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An exposition of Zhou Yi studies in modern Neo-Confucianism

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image of Frontiers of Philosophy in China

The representatives of modern Neo-Confucianism all greatly value Yi Zhuan and regard it as one of their spiritual resources, and give their own creative interpretations and transformations. Xiong Shili’s ontological-cosmological theory takes “qian yuan” as its center; Ma Yifu has a theory of ontology-cultivation centered on “nature-principle”; Fang Dongmei has a metaphysics of production and reproduction; Mou Zongsan takes the view of “completely knowing the fathomless and understanding transformation” as a moral metaphysics; and in Tang Junyi there is a theory of the harmony of doctrines on Heaven and man in which “the knowledge of divine understanding” is its key concept. They employ modern philosophical concepts and thinking to illustrate the cosmology, ontology, theory of life, theory of human nature, theory of spiritual worlds, axiology and their connections in Zhou Yi. They affirm that the characteristics of Chinese philosophy that are different from Western philosophy consist in a naturalist view of vital life, a harmonious view of totality, an axiological view that values exist in natural universe and the world of fact, the pursuit of Good and Beauty, and intuitive experience of inner world.


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