WANG YANG-MING'S YOUTH: A PERSONAL REFLECTION ON THE METHOD OF MY RESEARCH
Author: Wei-ming, Tu
Source: Ming Studies, Number 3, Fall, 1976 , pp. 11-18(8)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:My systematic study of Wang Yang-ming's life and thought began ten years ago. Although by then I had already read most of Wang Yang-ming's philosophical and political writings, it was my participation in Professor Erik Erikson's seminar on History and Life History in 1965 that prompted me to take Wang Yang-ming seriously as a “witness” of the Confucian tradition. Inspired by Erikson's imaginative inquiry into YOUNG MAN LUTHER and his particular concern for the intricate relation between “psychological reality” and “historical actuality,” I wrote a paper on “Wang Yang-ming: A Witness of the Confucian Ideal of Inner Sageliness and Outer Kingliness” in early 1966. However, even at that time I felt uneasy about applying a methodology—of which I had as yet acquired superficial knowledge—to a subject which was still beyond my comprehension. This sense of uneasiness became greatly intensified as I continued to read psychoanalytical literature in conjunction with my study on Wang Yang-ming. For, as I realized, the kind of autobiographical data indispensable for a sophisticated psychohistorical analysis is absent in Wang Yang-ming's case.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1976-01-01