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[Vol.24 (2015)] The Modern Significance of the Yijing in Terms of Autonomy
Author : KIM Sungkee
Date : 19.03.28
Page : 139-151
Keyword : autonomy, freedom, Yijing, junzi, daren
Abstract :

This paper studies the contemporary significance of the Yijing by analyzing the perspective of autonomy (zilü ) in the Yijing. To do this, this paper examines both the meaning of autonomy as a philosophical term and how the concept of autonomy is used in the Yijing. The essay proposes that the whole philosophical system of the Yijing can be understood by the idea of autonomy. This is because its views on the highest good of human beings, the process of its realization, and the world of grand unity (datongshijie ͣ) as the ultimate state of affairs all accord with the perspective of autonomy. Hence, I focus on the process of extending human autonomy in order to explore the philosophical system and contemporary meaning of the Yijing. This papers concept of autonomy has been developed from come from Kants notion of autonomy, an idea which has been recognized as the core concept of his thinking, and the basis of most subsequent conceptions of autonomy. Despite the importance of Kants thought in Western philosophy, Confucian thought has its own unique perspective on the concept of autonomy. Although the Confucian classics did not directly present a fully developed notion of autonomy, certain key components of the fuller concept of autonomy are inherent in Confucian thought. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the Yijings ideas regarding how humans can become free from the bondage of external rules and reach the acme of being an autonomous person (zilüren ). Furthermore, this paper demonstrates that the ultimate goal of human beings in the Yijing is to be free men (ziyouren ). This paper also explores the significance of human autonomy by analyzing the meaning of emulating Heaven and Earth (fatiandi ) and corresponding (ganying ) in Confucian thought on humans, nature, and zhongyong .

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