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[Vol.27 (2017)] Wang Tingxiangs Political Philosophy
Author : KWON Oh Hyang
Date : 19.03.26
Page : 153-168
Keyword : practical politics (shijian zhengzhi ), people-oriented (minben ), impartial mind (gongxin ), self-humility (ziqian )
Abstract :

Wang Tingxiang lived in the period when the Ming ٥ empire recovered the territory of the mainland China. He strongly demanded a powerful leadership for the reformation of politics, society, and thoughts. For this reason, he insisted a centralized government system and, at the same time, emphasized the competence and morality of the ruler. He suggests that the ruler must rectify his nature first based on his right mind (zhengxin ). To keep the right mind, the ruler must always think clearly and remove greed (yu ). Secondly, goodness (shan ) and pleasure (le ) must be on the basis of truthfulness. Lastly, the ruler must have a firm grasp of every details of the peoples lives to understand their minds. Wangs fundamental political belief is that the people are the nations foundation; therefore, politics should be obligated to enrich the people (minfu ݣ) and give pleasure to the people (minle ե). For this reason, the land system and tax system must be reformed to enrich the people. Wang also emphasizes the harmonization between the ruler and the statesmen to keep the nation stable. Wang Tingxiangs philosophy is worth evaluating in that it is grounded on his experiences as a local as well as a central government official. He also put his theory and knowledge into practice. He devoted not only to reforming unjust laws and customs but also to redressing political, economic, and educational issues.

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