Wang Yangming

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Wang Yangming
Wang Shouren

31 October 1472
Died9 January 1529

Wang Yangming (31 October 1472 – 9 January 1529), or Bo'an, was a Chinese philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist, and general during the Ming dynasty.

History[change | change source]

He was born with the name Wang Shouren (王守仁) in the Zhejiang Province. He was known for his idealistic interpretation of neo-Confucianism, which was said to have a deeper effect on the philosophical thinking in East Asia for centuries.[1]

Military career[change | change source]

Wang became a successful general and was known for the strict discipline he used on his troops. In 1517 and 1518, in response to petitions to suppress peasant revolts in Jiangxi, Fujian, and Guangdong provinces, Yangming asked the court to allow amnesty. This allowed Yangming to successfully defeat the rebel forces.

Influence[change | change source]

Yangming influenced many, some including Lin Zexu, and Mao Zedong. He also was an influence to Tōgō Heihachirō, who won a decisive victory in the Russo-Japanese War, as Heihachirō created a stamp commemorating Yangming shortly after the war. There is also a mountain in Japan named after him, called Yangmingshan.

Theory[change | change source]

He thought that Knowledge is action, action is knowledge(知行合一).His main idea is the extension of innate knowledge(致良知).[2] He taught the view that "Wisdom is knowledge applied." This viewpoint helped cement his victories and improve his legacy. He also taught that true knowledge is action-based, not word-based. Today we call "true knowledge" wisdom.

Other pages[change | change source]

Sources[change | change source]

  1. Ulrich Theobald. "Ming period literature, thought and philosophy (". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  2. "Wang Yangming - Bibliography - PhilPapers". Retrieved 2017-10-17.