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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 9, 2008

Confucian Philosophy

Jung-Geun Hong
Pages 223-232

巍巖 ․ 南塘 以後 性理學派의 人物性同異 論
任聖周와 奇正鎭을 중심으로

The great academic disputation of Ho-rak had been made for about 200 years since it began in 1709. An argument that the human nature and the nature of things are same or different was one of the main subjects for the great academic disputation. Gan Lee (李柬, 1677-1727) and Wonjin Han (韓元震, 1682-1751) were leading discussants of the argument. After Lee and Han, Neo-Confucian scholars in Joseon dynasty attempted comprehensively to synthesize their two views. But such Scholars as Seong-ju Lim (任聖周, 1711-1788) and Jeongjin Ki (奇正鎭, 1798-1879) criticized a reformulation of One Principle and Many Differentiations. Lim argued that there was not only One Principle but also one vital breath as well as Many Differentiations of vital breath as well as One Principle. His idea of One Principle is relevant for a similarity between the natures of humans and things, and his idea of Many Differentiations is relevant for a difference between the natures of humans and things. Lim grasped that all the natures of things had two aspects of similarity and difference. But Gi criticized that their discussants were too narrowly specific in arguing this issue. He argued that One principle and Many Differences entailed each other. Like Lim's idea, his idea confirmed the sides of both, too. The nature of original substance is equivalent to the nature of existence. It seems to me that such a fruitful result of Korean philosophy, which an argument between the natures of humans and things had been distinctly made, for the future, will be an area of being made a deeper exploration from various aspects.