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Chu Hsi

Chu Hsi (jō shē) [key], 1130–1200, Chinese philosopher of Neo-Confucianism. While borrowing heavily from Buddhism, his new metaphysics reinvigorated Confucianism. According to Chu Hsi, the normative principle of human nature is pure and good. Expressed in concrete form human nature is less than perfect, but it can be refined through self-cultivation based on study of the classics. His thought was orthodox during the Yüan, Ming, and Ch'ing dynasties. For 600 years students memorized his classical commentaries until the Chinese examination system was abolished in 1905.

See studies by W.-T. Chan (1987, 1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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