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[Vol.25 (2016)] A Comparative Study of Zhu Xis Approach to Self-Cultivation: An Analysis of Jing
Author : ZHAO Yanyan
Date : 19.03.28
Page : 197-213
Keyword :
Abstract :


In pre-Qin texts the term jing generally has two connotations. First, it refers to a serious, careful, and highly focused psychological response to specific objects. Second, it refers to a lasting psychological state of high focused-ness. Zhu Xi (1130-1200) develops the two connotations of jing above from two perspectives. First, he considers the two connotations above as one single jing rather than two kinds of jing, representing different—though correlated—self-cultivation states of high focused-ness connected to xins movement and to xins stillness. Second, Zhu emphasizes that the frequently alert self-cultivation process indicated by jing helps xin return to its original state of clearness, and he also suggests different ways of returning to xins original state through jings self-cultivation. When comparing jing and two seemingly related western terms, i.e. reverence and respect, we can see that both reverence and respect differ from jing from at least two perspectives. First, both reverence and respect only refer to the response to specific objects while having no connotation of cultivating a lasting psychological state. Second, even in referring to a response to specific objects, the occurrence of both reverence and respect has much to do with the objects character rather than with the perceivers self-cultivation. In relating the two differences above to the western moral-cultivation theory, the self-cultivation theory of jing demonstrates at least two outstanding characteristics. On one hand, it represents a foreseeing moral-cultivation process; on the other hand, it emphasizes that we should only respond in accordance with the rights and wrongs of what happens as such, instead of responding differently due to different characteristics belonging to objects. Furthermore, the self-cultivation theory of jing may have important contributions to offer to contemporary Western debates within the field of moral-cultivation theory on the relation between moral principles and moral emotions.


Attachments : _ 塰ס_(__) 197-213.pdf


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