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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


A New Interpretation of Wang Yang-ming’s Thesis of “No Wu (Thing) outside Hsin (Mind)

Vol. 32 No. 1   6/2002   


A New Interpretation of Wang Yang-ming’s Thesis of “No Wu (Thing) outside Hsin (Mind)


Yiu-ming Fung









Key words

No wu outside hsin, subjective idealism, pantheism, new theory of ti and yung, theory of intentionality, internal realism, theory of ling-qiao


       In contrast to Chu Hsi’s theory of ke-wu (the investigation of things) Wang yang-ming claims that there is no wu (thing/act) outside hsin (mind/heart). Although the comtrastis obvious, a reasonable and acceptable interpretation of Wang Yang-ming’s thesis in this regard has yet to appear. Some previous interpretations based on Berkeley’s subjective idealism, Spinoza’s pantheism. Husserl’s theory of intentionality, Mou Tsung-san’s Theory of ti and yung (substance and functioning), Putnam’s internal realism, respectively, are discussed in this article. After a serious consideration of the strength and the weakness of these interpretations, I elaborate a new interpretation called “the theory of ling-qiao” (Intelligent hollo w) which is more comprehensive and cogent. Under this interpretation, we can also explain the fact that the main idea of Wang Yang-ming’s thesis is borrows from religious Taoism.



Author: Yiu-ming Fung
Genre: Article
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