Philosophical and Critical Method
In this chapter, I discuss Wang Chong’s philosophical and critical method, beginning with his arguments in defense of “creation” (zuo) as a legitimate tool in the service of discovery of truths. I then offer an account of the method of questioning and challenging (wen nan) as described primarily in the Wenkong (“Questioning Confucius”) chapter. I explain the operation, purpose, and application of Wang’s method, and give an account of how we might understand the purpose of the Lunheng as a whole as expression of this method. I also attempt to account for a number of inconsistencies between chapters of the text through reference to this method. I move on to discuss Wang Chong’s account of knowledge, engaging with current interpretations and offering an interpretation of Wang Chong as developing a pluralist theory of knowledge.