The Korean Neo-Confucianism of Yi Toegye and Yi Yulgok (Part 52)

Following Mencius and his senior Sung Neo-Confucians, Chu Hsi meant that all human beings have the mind-and-aheart consisting of moral feelings such as commiseration, shame and dislike, courtesy and modesty, and discernment of right and wrong. He argued that this view corresponds the Mencian doctrine of human nature:

Benevolence, rightness, propriety, and wisdom are human nature. They are called principles. Their beginnings refer to the mind-and0heart of commiseration, shame and dislike, courtesy and modesty, and right and wrong. Commiseration, shame and dislike, courtesy and modesty, and right and wrong are feelings (chong). Benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom are human nature (song). HEnce, “the mind-and-heart commands human nature and feelings.” The beginnings are aroused feelings that come from the original essence of human nature… When Mencius spoke of “the mind-and-heart of commiseration,” for example, he discussed he mind-and-heart (sim), not the human nature (song). The mind-and-heart is one thing, and human nature is another thing… Mencius’ theory of the Four BEginnings is best explained by three points: commiseration is a feeling; the mind-and-heart of commiseration is the mind-and-heart; and benevolence is human nature.

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