|Summary||Zhang Zai (Chang Tsai張載, 1020-1077) played an instrumental role in establishing qi philosophy in neo-Confucianism. His theory of qi differs from previous Daoist conceptions of qi in three key aspects: qi exists from time immemorial, qi was always in polarity from the beginning and qi is ordered with its internal pattern, which he calls ‘Li (理).’ Nowadays, Chinese intellectual historians group Song-Ming Neo-Confucianism into three camps, with Zhang leading the camp of qi ontology. His thoughts greatly influenced later qi-philosophers, the most notable of whom is Wang Fuzhi.|
|Key works||The two philosophers are often studied together as in Liu 2011 and Liu 2012 (cited under Wang Fuzhi). Kasoff 1984 is the only book-length treatment of Zhang Zai’s philosophy. Contemporary scholars focus on his theory of qi, which has been commonly named “qi monism” or “substance monism,” though the designation of “monism” is highly controversial. A recent work Kim 2011 challenges such an understanding.|
Kasoff, Ira E. The Thought of Chang Tsai (1020-1077). Cambridge University Press, 1984.
This is the only book on Zhang Zai’s philosophy in English. It places Zhang Zai in his historical context and explicates his many philosophical ideas, highlighting sagehood and his view on human nature. It provides a nice introduction to Zhang Zai’s philosophy.
Kim, Jung-Yeup. “A Revisionist Understanding of Zhang Zai's Development of Qi in the Context of his Critique of the Buddhist.” Asian Philosophy 20 (2):111-126. 2011.
This article criticizes the prevalent denomination of Zhang Zai’s metaphysics as a form of substance dualism. It provides an alternative perspective with persuasive argumentation.
- Zhou Dunyi (6)
- Shao Yong (6)
- Cheng Hao (8)
- Cheng Yi (9)
- Lu Xiangshan (9)
- Zhu Xi (66)
- Wang Yangming (55)
- Wang Fuzhi (8)
- Song-Ming Neo-Confucianism, Misc (90)
Graduate studies at Western
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
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Catarina Dutilh Novaes
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