Confucian Thought in Korea: A Study Based on the Cardinal Principles of Confucianism


by Youn Sa-soon
Publication Date: Jul 2017
ISBN-13: 978-89-7641-938-5
Hardcover: 296 pages
Language: English

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There is a case to be made that the diverse strands of Korean Confucian thought converge in ‘the theory of human nobility’. This theory is clearly related to the ‘humanitarian spirit’ elaborated by Confucius and ‘devotion to the welfare of mankind’ advanced by the Dangun (the forefather of the Korean people) Myth. Ultimately, I believe that Korean Confucianism has bright prospects, as it is fundamentally based on ‘the theory of human nobility’.
At the outset, I was conscious of the risk that my investigation,based on each of the several cardinal Confucian principles, could result in divergent kinds of understanding and could conversely also be more monotonous than a general survey which was not structured around the cardinal principles. Bearing this in mind, I begin this work with a survey of the history of Korean Confucianism. In addition, the investigation of each cardinal principle and its application have been carried out in the light of the contemporary historical situation in which it emerged. As a result, those who read this book in a linear fashion from start to finish may gain a general understanding of the subject.


about author

Youn Sa-soon
Professor Emeritus
Dept. of Philosophy, Korea University
Member of the National Academy of Sciences,
Republic of Korea