Journal directory listing - Volume 67 (2022) - Journal of NTNU【67(2)】September (Special Issue: Exhibit Asia: Exploring National Image and Identity through Exhibition)

From “Surmounting Scholasticism by Following Nature” to “Making Self-Other Connections”: A Contemporary Study of Ji Kang’s Shishilun Author: Kuan-hung Wu (Department of Chinese Language and Literature, National Dong Hwa University, Professor)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 67, No. 2
Date:September 2022

Ji Kang’s Shishilun features the famous line, “surmounting scholasticism by following nature.” During the development of the dialectics of scholasticism and nature in the Wei-Jin Dynasties, this line was regarded as a key rationale for the deeds of dissipated elites. With the influence of contemporary thought that stresses freedom and the pursuit of individuality, this interpretation of Shishilun has become the consensus of academic circles.
Nevertheless, this far-reaching interpretation limits the conception of Shishilun. In light of this, the relationship between the subjective and objective worlds is reconsidered, shifting the line from “surmounting scholasticism by following nature” to “making self-other connections (tongwu)” and “being fully engaged in debates (jinyan).” The first shift, “making self-other connections,” constructs the ethics of self-other interdependence and challenges the assumption that mutual prosperity and altruism can be achieved through self-indulgence. Subsequently, the second change, “being fully engaged in debates,” can be regarded as the balance between ethics and aesthetics in Ji Kang’s theory and in Wei-Jin culture. Moreover, the second shift focuses on the objective domain of public opinion, shifting away from the realm of self-cultivation and toward constant reflection on the “life world of the other.” Therefore, we may become closer to the needs of the present and co-create a harmonious and beautiful world.
This re-examination not only responds to the contemporary trend of reinterpreting the ethics of Zhuangzi but also highlights Ji Kang’s role in developing the Confucian concept of public versus private. Additionally, this study departs from previous interpretations that downplay Confucianism and elevate Taoism and proposes an interpretation that stresses both Confucianism and Taoism. As a result, the dialectics of Ji Kang’s thought in ethics can be enriched.

Keywords:public versus private, tongwu, Ji Kang, jinyan, connection

《Full Text》 檔名

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APA FormatWu, K. (2022). From “Surmounting Scholasticism by Following Nature” to “Making Self-Other Connections”: A contemporary study of Ji Kang’s Shishilun. Journal of National Taiwan Normal University, 67(2), 97-122.
Chicago FormatWu, Kuan-hung. “From “Surmounting Scholasticism by Following Nature” to “Making Self-Other Connections”: A Contemporary Study of Ji Kang’s Shishilun.” Journal of National Taiwan Normal University 67, no. 2 (2022): 97-122.