Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
SagehoodThe Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephen C. Angle

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385144

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385144.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 November 2019

Li 理/Coherence

Li 理/Coherence

Chapter:
(p.31) 2 Li 理/Coherence
Source:
Sagehood
Author(s):

Stephen C. Angle (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385144.003.0003

Li is a difficult term, sometimes translated as “principle” or “pattern,” that lies at the center of Neo-Confucian philosophizing. Building on the insights of Willard Peterson, Brook Ziporyn, and other scholars, the chapter argues that li means “the valuable and intelligible way that things fits together,” and chooses “coherence” as the best short translation of li. The chapter draws not only on Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming, but also on other Neo-Confucians like Zhang Zai and Luo Qinshun. P.J. Ivanhoe's important arguments concerning the influence of Huayan Buddhism on Neo-Confucianism are both developed and critiqued. The chapter examines li's combination of subjective and objective dimensions, including the way that li is partly constituted by human purposes. Other topics include the ontological status of li, its causal role, and its simultaneous unity and multiplicity. The chapter concludes by showing that once li is understood as coherence, the question of how it can be both descriptive and prescriptive—which has long bedeviled interpreters, some of them worried by Hume's distinction between “is” and “ought”—is readily answered.

Keywords:   Principle, Pattern, Brook Ziporyn, Zhang Zai, Luo Qinshun, P. J. Ivanhoe, Huayan Buddhism, ontology, normativity

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .