Explicit and Implicit Aspects of Confucian Education
Keywords:Confucian learning, ren 仁, explicit knowledge, implicit knowing, ineffability, Wang Yangming
The following essay contains a more general philosophical reflection on the significance and some main elements of pre-modern Confucian learning. The topic is developed by presenting some essential elements in the whole range from explicit (linguistically expressible) knowledge to symbolic aspects as well as the (philosophical) problem of ineffable knowing. The essay starts with the general conception of man which underlies the mainstream of Confucian learning. On that basis, the more explicit contents and easily explicable subjects or branches of classical Confucian learning are mapped out. This becomes the starting point to move on to reflect on a more symbolic layer of Confucian learning. Finally, the core level of Confucian learning is addressed. This presents us with the problem of ineffability. The reference points of the present essay are restricted to some important classical passages as well as the thought of Wang Yangming 王陽明 (1472–1529).
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