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Summary Yan Yuan 顏元 (1635-1704). A critic of methods of moral cultivation that depend on textual analysis and abstract reflection, and an opponent of the speculative metaphysics that dominated Chinese thought after the rise of Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism.
Key works Yan Yuan's major philosophical works include Preserving Human Nature (Cun xing bian 存性編) and Preserving Learning (Cun xue bian 存學編). Of these, only Preserving Learning has been translated into English, in Yan 1972.
Introductions Ivanhoe 2000 (ch. 6)
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  1. Yuan Yan (1972). Preservation of Learning (Trans. Mansfield Freeman). Monumenta Serica at the University of California.
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  2. Chao Zongzheng (1980). The Epistemology of Yan Yuan. Contemporary Chinese Thought 11 (4):3-21.
    The progressive thinker of the late Ming, early Qing dynasties, the famous materialist philosopher Yan Yuan , made an important contribution to the history of Chinese philosophy with his practical studies of public affairs in which he fiercely attacked Song and Ming neo-Confucianism and promoted "real writing, real action, real substance, and real functions.".
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