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Fuzhi Wang Edit Profile

Fuchih

also known as Ernong (而农), Chuanshan (船山), Jiangzhai

Philosopher

Wang Fuzhi was not only well-versed in astonomy, the calendar, mathematics and geography, but also had eminent knowledge of the classics, history, literature and Buddhism. He was held in high regard for his academic achievements and earned a high esteem for being an admirable scholar of fallen dynasty. He wrote on many topics, including metaphysics, epistemology, moral philosophy, poetry, and politics.

Background

Wang Fuzhi,courtesy name Ernong (而农), pseudonym Chuanshan (船山), was a Chinese philosopher of the late Ming, early Qing dynasties. Because he spent his old age in Hengyang Chuanshan, people called him Master Chuanshan.

Education

Wang Fuzhi began his education in the Chinese classic texts when very young.

At the age of 24, he came in the fifth in the provincial examinations. Because of a pleasant uprising, Wang Fuizhi could not sit for the examinations in the capital. He thus had no choise but to return to Hengyang.

Career

In the 16th year of Chongzhen, Zhang Xianzhong conquered Hengyang. He wanted Wang Fuizhi and his brother to be his assistants. Wang Fuzhi did not intend to help him. As such, he did in Nanyue. When the Qing army invaded Hengyang, Wang Fuzhi moved to Bashi Peak in Xiangxiang. When the Ming Dynasty was conquered, he joined the people's army to fight against the intruding Qing army. He forced to retreat to Zhaoqing, where he served the Southern Ming princes. In 1657 AD, the Qing government granted a general pardon in the country. Wang Fuzhi returned to Nanyue and became a hermit.

Achievements

  • Achievement Master Chuanshan of Fuzhi Wang

    Wang Fuzhi not only brought about the end of empty talks, but also created a new school of thoughts by combining Neo-Confucianism with practical knowledge that was of use to society. The development of the Huxiang culture was, to a large extent, a result of his works.

Works

  • collection of works

    • Ch’uan-shan i-shu ch’uan-chi.

  • commentaries

    • the Yi Jing or Book of Changes

  • couplet

    • Guansheng Ju

Politics

Government, Fuzhi argued, should benefit the people, not those in power. History is a continuous cycle of renewal, involving the gradual progress of human society. There are periods of chaos and want as well as of stability and prosperity, depending on the degree of virtue of the emperor and of the people as a whole, but the underlying direction is upwards. It's the result of the natural laws that govern human beings and society. Wang believed that the power of the feudal landlords was evil, and should be weakened by higher taxation, which would also lead to an increase in numbers of land-owning peasants.

Views

Wang was a follower of Confucius, but he believed that the neo-Confucian philosophy which dominated China at the time had distorted Confucius's teachings. He wrote his own commentaries on the Confucian classics, and gradually developed his own philosophical system.

Quotations: the Way existed in emptiness (Lao-zi),

the Way existed in silence (Buddha)

Interests

  • Philosophers & Thinkers

    Confucius, he was also influenced by Zhang Zai and the major early neo-Confucian Zhu Xi.

  • Other Interests

    Metaphysics, Ethics, Epistemology, History, Mathematics, Astronomy, Geography.