About this topic
Summary ‘Neo-Confucianism’ typically refers to the revival of classical Confucianism developed between the eleventh and the eighteenth century in China, spanning over four dynasties in Chinese history: Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911). In Chinese intellectual history, neo-Confucianism is standardly divided into two periods: Song-Ming neo-Confucianism and Qing neo-Confucianism. Neo-Confucianism was a new form of Confucianism that came after the dominance of Daoism and subsequently Buddhism within Chinese intellectual circles. Neo-Confucianism revitalized classical Confucianism and expanded the traditional philosophical discourse to new dimensions. Neo-Confucianism invigorated the metaphysical speculation found in classics such as the Yijing and incorporated different concepts and perspectives from Chinese Daoism and Buddhism into its discourse. Neo-Confucians’ metaphysical views lay the foundation for their moral theories. In their various debates, Neo-Confucians touched on the possibility of an innate moral sense and the various means of moral knowledge. In Neo-Confucians’ views, morality takes its root either in the universal goodness of human nature, or in the individual’s moral reflection and cultivation of the human mind. This debate between the School of Nature and the School of Mind was one of the major themes in Neo-Confucianism. Finally, in Neo-Confucianism we see a consistent effort not only to redefine a realist worldview that affirms the world as existing independently of human conception, but also to reassert (after Daoism and Buddhism) a humanist worldview that places human beings at the center of meaning and values. These trends delineate the spirit of Neo-Confucianism.
Key works Other than the short selective translation in the Source Book (Chan 1963, under General Overview), there is little translation of primary texts (the ones available will be mentioned under individual philosopher). Of secondary materials, Makeham 2010 gives the most complete coverage of neo-Confucianism, but it is a collection of essays by different authors. Cheng 1991 is a collection of a seasoned scholar’s essays on Confucianism, and Part III is devoted to Neo-Confucianism.  Both Bol 2008 and de Bary 1981 take the historical approach.  Bol 2008 covers the cultural and political background in which neo-Confucianism emerged and developed, while de Bary 1981 traces the development of neo-Confucian orthodoxy from the Yuan dynasty to Tokugawa Japan. Liu 1998 provides a short beginner’s guide to neo-Confucianism in addition to classical Confucianism.

Bol 2008 takes an intellectual historical approach to Neo-Confucianism. It is useful for readers who want to know the historical background of Neo-Confucianism.

Cheng, Chung-ying. New Dimensions of Confucian and Neo-Confucian Philosophy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. 1991.

This book is a collection of essays by the author, who has been plowing the field for many years and is instrumental in promoting Chinese philosophy in the West. These essays were written over a span of twenty years from 1965 to 1985. Part III of this book contains seven sophisticated papers on key thinkers such as Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming. The final essay, a comparative study on Neo-Confucianism and A. N. Whitehead’s process philosophy, led an important direction for comparative philosophy.

de Bary 1981, written by a distinguished historian de Bary, contains three essays.  The first essay explains the historical and political background of neo-Confucianism in the Yuan dynasty. The second essay analyzes how neo-Confucian orthodoxy was established and fortified.  The final essay traces the intellectual history of neo-Confucian orthodoxy in Tokugawa Japan. This book is probably of interest only to scholars of intellectual history.

Liu 1998 provides a general introduction to Confucianism, and Part II deals specifically with Neo-Confucianism. The analysis is accessible but traditional.

Makeham 2010: This collection contains comprehensive essays that devote to the following Neo-Confucians: Zhou Dunyi, Shao Yong, Zhang Zai, Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao, Hu Hong, Zhang Shi, Zhu Xi, Lu Zuqian, Chen Chun, Lu Xiangshan, Wang Yangming, Liu Zongzhou, Wang Fuzhi, Li Guangdi and Dai Zhen. Each chapter provides solid introduction to the philosopher covered. Individual chapters will not be mentioned separately in the following bibliography.

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  1. Is Liberalism the Only Way Toward Democracy?Brooke A. Ackerly - 2005 - Political Theory 33 (4):547-576.
    This article identifies a foundation for Confucian democratic political thought in Confucian thought. Each of the three aspects emphasized is controversial, but supported by views held within the historical debates and development of Confucian political thought and practice. This democratic interpretation of Confucian political thought leads to an expectation that all people are capable of ren and therefore potentially virtuous contributors to political life; an expectation that the institutions of political, social, and economic life function so as to develop the (...)
  2. Divination and Sacrifice in Song Neo-Confucianism.Joseph Adler - 2008 - In Jeffrey L. Richey (ed.), Teaching Confucianism. Oxford University Press. pp. 55--82.
  3. Ju Hsüeh Ti Ch Ang Yü Pien.Jen-hou Ts ai - 1990
  4. Hu Shi and Wang Yunwu.Huang Airen - 2004 - Chinese Studies in History 37 (3):34-65.
  5. Ming-Qing Studies in Japan: 1985.Norimatsu Akifumi - 1989 - Chinese Studies in History 22 (1-2):56-65.
  6. Konfucjańskie pojęcie Cheng Ming w interpretacji Ezry Pounda.Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-pędich - 1990 - Idea 3 (3):33-44.
  7. Commentary on Cheng.Ruth Amossy - unknown
  8. Jen Hsüeh.Ssu-T. Ung T. an & Chih-chün T. ang - 1998
  9. Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light: Wang Tai-Yu's Great Learning of the Pure and Real and Liu Chih's Displaying the Concealment of the Real Realm, with a New Translation of Jami's Lawaih From the Persian by William C. Chittick (Review).Eugene Newton Anderson - 2002 - Philosophy East and West 52 (2):257-260.
  10. Chüeh Ting Lun Ti Li Shih Ming Yün Hsien Tai K o Hsüeh Yü Pien Cheng Chüeh Ting Lun Ti Chien Kou.Yüan-Cheng P. Ang - 1996
  11. WANG Yangming as a Virtue Ethicist.Stephen C. Angle - 2010 - In John Makeham (ed.), Dao Companion to Neo-Confucian Philosophy. Springer. pp. 315--335.
  12. Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction.Stephen C. Angle & Justin Tiwald - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Polity.
    Neo-Confucianism is a philosophically sophisticated tradition weaving classical Confucianism together with themes from Buddhism and Daoism. It began in China around the eleventh century CE, played a leading role in East Asian cultures over the last millennium, and has had a profound influence on modern Chinese society. -/- Based on the latest scholarship but presented in accessible language, Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction is organized around themes that are central in Neo-Confucian philosophy, including the structure of the cosmos, human nature, ways (...)
  13. Dialogue - The Confucian Critique of Rights-Based Business Ethics.Adam D. Bailey & Alan Strudler - 2011 - Business Ethics Quarterly 21 (4):661-677.
    Confucianism-Based Rights Skepticism and Rights in the Workplace by Adam D. Bailey - Must even Confucian rights skeptics—those who are, on account of their Confucian beliefs, skeptical of the existence of human rights, and believe that asserting or recognizing rights is morally wrong—concede that in the workplace, they are morally obligated to recognize rights? Alan Strudler has recently argued that such is the case. In this article, I argue that because Confucian rights skeptics locate wrongness in inconsistency with the idea (...)
  14. A Critique of the Philosophical Thought of Lu, Jiuyuan+ Lu, Xiangshan and the Neoconfucian School of Mind.Zx Bao - 1983 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 14 (3):3-34.
  15. The Art of Wen Cheng-Ming.Richard Barnhart & Richard Edwards - 1978 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 98 (2):178.
  16. Reply to Hoyt Cleveland Tillman.Wm Theodore De Bary - 1994 - Philosophy East and West 44 (1):143 - 144.
  17. To Catch a Thief: Chu Hsi (1130–1200) and the Hermeneutic Art.John Berthrong - 1991 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 18 (2):195-212.
  18. Ambition and Confucianism: A Biography of Wang Mang.Hans Bielenstein & Rudi Thomsen - 1990 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 110 (2):381.
  19. The World as Will: Wang Kuo-Wei and the Philosophy of Metaphysical Pessimism.Joey Bonner - 1979 - Philosophy East and West 29 (4):443-466.
  20. Evaluations of Sung Dynasty Painters of Renown: Liu Taoch'un's Sung-Ch'ao Ming-Hua P'ing.Susan Bush, Liu Taoch'un & Charles Lachman - 1995 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 115 (1):111.
  21. Reflection on Things at Hand.T. S. C. - 1969 - Review of Metaphysics 22 (4):749-750.
  22. Song Ming Li Xue Xin Xing Lun.Fanglu Cai - 2009 - Ba Shu Shu She.
  23. Song Ming Li Xue.Renhou Cai - 2009 - Jilin Chu Ban Ji Tuan.
  24. The Influence of Nietzsche in Wang Guowei's Essay "on The.Zong-qi Cai - 2004 - Philosophy East and West 54 (2).
    : There are numerous traces of Nietzsche's influence in Wang Guowei's "On the Dream of the Red Chamber " even though there is not a single mention of Nietzsche's name in that seminal essay. Nietzschean thought looms large where Wang openly disagrees with or quietly departs from the views of Schopenhauer and, to a lesser extent, those of Kant and Aristotle. His questioning of Schopenhauer's "no-life-ism" harks back to Nietzsche's challenge to Schopenhauer's life-negating ethics. His portrayal of Bao Yu reveals (...)
  25. The Influence of Nietzsche in Wang Guowei's Essay "on the Dream of the Red Chamber".Zong-qi Cai - 2004 - Philosophy East and West 54 (2):171-193.
    There are numerous traces of Nietzsche's influence in Wang Guowei's "On the Dream of the Red Chamber" even though there is not a single mention of Nietzsche's name in that seminal essay. Nietzschean thought looms large where Wang openly disagrees with or quietly departs from the views of Schopenhauer and, to a lesser extent, those of Kant and Aristotle. His questioning of Schopenhauer's "no-life-ism" harks back to Nietzsche's challenge to Schopenhauer's life-negating ethics. His portrayal of Bao Yu reveals three distinctive (...)
  26. Ming Dai da Ru Chen Baisha.Taiyi Cao - 2004 - Guangdong Ren Min Chu Ban She.
  27. Toward a Confucian Family-Oriented Health Care System for the Future of China.Y. Cao, X. Chen & R. Fan - 2011 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (5):452-465.
    Recently implemented Chinese health insurance schemes have failed to achieve a Chinese health care system that is family-oriented, family-based, family-friendly, or even financially sustainable. With this diagnosis in hand, the authors argue that a financially and morally sustainable Chinese health care system should have as its core family health savings accounts supplemented by appropriate health insurance plans. This essay’s arguments are set in the context of Confucian moral commitments that still shape the background culture of contemporary China.
  28. Hao Wang, Beyond Analytic Philosophy.William R. Carter - 1988 - Metaphilosophy 19 (2):171–176.
  29. The Neo‐Confucian Confrontation with Buddhism: A Structural and Historical Analysis.Edward T. Cbien - 1988 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 15 (4):347-370.
  30. Sociohistorical Viewpoint.T'ien Ch'ang-wu - 1976 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 7 (1-2):122-156.
    Before examining Wang Ch'ung's sociohistorical viewpoint, it is necessary to explain two things. First, the most important writings containing Wang Ch'ung's sociohistorical viewpoint should have been his two books Government Administration [Cheng wu] and An Examination of Vulgarities [Chi su]. In Government Administration he discussed important social problems and solutions for them, and in An Examination of Vulgarities he exposed the interrelationships among men in the current society. Both of those books, however, were lost long ago, and it is very (...)
  31. Wang Ch'ung: An Ancient Chinese Militant Materialist.T'ien Ch'ang-wu - 1975 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 7 (1):4-7.
    Having read the works of Wang Ch'ung [A.D. 27-c. 100], I realized that they need to be recapitulated. Here I shall evaluate Wang Ch'ung and his thought and present what I feel to be the real significance that Wang Ch'ung's thought still has today.
  32. Methodological Problems in the Study of the History of Philosophy From an Evaluation of Wang Ch'ung.T'ien Ch'ang-wu - 1972 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 4 (1):70-99.
    In ancient times in our country, Wang Ch'ung was an eminent materialist and a brilliant atheist, a progressive thinker who opposed the orthodox feudal thought. This has gone basically unquestioned. This year the February 21 issue of Kuang-ming jih-pao printed in its philosophy section an article by Comrade T'ung Mo-an, "Is Wang Ch'ung a Peasant Class Thinker?" The article is an evaluation completely denying this. T'ung believes that the purpose of Wang Ch'ung's works was "to uphold the rule of the (...)
  33. Kyurha Ch'oe Sing-Min Kwa Kyenam Ch'oe Sung-Min Ŭi Hangmun Kwa Sasang.Sŏk-ki Ch'oe (ed.) - 2011 - Suri.
  34. Neo-Confucianism of the Sung-Ming Periods.Ch'U. Chai - 1951 - Social Research 18 (3):370-392.
  35. Reply to Stephen C. Angle.Joseph Chan - 2014 - Philosophy East and West 64 (3):798-799.
  36. How is Absolute Wisdom Possible? Wang Yangming and Buddhism.Wing-Cheuk Chan - 2004 - Wisdom in China and the West 22:329.
  37. Two Chinese Philosophers: Ch'eng Ming-Tao and Ch'eng Yi-Ch'uan.Wing-Tsit Chan & A. C. Graham - 1959 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 79 (2):150.
  38. Wang Yang-Ming.Carsun Chang - 1962 - Philosophy East and West 16 (3):249-249.
  39. "The Essential Source of Identity" in Wang Lung-ch'I's Philosophy.Chung-Yuan Chang - 1973 - Philosophy East and West 23 (1/2):31-47.
  40. The Metaphysics of Wang Pi.Chung-yue Chang - 1979 - Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
  41. The Aesthetics of Wu: Wang Bi's Ontological Paradigm and the Transformation of Chinese Aesthetics.Edmond Yi-teh Chang - 2001 - Dissertation, University of California, San Diego
    This study examines the important philosophical and aesthetic developments that occurred during the turbulent period in Chinese history known as the Six Dynasties. More specifically, it establishes a philosophical and historical link between Wang Bi's elaboration of Xuan xue during the Wei-Jin , and the unprecedented proliferation of aesthetic treatises between the 4th and the 6th century. I argue that Wang Bi's ontological constructs of Benwu and Tiyong were instrumental in providing an epistemological framework for new treatises on painting, calligraphy, (...)
  42. Chung-Kuo Ming Chia Ch I Tz U to Li Ming Shih Chih Pien.Hsin Chang - 1996
  43. Sung Ming Li Hsüeh Lo Chi Chieh Kou Ti Yen Hua.Li-wen Chang - 1993
  44. Re-Exploring Wang Yangming's Theory of Liangzhi : Translation, Transliteration, and Interpretation.Tzu-li Chang - 2016 - Philosophy East and West 66 (4):1196-1217.
    Admittedly there exists a considerable amount of contemporary literature on liangzhi that, to a certain extent, provides us with fruitful and insightful perspectives into Wang Yangming’s doctrine. And the majority of this literature, as if by tacit agreement, focuses on the interconnection between liangzhi and knowledge, whether it be innate, original, perfect, or moral knowledge. While this academic endeavor is credited with pushing forward studies of Chinese thought, it is the task of philosophy always to engage in the examination of (...)
  45. Personal Identity, Moral Agency and Liang-Zhi: A Comparative Study of Korsgaard and Wang Yangming.Tzu-li Chang - unknown
  46. Wang Shou-Jen as a Statesman.Yü-chüan Chang - 1975
  47. Ming Mo Ch Ing Ch U Li Hsüeh Yü K o Hsüeh Kuan Hsi Tsai Lun.Yung-T. Ang Chang - 1994
  48. Encyclopedia of Chinese BiographyChung Kuo Jen Ming Ta Tz'u Tien.Yuen Ren Chao - 1923 - Isis 5 (2):446-447.
  49. The Thought of Chang Tsai (1020–1077).Jan Chapman - 1987 - Philosophical Studies 31:416-418.
  50. The Rupenides, Hethumides and Lusignans: The Structure of the Armeno-Cilician Dynasties. W. H. Rüdt-Collenberg.Peter Charanis - 1964 - Speculum 39 (3):565-566.
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