Practical Wisdom in Confucian Philosophy

Journal of Philosophical Research 40 (Supplement):69-80 (2015)
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Abstract

Confucianism, since the time of Confucius, emphasizes “practical wisdom” as the realization of philosophy. This approach accentuates the practical aspects of wisdom rather than the analytical rationale of the intellect. Emphasis on practical wisdom persistently reinforces a moral foundation that is not differentiated from personal virtue. At the same time, practical wisdom in Confucianism stresses self-cultivation, or the complete transformation of the self, derived from the internal state of the heart/mind (xin 心). Finally, Confucian insists that practical wisdom must be transformed into practical action.

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Lai Chen
Tsinghua University

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