Dao

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 63–81 | Cite as

“There is Nothing More…Than Dressing and Eating”: Li Zhi 李贄 and the Child-like Heart-Mind (Tongxin 童心)

Article

Abstract

This article examines the writings of the controversial 16th century thinker Li Zhi 李贄, also named (hao 號) Zhuowu 卓吾 (1527–1602), and argues that he articulates a coherent and compelling vision of a good life focused on the expression of genuine feelings distinctive to each individual. Through a study of literary texts and terms of art he refers to in his critical essay “On the Child-like Heart-mind” (Tongxin Shuo 童心說), as well as the metaphors and images he fleshes out throughout his writings, I characterize Li’s ethical vision and show that it is rooted in a particular loose and accommodating conception of human nature and centered on the simple and intuitive act of daily maintaining the birthright of our “child-like heart-mind.”

Keywords

Li Zhi Neo-Confucianism Ming thought Tongxin Genuine 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Program in Religious StudiesWashington University in Saint LouisSt. LouisUSA

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