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Wang Yangming’s Reductionist Account of Practical Necessity: General and Particular

  • Yat-hung LeungEmail author


In this article, I argue that we can have a plausible account of the experience of practical necessity, namely, the experience that some action is necessitated for someone, by referring to the philosophy of Wang Yangming (1472–1529), a Neo-Confucian philosopher in Ming Dynasty China. The experience of practical necessity, according to Wang, can be of two kinds: general (to be a human) and particular (to be a particular person), both having their bases on human nature and related to the fulfillment of the self. I argue that this account fares better than the non-reductionist account and other reductionist accounts, including Christine Korsgaard’s, which explains the experience in terms of the constitution of the self.


Practical necessity Constitution of self Fulfillment of self Wang Yangming 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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