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Moral psychology and cultivating the self

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    Rights statement: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of a chapter published following peer review. The version of record: Virag, C., 2019, "Moral Psychology and Cultivating the Self", in P. J. Ivanhoe (ed), Zhu Xi: Selected Writings, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190861254.001.0001, is available online at: https://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190861254.001.0001/oso-9780190861254-chapter-3

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZhu Xi
Subtitle of host publicationSelected Writings
EditorsPhilip J. Ivanhoe
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780190861261
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameOxford Chinese Thought
PublisherOxford University Press


This chapter offers a selection of writings concerning Zhu Xi’s account of the psychological workings of human beings that explains how their nature (xing性‎), heart-mind (xin心‎), and the feelings (qing情‎) are integrated with one another. It also includes material that addresses Zhu’s naturalistic explanation of moral capacity of humans and the proper course and method of self-cultivation. Zhu’s moral psychology presents a “synthesis” of the various cosmological and ethical ideas forwarded by his Northern Song neo-Confucian predecessors. He argued that by conceptualizing and embodying the all-pervading pattern-principle of things in the world one achieved integrity and unity in one’s own person, thereby fully realizing one’s humanity.

    Research areas

  • nature, heart-mind, feelings, desires, learning, meditation

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