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3 The Prince and the Sage

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the broader political context for the rebellion is reconstructed in order to acquire some understanding as to just why the prince was able to conceive of usurping the throne and some insight into the attitudes of political elites towards the contemporary political environment. The chapter discusses the challenges Wang Yangming faced in the wake of the emperor's decision to lead a mock campaign of his own, experiences often said to be the impetus for his final formulation of the theory of the "extension of the innate knowledge of the good". Wang identifies conditions that had permitted the Prince of Ning's "rotting stench and pollution" to spread. In addition, by having his princely establishment staff form connections with sub-official functionaries in official Yamens in Nanchang, Zhu Chenhao was able to control the flow of documents leaving the province.

Keywords: Nanchang; Prince of Ning; Wang Yangming; Yamens; Zhu Chenhao



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