A Humanist Reading of Wang Chong’s Defence of Divination


  • Mark Kevin CABURAL Xiamen University, China




Wang Chong, divination, humanism, inclusive humanism, ontocosmological humility


In this article, I present a new perspective on the thought of Wang Chong (王充, 27 CE – ca 97 CE) by drawing on Chung-Ying Cheng’s understanding of inclusive or intrinsic humanism. Specifically, I show how this type of humanism is reflected in Wang’s defence of divination and how his reinterpretation of the concepts of spontaneity (ziran 自然), endowment (ming 命), and natural disposition (xing 性) provide insights into the capabilities, concerns, and role of humans in the universe. Additionally, I describe the importance of ontocosmological humility in divination and inclusive humanism, then discuss how such a disposition or virtue figures in the modern scientific literature. While I offer a humanist reading of Wang’s defence of divination in this article, I also argue that ontocosmological humility can guide humans in making responsible actions and transforming themselves, other creatures, and the universe.


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7. 09. 2023

How to Cite

Cabural, Mark Kevin. 2023. “A Humanist Reading of Wang Chong’s Defence of Divination”. Asian Studies 11 (3): 229-48. https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2023.11.3.229-248.

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