Zhou Dunyi

▪ Chinese philosopher
Wade-Giles romanization  Chou Dun-i , also called  Zhou Lianxi  
born 1017, Yingdao [now in Daoxian, Hunan province], China
died 1073, Lushan, Jianxi province

      Chinese philosopher considered the most important precursor of Neo-Confucianism, the ethical and metaphysical system that became the officially sponsored mode of thought in China for almost 1,000 years. Ideas he derived from Neo-Daoism led him to a reformulation of Confucianism.

      Zhou was born into a highly influential official family and served in high governmental capacities throughout most of his life. He successively held the posts of magistrate, prefectural staff supervisor, professor of the directorate of education, and assistant prefect before resigning from office only a year before he died. He pursued his philosophical speculations while performing official duties.

      In his reformulation of Confucianism, Zhou drew from Daoist doctrines and elaborated on the Yijing (“Book of Changes”). One of his two major works was the short treatise Taijitushuo (“Explanation of the Diagram of the Great Ultimate”), in which he developed a metaphysics based on the idea that “the many are [ultimately] one, and the one is actually differentiated into the many.” Zhou combined Daoist schema of the universe with the Yijing's concept of an evolutionary process of creation: originating from the Great Ultimate (which is simultaneously the Non-Ultimate) are yin (tranquillity) and yang (movement). The interactions of yin and yang then give rise to the Five Elements (fire, earth, water, metal, and wood), and the integration and union of all of the preceding entities give rise to the male and female elements, which in turn are the cause of the production and evolution of all things. According to Zhou, human beings receive all the aforementioned qualities and forces in their “highest excellence,” and when man reacts to the external phenomena thus created, the distinction between good and evil emerges in his thought and conduct.

      In the longer treatise entitled Tongshu (“Explanatory Text”), Zhou's restatement and reinterpretation of Confucian doctrines laid the basis for the ethics of later Neo-Confucianism. According to Zhou, the sage, or superior man, reacts to external phenomena according to the principles of propriety, humanity, righteousness, wisdom, faithfulness, and tranquillity. Zhou viewed sincerity as the foundation of moral nature, the source of the ability to distinguish good from evil, and thus also of the ability to perfect oneself.

      Zhou's grounding of Confucian ethics in an impressive metaphysical scheme had a reviving and purifying influence on Neo-Confucianism. Zhou laid the foundation for the more systematic exposition of Neo-Confucianism provided by his later disciples, especially Zhu Xi (1130–1200). Because of his efforts the Yijing was revered as a great Confucian classic by Zhu and other Neo-Confucianists of the late Song dynasty.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zhou Dunyi — Full name Zhou Dunyi Born 1017 Died 1073 (aged 56) Era Neo Confucianism …   Wikipedia

  • Zhou Dunyi — Zhou Dunyi …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zhou Dunyi — (Chino tradicional: 周敦頤, chino simplificado: 周敦颐, pinyin: Zhōu Dūnyí; Wade Giles: Chou Tun i) (1017 1073) fue un filósofo y cosmólogo chino de la escuela neoconfuciana (理學, li xué) autor del Taijitu shuo (太極圖 說, Taìjítú shuō), Explicación del… …   Wikipedia Español

  • ZHOU DUNYI — [TCHEOU TOUEN YI] (1017 1073) Penseur confucéen, le premier qui, continuant l’œuvre de Li Ao, donne un cadre cosmologique à la métaphysique élaborée par ce dernier. Il le fait au moyen du Tableau du Faîte Suprême (Taijitu ), diagramme illustrant… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Zhou Dunyi —   [dʒɔʊ duni], Chou Tun i, chinesischer Philosoph, * Yingdao (Provinz Hunan) 1017, ✝ Nankang (Provinz Jiangxi) 1073; neben Zhang Zai (* 1020, ✝ 1076) und Shao Yong (* 1011, ✝ 1077) einer der Begründer des frühen Neokonfuzianismus, der sich in… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Zhou — bezeichnet in China eine westliche Dynastie mit der Hauptstadt Zongzhou/Hao (zirka 1122/1045–770 v. Chr.) und in östliche Dynastie mit der Hauptstadt Chengzhou bei Luoyang (770 256 v. Chr.): Zhou Dynastie Zhou ist der Familienname folgender… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chou Tun-I — Zhou Dunyi Zhou Dunyi (chin. 周敦頤 / 周敦颐, Zhōu Dūnyí, W. G. Chou Tun yi; * 1017; † 1073) war ein chinesischer Philosoph aus der Schule des Neokonfuzianismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chou Tun-yi — Zhou Dunyi Zhou Dunyi (chin. 周敦頤 / 周敦颐, Zhōu Dūnyí, W. G. Chou Tun yi; * 1017; † 1073) war ein chinesischer Philosoph aus der Schule des Neokonfuzianismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chou Tun I — Zhou Dunyi Zhou Dunyi (chin. 周敦頤 / 周敦颐, Zhōu Dūnyí, W. G. Chou Tun yi; * 1017; † 1073) war ein chinesischer Philosoph aus der Schule des Neokonfuzianismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chou Tunyi — Zhou Dunyi Zhou Dunyi (chin. 周敦頤 / 周敦颐, Zhōu Dūnyí, W. G. Chou Tun yi; * 1017; † 1073) war ein chinesischer Philosoph aus der Schule des Neokonfuzianismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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