Pages 195-205

朝鮮性理學의 普遍性과 特殊性
退溪 四端七情論과 巍巖 未發論의 比較를 通한 試論

Joseon neo-Confucianism critically reviewed Chinese Chu Zi Studies and transformed it as Joseon seonglihak through intense debates occurred in the process of trying to settle down the problems raised in the contemporary Joseon society. The representative theories of Joseon seonglihak includes sadanchiljeongron(四端七情論, the theory of the Four Beginnings and the Seven Feelings), inmulseongdongiron (人物性同異論, the theory of whether human nature and animal nature are the same or different), seongbeomsimdongbudongron (聖凡心同不同論, the theory of whether the mind of the nobler man and that of the inferior man are the same or different), mibalon (未發論, the theory of not-yet-aroused). Among these, this article traces the originality of Joseon seonglihak by means of comparing the sadanchiljeongron of Lee Hwang(Toegye, 1501-1570) with the mibalon of Lee Gan (Oeam, 1677-1727). The clause that 'the nature is li [性卽理]' is the central proposition in Chu Zi Studies, whereas the clause that 'the Four Beginnings are the arousal of li [四端理之發]' is the central proposition in Lee Hwang's theory. The clauses that 'the nature is identified with the mind [心性一致]', that 'the nobler man takes li to be the mind', and that 'the mind is the nature and the nature is the mind' are the main claims made by Lee Gan. Chu Hsi takes the nature (the original nature) to be li, Lee Hwang takes the feeling (the Four Beginnings) to be li, and Lee Gan takes the mind (the original mind) to be li. These claims made by Lee Hwang and Lee Gan are fundamentally different from Chu Hsi's theory of mind and nature.