Talk:Zhu Xi

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Why isn't there any mention of 格物 gewu? I thought that this was more important to Zhu Xi than any form of meditation -- or rather, if it is a form of meditation, gewu is by far his preferred method. I've also never heard of chanding. Is this a recent discovery? Jiawen

there should also be mention of the method he outlined concerning the extension of knowledge. His proto-scientific method is considered to be one of his greatest contributions

Um, that's what I said. Gewu is "the discrimination of things" -- his proto-scientific method.Jiawen 18:21, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It would be well worthwhile to bring some citations to this article. Chan's Neo-Confucianism, etc." and his other writings have a wealth of research. Tang Jun-yi and Mou Zong-san have both published extensive research, not to mention Qian Mu. The meaning of "ge wu" is not something that can be tossed off with a simple "equivalent" in English.P0M (talk) 17:16, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


The article calls Zhu Xi a "rationalist." The article on Rationalism says that rationalism is "a method or a theory in which the criterion of truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive." How does Zhu Xi really attempt to discover truth? Much of what he says is buttressed by references to the authority of the ancients. He accepts, e.g., things in the Huai Nan Zi. He seeks to incorporate them in a seamless way with the rest of his philosophy -- apparently in the belief that one can at least get closer to the truth by keeping everything that is not obviously in conflict with the core beliefs of the Four Books. In that sense, his work might be called "deductive," but being fundamentally deductive in approach would conflict with the voluntarism of Mencius. Ge wu is not deductive, but neither is it inductive. The closest Zhu Xi comes to an inductive approach is to say that examination of history and related sources can reveal patterns of good action. But the position of Mencius, which Zhu Xi was somewhat uncomfortably stuck to, is that the most basic of knowledge components can be found in personal interior experience. The utility of meditation is that it can cleanse our perceptions of self-centered biases. (If it's my dog and I am angry at him it's o.k. for me to beat him, but it is not o.k. for you to beat your dog.) The will or mandate of heaven is ensconced in human nature. We can know our deepest nature if we look deeply and tranquilly enough. That's mysticism. Being fundamentally mystical does not conflict with his belief that heaven works its way out in a systematic, regular, orderly, patterned way, not an arbitrary or ad hoc way. P0M (talk) 05:49, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Unclear writing.[edit]

"Zhu Xi was originally from Fujian, where his father worked as the head of various departments, but left due to disgust with the alliance to Mongol invaders."

It is unclear whether Zhu Xi left, or his father left early in Zhu Xi's life and took his family with him.

What "alliance to Mongol invaders"? The average well-informed reader is not going to know the story. The Mongols did not take over all of China until 1271, the Yuan dynasty. P0M (talk) 01:42, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

A misleading assertion[edit]

The current text has:

he chose to emphasize the Four Books: the Great Learning, the Doctrine of the Mean, the Analects of Confucius, and the Mencius as the basis for his philosophy.

He did emphasize these four books, giving special preference to some books that had previously been undistinguished among the "thirteen classics." But he did so as a matter of curriculum design. The philosophical bedrock of his theory was still the Yi Jing on the one hand, and the Mencius on the other hand. See his Yi xue qi meng for the most concentrated attempt to ground everything in the Yi Jing. P0M (talk) 18:04, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The fundamental problem with this article[edit]

One of the gravest flaws of the article as it stands is that it does not make clear that whether Zhu Xi was a monist or a dualist is a hotly contested issue. Qian Mu and Chen Rong-jie maintain that Zhu Xi was a monist. Mou Zong-san maintains that Zhu Xi was a dualist.

The reason that it is difficult to pin down Zhu's position is that he was evidently attempting to draw together and harmonize the work of every major figure who came before him. If it fills out a part of the mosaic he is making, Zhu will happily quote from the Zhuang Zi or even less venerable texts like the Huai Nan Zi. What he avoids doing is to claim that somebody was wrong. He would rather take something, e.g. from Shao Yong, and contextualize it so that it no longer seemed to be at odds with the grand synthesis he was trying to make. That general life preference, rather than simple fogginess, may be behind the seemingly contradictory assertions that monist and dualist "partisans" select to support their interpretations of Zhu's philosophy.

Zhu was stuck with one major problem: good and evil. For Zhu, the words of both Confucius and Mencius were canonical. Mencius said things that could be taken to mean that human nature is good. Taken without qualification, that statement is flatly at odds with everybody's personal experience of humans that do nasty things. So Zhu had to have an explanation for evil, and that need put him in the position of somebody with one foot in the rowboat and one foot on the dock. A dualist position gives him an easy out. A monist position is more consonant with the theorizing that grew up almost from the beginning around the core prognostication text of the Yi Jing.

It is not easy to sort these matters out. If it were, the question of whether Zhu Xi is a monist or a dualist would have been settled long ago. P0M (talk) 18:04, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Taking sides[edit]

Zhu Xi considered the earlier Confucian Xun Zi to be a heretic for departing from Mencius' idea of innate human goodness. Even if people displayed immoral behaviour, the supreme regulative principle was good. It is unclear whence exactly immorality arises; Zhu Xi argued that it comes about through the muddying effect of li being shrouded in qi, but this does not fully answer the question, as qi itself shares part of the Taiji.

What is the average well-informed reader supposed to make of this passage, especially the last sentence? Here is where the monism/dualism crunch comes in. In a couple of places Zhu Xi says, 太極生陰陽,理生氣也。Tài jí shēng yīn yáng, lǐ shēng qì yě. "For the Taiji to produce Yin and Yang is for li to produce qi." Fan Shou-kang gave due prominence to this quotation from Zhu Xi's work, but most other scholars have not assigned any particular importance to it. So from the standpoint of what can be established by citing the authorities of the field the issue is controversial. To say that "qi itself shares part of the Taiji" is clearly to take sides in this issue without even disclosing to the reader what is being asserted or which authorities would take exception to it. P0M (talk) 18:53, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Mixed pronunciations[edit]

For the most part this article uses the current standard, pinyin romanization. Sometimes, however, it speaks of Taoism and other times it speaks of Daoism. It uses "dao" to refer to the Way. Is there any reason to sustain these inconsistencies? P0M (talk) 03:04, 27 June 2008 (UTC)


This page is pretty bad, I'll do what I can to try and improve it. Who assesses these things? Why is this article rated "low" on the importance scale? It's a disgrace.Aas217 (talk) 06:31, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

:I don't know whether the evaluation has to do with the worth of the article or the importance of the man. Clearly Zhu Xi was as important to China and the East as St. Thomas was to the West. P0M (talk) 03:46, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Meditation section should be removed pending the appearance of the necessary citations.[edit]

I think the meditation section of the article should be removed, until citations are provided for the assertions in it. The second 'citation needed', is dated June 2008, that is four years ago now, so I assume that no citation is forthcoming from whoever made the original assertion. I think The average reader of the article is not likely to reject the information in that section just becuase it doesn't have citations, therefore I think the section is likely to mislead most readers, and should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ericcartmanfat (talkcontribs) 12:57, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

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"In 1148, at the age of 19 ... passed the Imperial Examination ..." according to the given date of birth he could either be 17 or 18. Which is in error for the exam, his age or the Julian year? TheNuszAbides (talk) 02:25, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Zhu xi[edit]

"Zhu Xi is the only non-Confucius pro-disciples and enjoy Confucius Temple."

Because Zhu Xi is the second person in the history of education after Confucius so I think this and Confucius-related honors can be added in the first paragraph of the article about introducing his content Leqi zheng (talk) 06:29, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Article evaluation[edit]

·The content of the article is related to Zhu Xi, but I think the article content is not rich enough, on his life story is too simple

·Article opinion and content I think is absolutely neutral, because the article is basically some of the introduction of Zhu Xi and his contribution, and did not exaggerate or belittle the content

·From the perspective of the whole article, the content is obviously inadequate, the majority of the life of Zhu Xi are summarized, I think we can add some of his outstanding deeds, and according to the chronological order to add the timetable of his learning and official.

·In the third paragraph of his life,"Confucian sainthood"did not have a link but set a link. The same problem arises in Calligraphy's " Zhu Yunming"

·Article 17 18 Footnotes and references from the blog post I think it is wrong and not desirable

·Zhu Xi”is a level-4 vital article in Wiki and this article is belong to China/history Biography Philosophy and religion Wiki Project. WIki introduced in the way are basically summarized and summarized, most of the class will be from the events and problems to in-depth analysis and discussion.Leqi zheng (talk) 00:09, 10 October 2017 (UTC)