Category Archives: Wang Yangming

Studying Wang Yangming

Posting on behalf of Larry Israel:

Dear Warp Weft and Way readers – I am just writing to let you know that I have self-published a book titled “Studying Wang Yangming: History of a Sinological Field.” This is a survey of the Western-language literature (17th c.-2019 or so) on Wang Yangming and his first-general followers written in historical and to some extent biographical context. I know that many will disapprove of self-publication and look down on it, but I did so because this book is about to be published in Chinese by a press in Beijing, and also because it will need to be updated every few years (hard to do if I give it to a publisher). Also, given how limited the audience will be, I felt that signing it over would result in this reference book becoming even less accessible globally. In sum, I had a contract with an okay press but didn’t feel right about giving it away. Much content is based on peer-reviewed articles and the rest went through several hands. Thanks for your forbearance! If you would like a free e-version just email me, I’m happy to send it.


Larry Israel

Wang Yangming Conference

On March 18-20, 2022, there will be a conference at Princeton on “Wang Yangming and Ming Thought,” organized by Harvey Lederman, PJ Ivanhoe, and Xueyin Snow Zhang. Details can be found at this website:

Note that this will be in-person at Princeton, not on Zoom. Graduate students or early career researchers concerned about the expense of attending the conference might want to reach out to Harvey Lederman ( for more information on possible available resources.

MARCH 12, 2021: A Passage from Wang Yangming’s “Questions on the Great Learning


PresentsA Passage from Wang Yangming’s “Questions on the Great Learning”

Presenter: Harvey Lederman (Princeton University)
Discussants: Stephen Angle (Wesleyan University), Warren Frisina (Hofstra University), Xiaomei Yang (Southern Connecticut State University)

ABSTRACT: This session will follow the organization of those we had on Zhuangzi and Śāntideva from Fall 2020. A lead presenter will give some background on the text from which the passage below is derived–namely, Wang Yangming’s “Questions on the Great Learning” (大學問)–and introduce Wang’s notion of liangzhi (良知). The presentation will then discuss Wang’s understanding of “the extension of knowledge” (致知) and “making inclinations wholehearted” (誠意) from the Great Learning (大學) before giving a focused reading of the passage itself. According to this reading, a person has extended their knowledge if and only if they have made their inclinations wholehearted. Each of the discussants will then follow with some brief comments and questions before we open things up for Q&A.

DATE: March 12, 2021
TIME: 7:00-8:30 pm

Here is the passage:

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New Book: Chung on Wang Yangming in Korea

Rowman & Littlefield has published Edward Chung, The Great Synthesis of Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism in Korea. The author adds that for those colleagues who would like to purchase it at the author’s discount (30%), its special promotion code is LEX30AUTH20. The table of contents follows.

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Free download of article on Wang Yangming

Larry Israel has published an article with Asian Philosophy, titled “The Transformation of the Wang Yangming Scholarship in the West, ca. 1960-1980: A Historical Essay.”  He asked me to post this because Routledge makes 50 eprints freely available here, and he didn’t know what to do with them, or if they would be of any interest. Feel free to download!

What was published on Wang Yangming in 2016?

A Chinese journal is endeavoring to assemble a list of all the articles related to Wang Yangming published in 2016. I would like to ask anyone who knows of articles published in Europe, North America, or South America during 2016 to please post the information here as a comment, or email me directly if you prefer. Thanks!

Israel on Wang Yangming

Larry Israel wrote to share information on two articles he’s recently published on Wang Yangming. We are always happy to pass on this kind of news!  “The Renaissance of Wang Yangming Studies in the People’s Republic of China,” Philosophy East and West, vol. 66, no. 3 (July 2016): 1001-1019.  Takes the story up to 2014.

link to A new journal launched by Cambridge, the Journal of Chinese History Israel, G.L. (2016) ‘WANG YANGMING IN BEIJING, 1510–1512: “IF I DO NOT AWAKEN OTHERS, WHO WILL DO SO?”’ Journal of Chinese History, pp. 1–33. 

Columbia Neo-Confucian Seminar: Hagop Sarkissian “Experimental Philosophy and the Confucian Philosophical Tradition: A Brief History and Comparison.” Friday, September 30 @ 3:30pm

The next session of the Columbia University Seminar on Neo-Confucian Studies (University Seminar #567) will convene Friday, September 30, 2016 from 3:30 to 5:30pm in the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.

Hagop Sarkissian (City University of New York, Baruch College | Graduate Center) will present his paper

“Experimental Philosophy and the Confucian Philosophical Tradition: A Brief History and Comparison.”

ABSTRACT: Continue reading →