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Wang Yang-ming

Wang Yang-ming wäng yäng-mĭng [key], 1472–1529, Chinese philosopher. He developed an idealist interpretation of Confucianism that denied the rationalist dualism of the orthodox philosophy of Chu Hsi . Wang believed that universal moral law is innate in man and discoverable through self-cultivation. In contrast to the orthodox Confucian reliance on classical studies (see Chinese literature ) as a means to self-cultivation, Wang stressed self-awareness and the unity of knowledge and action. One school of his followers emphasized achievement of mystical enlightenment in a manner strikingly similar to Zen Buddhism .

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

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