Twofish's Blog

December 14, 2006

Added to the Dai Zhen article – relation to international relations

Filed under: academia, china, confucianism, international law — twofish @ 8:49 pm

I added some entries to the Dai Zhen article on wikipedia. It is interesting (and not a coincidence) that his criticism of Neo-Confucianism parallels my criticism of international law (that it ignores individual people and that it ignores the element of passion and emotion) . The problem is that Neo-Confucianism believed that one could become a sage by clearing one’s mind of emotion. Dai Zhen argued that this was incorrect and that it was destructive to ignore human desire because it would then be impossible to manage one’s own desires and also that it would make it impossible to feel empathy toward other human beings.

Homework question: Dai Zhen’s criticism of Neo-Confucianism is that it ignores the value and importance of human emotions. Is it a coincidence or not that the Neo-Confucianism idea of rational discovery of the universe also matches the modern idea that emotions are only the reserve of “primitive people” and that “advanced people” should control their emotions (i.e. the British stiff upper lip). Is it possible that this idea was borrowed through Jesuit missionaries or Cantonese traders or something else? Or is there some deep philosophical connection that caused these ideas to develop independently? Or is this all a coincidence?

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: