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Question: asian history needing help with shortanswer questions 50100 words q...

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Asian History: needing help with short-answer questions (50-100 words)

 

Q. What was Hong’s interpretation of the relationship between ‘li’ and ‘ch’i’?

reading excerpts:

 

From Hong's perspective, all things in nature are produced by the ch'i taking on specific shapes and forms; the minds of these things are each made up of ineffably subtle ch'i, and the minds of humans and things such as animals and plants are the same, in that both sets "possess all principles in an exquisite way," and in that they "preside and prevail over all things." Not only is the human mind precious to humans, but the minds of other creatures are also, each in their own way and for the purpose of their existence, all uncannily adroit and ineffably subtle. Here Hong is seen to deny the absoluteness of the moralistic metaphysical dignity and value of human beings. In the end, the moral principles governing human relations that are confirmed as being equal to Heavenly Principle in Chu Hsi's Learning of Nature and Principle come to lose their absolute authority, and become relativized along with the high value placed on human beings.
1Hong Tae-yong rejects everything whose existence cannot be established by experience-that is, the a priori reality of idealist existence. He therefore draws the conclusion that a metaphysical ii "without sound or odor" cannot exist. In Hong's view, because the ii of an object not only exists in the ch'i that composes that object but also changes its nature depending on the changes in the quality of the ch'i of that specific object, it is not capable of superintending. If a purely good ii existed a priori within things and went on to superintend them, there could not arise "impure, turbid, distorted, and perverse" ch'i. Also, although it is possible to regard original human nature (hsing) as purely good, and attribute the feeling of pity (ts'e-yin chih hsin
4llt , L') that naturally arises upon seeing a child about to fall into a well as being one's "real" heart, if one is to talk in terms of the impulses of the heart that flow out
naturally and instinctively and not from engaging in deep self-reflection, one would
see that in addition to such moralistic impulses, many other impulses that induce
sensual amusement exist, which, despite their being non-moralistic, are nonetheless
also to be viewed as equal basic impulses of the heart. Because human beings are
concrete and sensory creatures, Hong explains, human good and evil has nothing to
do with the "ontological idealism" of the world of li that transcends the realm of the
senses. For Hong Tae-yong, therefore, there naturally does not exist a distinction
between "original nature"-an embodiment of human moral principles-and
"physical nature." To him, Chu Hsi's ontological order of "One Principle, Many
Manifestations" can have no meaning, since he does not subscribe to a metaphysi-
cal system running through the cosmic and human order alike that can serve to curb human desire.
From here Hong Tae-yong in fact goes a step further: from a "pan-ch'i-istic" (yukiron *X~V~) perspective, he recognizes the difference in outward form between humans and things, but in the final analysis does not view the mind (hsin)-that driving force behind human moral development-as being something unique to human beings. By mentioning that all things in nature, including animals and trees and plants, possess minds of their own, he argues for the identity of the mind of things in nature and that of human beings:

 

Q. Why did Sorai question the idea that ‘all men can be sages’?

reading excerpts:

 

in distinguishing right and wrong, in differentiating between virtuous
and evil, the Taoists' "open up and purge" one's mind and "wash
and purify" one's spirit and the Neo-Confucianists' "gouge out"
evil exhaustively and cause not even "one atom of desire" to exist9l
are all wrong. Even supposing that one did all these things, if he
had none of the nourishment of the Way, then how could he cause
the kernel of goodness within himself to grow? Things would simply
remain as they were. These are mistakes attributable to a lack of
mastery of the Way.
From the time when the Ch'in ruled the kingdom with rewards
and punishments, the proprieties and music ceased to exist. The
customs and pernicious influence of that time spread over the
hundred ages and still have not come to an end. The way of Shen
Pu-hai and Han Fei has changed men's ears and eyes, and thus
things have gone down to the present day. The Way of growth and
nourishment has disintegrated, and a spirit of savagery fills the
universe.92 The later wise men and chiin-tzu all grew up in that atmos-
phere; hence, they were different from the early sages. Therefore,
he who would study the Way "sets his face toward his greater parts,"
and then the lesser parts will follow. (reading 4B, page 26)
In the world of the sages there
was no discarding people of even small talent; there was no dis-
carding physical realities.
sages perfected their greater parts. When good and bad are clearly
distinguished, the boundaries of the former kings contract. When
right and wrong are argued about, Confucius' realm diminishes.
These are all crimes of the Confucian scholars.
In the Way of scholarship too there is nothing which is not covered
by the same rule. "What Heaven bestows on men we call human
nature.""l14 People differ in their natures. Natures differ in their
virtues. "Furthering talent"115 and "developing capacity' 116 cannot
be done in a uniform manner."17
the six classics are fragmentary and incomplete. Born into
today's world, who can see them in their completeness?

 

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