Neo-Confucianism of Joseon dynasty––its theoretical foundation and main issues


  • Haesung LEE



Neo-Confucianism, Joseon dynasty, Korean philosophy, theory of Principle and Material Force


The theoretical foundation of Joseon Neo-Confucianism, which started with the theory of the Principle and Material Force (Seongriseol), seeks for the fundamental values of all things in the universe by means of the theories of Cosmology (Ujuron) and Mind and Nature (Simseongron). The theory of Self-Cultivation (Suyangron) pursues ideal character training to reach the ultimate Noble Gentleman’s (Gunja) status; then established the theory of Fidelity (Yiriron), which stresses moral practice against injustice. These theories functioned organically with the theory of Ritual Formalities (Yeseol) and the theory of Statecraft Ideas (Gyeongseron), deeply rooted in Democentrism (Minbonjuyi), in order to realize Confucian ideas as methodological indicators. The theory of Four Beginnings and Seven Emotions (Sadanchiljeongron) extended to be the theories of the Principle’s Dominance (Juriron) and Material Force’s Dominance (Jugiron). Likewise, the theory of Sameness-Difference of Human Nature and Material Nature (Inmulseong Dongiron) became the Horak debates, which formed the Neo-Confucian academic genealogies of the Joseon dynasty.


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How to Cite

LEE, H. (2016). Neo-Confucianism of Joseon dynasty––its theoretical foundation and main issues. Asian Studies, 4(1), 165–194.