|Summary||Lu Xiangshan (Lu Hsiang-Shan 陸象山; Lu Jiuyuan陸九淵, 1139-1193) is most famous for his philosophical disagreement with Zhu Xi, which led to the formation of the school of the heart/mind (xingxue 心學) founded by Wang Yangming. Lu and his brother met up with Zhu Xi at the Goose Lake and later exchanged numerous letters, which became more and more heated. This exchange later became known as the Goose Lake Meeting (erhuzhihui 鵝湖之會). Their philosophical disagreement centered on their different methodology of becoming a sage. Lu criticized Zhu Xi for overemphasizing the investigation of all sorts of things, and claimed that such pursuit of external knowledge is too “trivial” and fragmented to truly benefit the learner. Instead, as he argues, one should focus on one’s own mind to seek true wisdom in dealing with worldly affairs. Zhu Xi, on the other hand, thought that Lu’s teaching is too simplified and too idle. Lu’s famous slogan is “The Universe is my mind; my mind is the Universe.” His teaching greatly influenced Wang Yangming, who later advocated the learning of the heart/mind, which became a dominant view in late Ming dynasty.|
|Key works||There is fortunately a good reader on both Lu Xiangshan’s and Wang Yangming’s writings, Ivanhoe 2009, which gives a fair representation of the two philosophers’ comments and writings. Ching 1974 and Huang 1987 provide good historical background and philosophical analysis of the famed Goose Lake Debate.|
Ivanhoe, Philip J. Readings from the Lu-Wang School of Neo-Confucianism. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2009.
This book gives reliable and elegant translations of selected works by Lu Xiangshan and Wang Yangming. Ivanhoe is a seasoned scholar on Chinese philosophy, and his translation reflects a deep philosophical understanding of the two philosophers’ views, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the tradition of Chinese philosophy.
Ching 1974 gives a historical reconstruction of the Goose Lake debate, and cast the focus of Lu and Zhu’s debate over the primacy of learning or wisdom. The details of the Goose Lake Debate are well known to Chinese scholars, but for those who are not familiar with the history, this paper serves as a reliable guide to the debate.
Huang 1987 offers a new interpretation of the nature of the debate, and argues that the central disagreement between Zhu Xi and Lu Xiangshan is not on their methodology, but in their respective ontological presupposition of the nature of mind. This interpretation, though contrary to the traditional view, is quite convincing and it offers a new understanding of the key issues in Neo-Confucianism.
Huang 1944 is the only book-length monograph devoted to Lu Xiangshan. Written by the author of Essentials of Neo-Confucianism (Huang 1999, cited under Song-Ming Neo-Confucianism), this little book (less than one hundred pages) places Lu in his intellectual historical context and explains his cosmology in comparison to that of Zhu Xi. It can be used as a beginner’s guide to Lu Xiangshan.