The Korean Neo-Confucianism of Yi Toegye and Yi Yulgok (Part 24)

Chong Chuman on the Four and the Seven

Chong Chuman is well-known for his Chonmyong to (Digram of Heaven and Destinaty). In this diagram, he summarised basic Cheng-Chu teachings on metaphysics and ethics. In fact, chin g’s chonmyong to was modelled after Kwon’s Chonin simsong habil chi to (Diagram of the Oneness of Heaven and Human Beings, Mind, and Nature), the first diagram of Kwon Kun’s Iphak tool (Diagrammatic Treatise for the Commencement of Learning), which is the earliest Korean diagrammatical treaties on cheng chu Neo-Confucianism As mentioned before, the Iphak tool was the earliest Korean text that lists the “Seven Emotions” and describes them in terms of mind, human natures, and feelings, as well as in terms of principle (i/li) and material force (ki/chi).

Without giving a clear explanation, Chong stated: “The Four Beginnings are manifest from i, whereas the Seven Emotions are manifest from ki.” Note that this statement, in fact, initiated Toegye’s Four-Seven debate with Ki Kobong who asked Toegye to clarify such a statement. This was, then, the beginning stage of the Four-Seven controversy in Korea.

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