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The two Korean philosophers to be evaluated in this paper are Yi Toegye and Yiyi, an overview about their life and their contribution as philosophers in Korea will be highlighted so as to get a critical perception of their thoughts on human life. Yi Toegye is believed to have existed between 1501-1570; he chose to preserve the traditions of the Chinese Cheng-Chu school in the 16th century in the Korean Cho son empire. YiToegye proposed four principles and seven feelings that were based on the basis of the Orthodox Cheng-Chu school Metaphysical with regard to emotions and aspirations (Saccone, 1993).
Yiyi is believed to have lived between 1536-1584; he is remembered because of his focus on the ontological difference between the principle (li) and Material-force (chi) thus sustaining the concept of a dualistic system; philosophically and principled ontology of the mind and feelings. Principle (li) and material force (chi) relate with the four principles and seven feelings of YiToegye and thus it can be inferred that they had a similar philosophical point of view. Contrary to YiToegye, Yiyi's thesis is said to have centered on the ontological inseparability between the principle and material by emphasizing the symmetrical relationship between the original human nature and physical human nature .Yiyi's method of self-cultivation based on the four principles and seven feelings scheme to bring about the difference between LI and Chi from a stand oint of realistic ethical thought.
The Orthodox Cheng-Chu school show that both foundational Korean philosophers have definitely different epistemological views concerning the mind, and feelings thus adhere to the doctrine of the orthodox Chinese Cheng-Chu school. Based on the two Korean Neo-Confucian philosophers and their emphasis on the core values of the principles and feelings, the mind is termed as the master of the feelings that enables an individual to do what is good. The closely related mind, nature and the principles were viewed by the Cheng-Chu school in relation to the four principles based on feelings as ethical values for self actualization attained through education. Furthermore, they asserted that persons can attain identity by conquering their limits and making a cognizant effort that could nurture human nature and feelings.
The Korean Neo-Confucian philosophers introduced a paternalism that was based on the concept of goodwill that was referred to as a moral feeling and favoritism that was based on the concept of approving; physical desire. In spite of the opposing ethical values of both paternalism and favoritism, they are indivisible and deeply engrained in the fabric of contemporary confusion culture of Korea (Chung, 1995). Lack of censure in Korea is a major problem and thus has led the two philosophers share a special link due to personal ties with students who usually follow their teacher's instructions without aany criticism and junior faculty members rarely raise any objections to senior faculty member's assertions that can be found in the current Korean education system.
Secondly there is the factionalism that is embedded in family and school ties that have become an obstacle to exchanging scholarly knowledge and academic information, this is so as YiTegye and Yiyi view that factionalism creates new groups and hinders academic development in a presumably open competitive system. The two Korean scholars also viewed favoritism based on interpersonal ties as a problem as it obstructs the honesty in education by promoting a partial administration that leads to lack of equity in educational administration (Saccone, 1993).
The philosophers added academic career and clique-oriented principles as a problem that has provoked not only to school-ties that are based on an individual's affiliated school but also propose the homogeneous academic coteries who seldom interchange their knowledge with heterogeneous groups. The two philosophers contributed to the introduction of a homogeneously closed organizational system that intends to maintain its vested benefits concerning academic actions and other valuable thoughts by enhancing academic excellence. This implies that academic quality that is usually monopolized by prestigious university teachers will be eventually controlled and thus enhance better education system and administration (Chung, 1995).