Chuan-shan’s Criticism on “Particular Cures to Particular Ills” in His Interpretation of the Analects
|Authors:||徐聖心||Keywords:||王夫之;方以智;讀四書大全說;東西均;應病予藥;Wang Fu-zhi;Fang I-zhi;Particular cures to particular ills;Synthesis of the three teachings||Issue Date:||Dec-2008||Start page/Pages:||193-220||Source:||臺大中文學報||Abstract:||
This article discusses the theory of “particular cures to particular ills”－a very significant component in the synthesis of the three teachings, and highlights the anti-theses between the two perspectives and models represented by Wang Fu-Zhi and Fang I-Zhi to interpret this theory. Fang’s view is reflected by his opinions on “cure and ill” in his works; Wang’s antithesis to the theory of “particular cures to particular ills” can primarily be found in his interpretation of the Analects.
There are some turning points in the simile and use of the theory of “cure and ill” or “particular cures to particular ills”: this theory originated in Buddhism; it was later adopted by Confucianists, and was finally applied to the synthesis of the three teachings. Both Wang and Fang not only cite it as a scholarly source, but also come up with new interpretations. Fang focuses on establishing various models to explain the theory of cure and ill, making it a general teaching. Fang, for example, creates the principle of “unifying before utilizing”, and concludes that both flexibility and generality are present in the theory. Fang’s insight deepens and supplements previous understanding on this theory. Wang, on the other hand, after collapsing the reality of “ill” , points out the errors of the hypothesis of cure and ill, especially and primarily the binary. Wang’s reason is that the binary is not the viewpoint held by Confucius, and that the cure-ill relationship should and could not be simplified as an either-or relationship. Wang takes Confucius’ practical teachings as an example, explaining that although individual disciples my have bias, Confucius’ way to guide his students still remains the same, i.e., his guidance is essentially based on the general teachings.
Though there are differences between Fang’s and Wang’s perspectives, they nevertheless share four points in common: 1.Both the two take a meta-perspective to ponder the system necessary for the theory of “cure and ill” or to deconstruct the basis of the theory of “particular cures to particular ills”. 2.While reviewing the theory with meta-perspective, they also collapse the reality of ills, and thus argue that it is possible for cure and ill to exchange their position. 3.They both adhere to the characteristic principle of “moderation” in Confucian discourse and apply it as the ultimate teaching to amend and explain the theory, though there are little differences in their approaches. 4.They both not only trace back to Confucius’teachings, but also see the origin of this topic in a common ground among all the sages’ teachings, i.e., the meditation on the model of ultimate teachings.
|Appears in Collections:||中國文學系|
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