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Confucian Thoughts

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the emergence and development of new trends of intellectual pursuit associated with different groups of literati who identified themselves as “Confucians” (ru) from the 11th to 14th centuries. It begins with an examination of the competing trends of ideas put forth by major ru thinkers in the Northern Song, followed by a discussion of their legacies in the Jin, Southern Song, and Yuan. In particular, the question will be asked how Daoxue, which was only one of the several modes of thought available in the 11th century, managed to persuade the intellectual world at large to accept its vision and course and become the dominant school by the turn of the 14th century.



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