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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2015, Vol. 10 Issue (1) : 95-112
research-article |
Water, Plant, Light, and Mirror: On the Root Metaphors of the Heart-Mind in Wang Yangming’s Thought
BAO Yongling()
Institute of Philosophy, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai 200235, China
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Clarifying Wang Yangming’s thought through a study of his root metaphors of heart-mind is an important step toward explaining his further concepts of the human world. Along with the root metaphors of water and mirror, the metaphors of plant and light work together for Wang to form a coherent theoretical and practical system of xin (heart-mind). This method is also a good way to unravel the various theories of the “three teachings” that are intermingled in his thinking. By using this methodology Wang’s attempts to harmonize several ancient traditions of heart-mind that appear as possibly polarized to modern readers, are illuminated (though they did not appear contradictory to the Neo-Confucians).

Keywords Wang Yangming      root metaphor      heart-mind      innate knowledge      human nature      self-cultivation     
Issue Date: 23 March 2015
 Cite this article:   
BAO Yongling. Water, Plant, Light, and Mirror: On the Root Metaphors of the Heart-Mind in Wang Yangming’s Thought[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(1): 95-112.
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