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Wang Yangming

Eastern philosophy research papers assigned often don't cover some of the truly brilliant philosophers of confusism. Trust Paper Masters to give you a custom research paper on Wang Yangming, one of the greatest philosophers out of the East.

Wang Yangming was born in 1472 in Yuyao, Zhejiang Province. His birth name was Wang Shouren. Yangming’s father was a high level government official. Yangming had a great interest in immortality. He was so wrapped up in his interest of immortality that he missed his own wedding night because he was discussing immortality with a Daoist priest at a Daoist temple.

Yangming's Philosophy

Wang Yangming

Wang Yangming was known for:

  • His philosophy on innate knowing
  • Distinguishing between good and evil
  • One of the most influential Confucian thinkers
  • Established the Yaojlang School

In 1942 he earned “a recommended person degree” in civil service. Unfortunately he was unable to pass the civil service examinations so he began look to the military for his future endeavors. He continued his study of Daoism in his pursuit of immortality. Later he was able to pass another examination and he consequently became a Ministry of Works official. During this time he worked to clear the name of prisoners who were mistakenly arrested.

In 1506, Wang defended an official who had been arrested for beating a powerful eunuch. Wang was beaten, imprisoned, and eventually banished because of his this defense. He was sent to Guizhou were he lived a very hard and lonely life. This allowed for him to have plenty of time to spend in meditation. One night during this meditation, he had a realization that brought Idealist neo-Confucianism to a higher level.

Yangming's Accomplishments

Wang is also known for his philosophical teaching about innate knowing. According to Wang, people are born with the ability to distinguish between good and evil or right and wrong. He taught that the distinguishing between good and evil is not something that is learned but instead comes in the form of intuition. This philosophy became apart of the ethical code of Japanese Samurai.

Wang is recognized as being one of the most influential Confucian thinkers in history. Wang established the “Yaojiang School” in China. This school was the most popular Confucian school in China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

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