Review Questions For Dai Zhen

1. For what reasons did Dai Zhen see moral self-development as primarily an intellectual endeavor? Describe his program in detail. In your description, be sure to touch on why, for Dai Zhen, it was so important not only that one read the classics, but that one read them correctly.

2. As a moral realist, Dai Zhen makes it central to his program that one must studying order to move from mere opinion (yijian) to truth (an “unchanging standard”: buyi zhi ze) in moral matters. Explain why this is important, and how it contributes to your author’s understanding of his as a realization model of moral self-cultivation.

3. According to your author, in what ways was Dai Zhen’s moral philosophy like, and in what ways was it unlike that of Wang Yangming and Zhu Xi?

4. How did Dai Zhen make use of the Confucian golden rule? What work does it do in his moral philosophy? (Note, the Confucian golden rule is no different from the golden rule as found in the ancient Greeks or in the monotheistic traditions of the West.)

5. For what reasons did Dai Zhen see the study of the classics as a task of “finding, not making”? How does this differ from the way that we tend to view study now? Is this difference significant in your assessment of Dai Zhen’s moral philosophy? Why or why not?

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