List of Chinese Philosophers - Imperial Era Philosophers - Neo-Confucianism


  • Zhou Dunyi, argued for the inseparability of metaphysics and ethics.
    • Cheng Yi, made enemies with other philosophers, resulting in his works being banned.
    • Cheng Hao, brother to Cheng Yi.
    • Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi), rationalist and leading figure of the School of Principle.
      • Chen Hongmou, argued for racial and sexual equality in the place of education.
      • Wang Fuzhi, believed Confucius' teachings had become distorted, so wrote his own commentaires.
      • Wang Yangming, idealist and leading figure of the School of Mind.
        • Li Zhi, preached a form of moral relativism.
        • Qian Dehong, further developed The Yangming School of Mind.
        • Xu Ai, ardent follower of Wang Yangming.
        • Huang Zongxi, one of the first Neo-Confucians to stress the need for constitutional law.
        • Zhan Ruoshui, lifelong friend to Wang Yangming.
  • Han Yu, precursor to Neo-Confucianism, essayist, and poet.
  • Lu Jiuyuan, saw moral conduct as a consequence of intuitive insights into the essence of reality.
  • Shao Yong, considered one of the most scholarly men of the time.
  • Su Shi, accomplished Song Dynasty writer.
  • Ye Shi, stressed practical learning and applying Confucian doctrine to real world problems.
  • Zhang Zai, everything is composed of qi, and that fact explains everything.
  • Lai Zhide, created the Taijitu.
  • Li Ao

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