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Summary Wang Yangming (王陽明; Wang Shouren王守仁, 1472-1529) closely followed Lu Xiangshan’s direction in paying closer attention to the internal investigation of the mind.  They both advocate the view that “mind is principle.”  In the history of Chinese philosophy, the two philosophers are often called “the Lu-Wang School,” and the debate between the Lu-Wang School and the “Cheng-Zhu School” was the dominant theme in Neo-Confucianism.  Of primary sources, Chan 1963, Henke 2012 and Ching 1976 are three older translations of Wang’s writings, and Ivanhoe 2009 (cited under Lu Xiangshan) is a more contemporary translation with valuable notations. In addition to providing translation of Wang’s essays and poems, Ching 1976 remains an indispensable introduction to Wang’s overall philosophy.  There are five main theses in Wang’s philosophy: (1) Mind is principle; (2) We all have an innate knowledge/perception of the good, which he calls Liangzhi  (良知); (3) We need to “rectify things” (gewu 格物), which according to Wang’s interpretation means to get rid of evil and to return to our innate good sense; (4) the unity of knowledge and action; and (5) Humanity (ren) begins with family love.  Of these themes, contemporary scholars focus more on (2) and (4).
Key works Cua 1982 is a classic analysis on thesis (4) while Frisina 2002 gives this thesis a more contemporary approach to reinterpret this thesis of the unity of knowledge and action. [BROKEN REFERENCE: IVAMW] gives an innovative analysis of Wang’s theory of Liangzhi, rendered as “pure knowledge” or “moral perception.”  Tien 2004 is a sophisticated comparative study on Wang Yangming and Tien 2012 provides a reconstruction of Wang Yangming’s moral psychology. All three articles situate Wang’s thought in the contemporary philosophical context.  

Chan, Wing-tsit (Trans.) Instructions for Practical Living and Other Neo-Confucian Writing. New York: Columbia University Press. 1963.

This book provides a reliable and accessible translation of Wang’s major work, Instructions for Practical Living (chuanxilu傳習錄), and his philosophical correspondences.

Henke, Frederick Goodrich. The Philosophy of Wang Yang-Ming Translated from the Chinese (Classic Reprint). Forgotten Books, 2012.

This is a reprint of an old translation from 1916, published by Open Court. The collection contains Wang’s essential works (Instructions for Practical Life, Record of Discourses and Inquiry regarding the Great Learning) and many of his scholarly letters.

Ivanhoe, Philip J. Readings from the Lu-Wang School of Neo-Confucianism. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2009.

This book includes translations of Wang Yangming’s Questions on the Great Learning (daxue wen 大學問) and A Record for Practice (chuanxilu 傳習錄), as well as additional selections from Wang’s philosophical correspondence and his poetry.  The helpful notations, along with the elegant translation and representative selections of the text, make this book an authoritative edition of Lu-Wang’s works in English.

Ching 1976 is the first systematic work on Wang Yangming in English, written by the late Dr. Ching, a well respected expert on neo-Confucianism. Part I of this book contains Ching’s detailed analysis of Wang’s philosophy; Part II includes her selected translations of Wang’s essays and poems. Anyone working on Wang Yangming should begin with this book.

Cua, Antonio S. Unity of Knowledge and Action: A Study in Wang Yang-Ming’s Moral Psychology. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 1982.

This book gives a comprehensive analysis of Wang’s key thesis of the unity of knowledge and action in the context of his philosophy of mind and theory of action. In many ways, Cua’s analysis of Wang paved the ground for new directions in the study of Chinese moral philosophy.

Frisina 2002 takes an innovative approach to the understanding of Wang Yangming’s major thesis of the unity of knowledge and action. Though the interpretation might not strike traditional scholars as true to Wang Yangming, the philosophical potential of Wang’s view is greatly enhanced by this approach.

Ivanhoe 2011 takes a contemporary perspective and comparative analysis to reconstruct Wang Yangming’s view of moral perception. It opens new topics for the study of Confucian moral psychology.

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  1. Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy.Stephen C. Angle - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    The book's significance is two-fold: it argues for a new stage in the development of contemporary Confucian philosophy, and it demonstrates the value to Western ...
  2. A Fresh Look at Knowledge and Action: Wang Yangming in Comparative Perspective.Stephen C. Angle - 2006 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 33 (2):287–298.
  3. Wang Yangming and Bushidō: Japanese Nativization and its Influences in Modern China.Oleg Benesch - 2009 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 36 (3):439-454.
  4. Lianc-Chih, Key to Wang Yang-Ming's Ethical Monism.L. Stafford Betty - 1980 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 7 (2):115-129.
  5. Emotion, Desire, and Numismatic Experience in Descartes, Zhu Xi, and Wang Yangming.Brian Bruya - 2001 - Ming Qing Yanjiu 2001:45-75.
    In this article, I explore the relationship between desire and emotion in Descartes, Zhu Xi, and Wang Yangming with the aim of demonstrating 1) that Zhu Xi, by keying on the detriments of selfishness, represents an improvement over the more sweeping Cartesian suggestion to control desires in general; and 2) that Wang Yangming, in turn, represents an improvement over Zhu Xi by providing a more sophisticated hermeneutic of the cosmology of desire.
  6. Julia Ching, To Acquire Wisdom: The Way of Wang Yang-Ming.Wing-Tsit Chan - 1977 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 4 (4):409-416.
  7. Research on the Issue of “Evil” in Wang Yangming’s Thought.Lisheng Chen - 2007 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (2):172-187.
    Wang Yangming’s discussions concerning evil mainly appear in two sets of texts, i.e., Chuanxilu 传习录 (Instructions for Practical Living) and gongyi 公移 (documents transferred to vertically unrelated departments). The former addresses evil in metaphysical terms, and the latter in social terms. These subtly different approaches show the nuance between self-cultivation and governance of others.
  8. Confucian Philosophy: Innovations and Transformations.Zhongying Cheng & Justin Tiwald (eds.) - 2011 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    New work on Confucian philosophy, published as a supplement to the Journal of Chinese Philosophy.
  9. To Acquire Wisdom: The Way of Wang Yang-Ming.Julia Ching - 1976 - Columbia University Press.
  10. Philosophical Consciousness, Scientific Consciousness, and Moral Reason.T'ang Chün-I. - 1974 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 5 (4):72-109.
    We may have different ways of defining the nature of philosophy. One view would take philosophy to be a system of knowledge just like science; only it is a more comprehensive system that includes all science, or rather, it is a synthetic system of knowledge. Another view would take philosophy to be just a reflective and critical attitude. It purports to reflect on methods, postulates, axioms, and fundamental concepts that science relies on to build its knowledge in order to clarify (...)
  11. Religious Beliefs and Modern Chinese Culture Part II: The Religious Spirit of Confucianism.T'ang Chün-I. - 1973 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 5 (1):48-85.
    As the title suggests, in this part of the essay I am going to discuss in brief the religious spirit of Confucianism.
  12. The Criticisms of Wang Yang-Ming's Teachings as Raised by His Contemporaries.T'ang Chun-I. - 1973 - Philosophy East and West 23 (1/2):163-186.
  13. On the Direction of the Development of Political Consciousness in the Chinese People in the Past One Hundred Years.T'ang Chün-I. - 1973 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 5 (1):86-111.
    In our discussion on the development of political consciousness in the Chinese people in the past one hundred years, we will focus on the upward development made in the course of the reconstruction of the nation. If we simply study the historical facts, the past one hundred years are tragic. But if we study the spirit of the people during this period, we cannot but recognize that the Chinese people have never given up and that they have been constantly struggling (...)
  14. Zhenzhi and Acknowledgment in Wang Yangming and Stanley Cavell.William Day - 2012 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (2):174-191.
    This article highlights sympathies between Wang Yangming's notion of zhenzhi (real knowing) and Stanley Cavell's concept of acknowledgment. I begin by noting a problem in interpreting Wang on the unity of knowing and acting, which leads to considering how our suffering pain figures in our “real knowing” of another's pain. I then turn to Cavell's description of a related problem in modern skepticism, where Cavell argues that knowing another's pain requires acknowledging it. Cavell's concept of acknowledgment answers to Wang's insistence (...)
  15. Zhenzhi and Acknowledgment in Wang Yangming and Stanley Cavell.William Day - 2012 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (S1):51-68.
    The present article is a slightly revised version of my article in Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39, no. 2 (2012): 174–91. I appreciate the opportunity to republish with very minor corrections. This article highlights sympathies between Wang Yangming’s notion of zhenzhi (real knowing) and Stanley Cavell’s concept of acknowledgment. I begin by noting a problem in interpreting Wang on the unity of knowing and acting, which leads to considering how our suffering pain figures in our “real knowing” of another’s pain. (...)
  16. Taking on Proper Appearance and Putting It Into Practice: Two Different Systems of Effort in Song and Ming Neo-Confucianism. [REVIEW]Weixiang Ding - 2010 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (3):326-351.
    Both jianxing 践形 (taking on proper appearance) and jianxing 践行 (putting into practice) were concepts coined by Confucians before the Qin Dynasty. They largely referred to similar things. But because the Daxue 大学 ( Great Learning ) was listed as one of the Sishu 四书 (The Four Books) during the Song Dynasty, different explanations and trends in terms of the Great Learning resulted in taking on proper appearance and putting into practice becoming two different systems of efforts. The former formed (...)
  17. Chen, Lisheng 陳立勝: On Wang Yangming's Doctrine of All Things as One Body: From the Perspective of Body 王陽明“萬物一體”論—從“身—體”的立場看.Xudong Fang - 2009 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (2):205-208.
  18. Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy (Review).Thorian R. Harris - 2012 - Philosophy East and West 62 (3):392-397.
  19. Philosophy, Philology, and Politics in Eighteenth-Century China: Li Fu and the Lu-Wang School Under the Chʻing.Chin-hsing Huang - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book explains the general intellectual climate of the early Ch'ing period, and the political and cultural characteristics of the Ch'ing regime at the time. Professor Huang brings to life the book's central characters, Li Fu and the three great emperors - K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng, and Chien-lung - whom he served. Although the author's main concern is to explain the contributions of Li Fu to the Lu-Wang school of Confucianism, he also gives a clearly written account of the Lu-Wang and Ch'eng-Chu (...)
  20. A Neo-Confucian Conception of Wisdom: Wang Yangming on the Innate Moral Knowledge (Liangzhi).Yong Huang - 2006 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 33 (3):393–408.
  21. Zhu, Cheng 朱承, Governing the Mind and Governing the World: The Political Dimension of Wang Yangming's Philosophy 治心與治世——王陽明哲學的政治向度.Yun Huang - 2010 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (4):491-494.
    Zhu, Cheng 朱承, Governing the Mind and Governing the World: The Political Dimension of W ang Yangming’s Philosophy 治心與治世——王陽明哲學的政治向度 Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11712-010-9194-x Authors Yun Huang, College of Political Science and Law, Jiangxi Normal University, 99 Ziyang Ave, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province 330022, China Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009 Journal Volume Volume 9 Journal Issue Volume 9, Number 4.
  22. Wang Yang-Ming: A Philosopher of Practical Action.Amy Ihlan - 1993 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 20 (4):451-463.
  23. A Concordance to Wang Yang-Ming,"Chʻuan Hsi Lu": Concordance.P. J. Ivanhoe - 1978 - Chinese Materials Center.
  24. A Concordance to Wang Yang-Ming, "Chʻuan Hsi Lu": Text.P. J. Ivanhoe - 1978 - Chinese Materials Center.
  25. McDowell, Wang Yangming, and Mengzi's Contributions to Understanding Moral Perception.Philip Ivanhoe - 2011 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (3):273-290.
    This essay explores some of the similarities and differences between the views of several Western and Chinese thinkers on the metaphysical status of moral qualities and how we come to perceive and appreciate them. It then uses this comparative analysis to identify and address some remaining problems in regard to these two issues. The essay offers a brief sketch of and introduction to the history of the study of moral qualities and moral perception in modern Western philosophy and takes the (...)
  26. Confucian Moral Self Cultivation, 2nd Ed.Philip J. Ivanhoe - 2000 - Hackett.
    A concise and accessible introduction to the moral philosophy of Kongzi (Confucius), Mengzi (Mencius), Xunzi, Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming, Yan Yuan and Dai Zhen.
  27. A Reconsideration of the Characteristics of Song-Ming Li Xue.Chunfeng Jin - 2010 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (3):352-376.
    By analyzing Zhu Xi and Zhang Zai’s three representative explanatory paradigms—that of Feng Youlan, Mou Zongsan and Zhang Dainian, the paper tries to show that studying Chinese philosophy in a Western way and emphasizing logical consistency will unavoidably lead to the defects of simplicity and partiality. In addition to Buddhism and Daoism, Song-Ming philosophy had also absorbed thoughts from the Pre-Qin, Han, Wei and Jin dynasties. The existence of multiple philosophical thoughts and their new synthesis lead to internal contradictions in (...)
  28. Political Unity in Neo-Confucianism: The Debate Between Wang Yangming and Zhan Ruoshui.Youngmin Kim - 2012 - Philosophy East and West 62 (2):246-263.
    In the Chinese intellectual tradition, King Wu's military expedition and Bo Yi's (and Shu Qi's) objection to it were well known. King Wu had been admired in that he saved people by dethroning the tyrant King These seemingly contradictory evaluations open a window on how unity can be conceived in Neo-Confucianism, particularly when one is faced with the possibility of colliding values. By examining the debate between Wang Yangming (1472–1529) and Zhan Ruoshui (1466–1560) over such a complex political issue, this (...)
  29. Wang Yangming.Youngmin Kim - 2005 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  30. Wang Yang‐Ming on Self‐Cultivation in the Daxue1.Shun Kwong‐loi - 2011 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38 (s1):96-113.
  31. Wang Yang-Ming, Mencius, and Internalism.Jig Chuen Lee - 1985 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 12 (1):63-74.
  32. Wang Yangming's 王陽明 Philosophy and Modern Theories of Democracy: A Reconstructive Interpretation.Ming-Huei Lee - 2008 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7 (3):283-294.
    Yangming’s theory of the original knowing (liangzhi 良知). In the 1950s there was a debate between Taiwanese liberals and the New Confucians over the relationship between the traditional Confucianism and modern democracy. Like Liu Shipei, the New Confucians justified modern democracy by means of Confucian philosophy (including that of Wang Yangming). For liberals, however, the Confucian tradition encompassed only the concept of positive liberty, which was irrelevant to or even incompatible with modern democracy. In this article, I try to argue (...)
  33. Readings From the Lu-Wang School of Neo-Confucianism (Review).JeeLoo Liu - 2011 - Philosophy East and West 61 (2):388-391.
  34. Song-Ming Neo-Confucianism (2) : From Lu Jiuyuan to Wang Yang-Ming.Shu-Hsien Liu - 2008 - In Bo Mou (ed.), Routledge History of Chinese Philosophy. Routledge.
  35. On the Final Views of Wang Yang-Ming.Shu-Hsien Liu - 1998 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 25 (3):345-360.
  36. On Chu Hsi as an Important Source for the Development of the Philosophy of Wang Yang-Ming.Shu-Hsien Liu - 1984 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 11 (1):83-107.
  37. How Idealistic is Wang Yang-Ming?Shu-Hsien Liu - 1983 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 10 (2):147-168.
  38. Doctrine and Discourse in Wang Yangming's Essay "Pulling Up the Root and Stopping Up the Source".Eske MOllgaard - 2004 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31 (3):377–388.
  39. Wang Yang‐Ming and John Dewey on the Ontological Question.Robert C. Neville - 1985 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 12 (3):283-295.
  40. The Unity of Knowledge and Action.Robert C. Neville - 1983 - Review of Metaphysics 36 (3):703-706.
  41. Contemporary Chinese Studies of Wang Yangming and His Followers in Mainland China.Guoxiang Peng - 2003 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 2 (2):311-329.
  42. Essential Characteristics of Moral Decision in Wang Yangming's Philosophy.Lloyd Sciban - 1998 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 25 (1):51-73.
  43. The Mandate of Empathy.Michael Slote - 2010 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (3):303-307.
    Confucian thinkers seem to have had something like our present concept of empathy long before that notion was self-consciously available in the West. Wang Yang-Ming’s talk of forming one body with others and similar ideas in the writings of Cheng Hao and, much earlier, of Mengzi make it clear that the Confucian traditions not only had the idea of empathy but saw its essential relation to phenomena like compassion, benevolence, and sympathy that are constitutive of the altruistic side of morality. (...)
  44. Some Pragmatic Tendencies in the Thought of Wang Yang-Ming.John Smith - 1986 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 13 (2):167-183.
    One of the chief benefits to civilization stemming from comparative studies of different philosophical traditions is the possibility of discovering convergences of opinion which offer evidence of continuity in human experience across cultural boundaries and thus provide some measure of corroboration for these opinions. This, of course, is not to say that important divergences of opinion should either be ignored or politely passed over. On the contrary, the more clearly differences are apprehended, the more likely it is that they can (...)
  45. Warranted Neo-Confucian Belief: Religious Pluralism and the Affections in the Epistemologies of Wang Yangming (1472–1529) and Alvin Plantinga. [REVIEW]David W. Tien - 2004 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 55 (1):31-55.
    In this article, I argue that Wang Yangming'sNeo-Confucian religious beliefs can bewarranted, and that the rationality of hisreligious beliefs constitutes a significantdefeater for the rationality of Christianbelief on Alvin Plantinga's theory of warrant. I also question whether the notion of warrantas proper function can adequately account fortheories of religious knowledge in which theaffections play an integral role. Idemonstrate how a consideration of Wang'sepistemology reveals a difficulty forPlantinga's defense of the rationality ofChristian belief and highlights a limitation ofPlantinga's current conception of (...)
  46. Review of Philip J. Ivanhoe, Readings From the Lu-Wang School of Neo-Confucianism[REVIEW]Justin Tiwald - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 9 (36).
  47. A.S. Cua, The Unity of Knowledge and Action: A Study of Wang Yang-Ming's Moral Psychology, University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu, 1982 (12.95, 133pp.). [REVIEW]John Allen Tucker - 1985 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 12 (1):97-100.
  48. The Philosophy of Wang Yang-Ming.Yang-Ming Wang & Frederick Goodrich Henke - 1964 - Paragon Book Reprint.
  49. The Philosophical Letters of Wang Yang-Ming.Yangming Wang - 1972 - Columbia, University of South Carolina Press.
  50. Instructions for Practical Living, and Other Neo-Confucian Writing.Yangming Wang - 1963 - New York: Columbia University Press.
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