16세기 도학가의 세계관과 미학

최초 등록일
2011.08.09
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2011.08
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서지정보

발행기관 : 국문학회 수록지정보 : 국문학연구 / 7권
저자명 : 심경호 ( Kyung Ho Sim )

영어 초록

The lineage of intellectuals who tried to practice Neo-Confucius moralism originated from such officials-scholars as Kim Chong-jik (金宗直) and Cho Kwang-jo (趙光祖) in Chosun Dynasty, had formed the very unique trends in Korean literary history, when it reached So Kyong-dok (徐敬德), Yi On-jok (李彦迪), Yi Hwang (李滉) Cho Sik (曺植), and Yi Ii (李珥). Neo-Confucius moralism was the way of learning through which people practiced "discipline self and govern others (修己治人)" and "be righteous to your own self and act accordingly in the world (內聖外王)", and Neo-Confucius moralists were those who put their learning into practice in their real life. Neo-Confucius moralists in the Sixteenth Century either took official government posts to practice Neo-Confucius moralism in politics, or retired from the world to lead the life of a recluse. Genuine scholars in the real life were not those who "mingled only with birds and beasts(鳥獸同郡)", but the ones who developed virtues in rural communities where they strived to "practice the moral justice in their daily lives (免日用)". In all cases, they commonly shared the pathos of seeking after truth by denying routine reality and trying to grasp the essence of life. In the Sixteenth Century, Neo-Confucius moralists began to seek after "Neo-Confucius moralistic characters (道學人格)", which pursued monistic integration by emphasizing the importance of "self-cultivation (修養)". It can be said that changes in historical circumstances had first brought such a change; however, it was rather the results of the serious reflections on their ``world views``, which had risen in the scholarly or intellectual systems. That is, it was because they ``realistically`` accepted the fact that the eight particulars of ``The Great Learning(大學) could never be in harmony in reality and got to look back upon`` their ways of existence. In terms of literary practice, Neo-Confucius moralists tried to express in their writings the process of learning through which they scrutinized the origin of life, and presented naturally the moment of awakening in poems. Therefore, literary works produced by Neo-Confucius moralists were "sure to possess certain true characters in terms of contents, subjects, senses, and styles." This particular genre of literature, when classified in the frame of general literary tradition in Korea, is called "Neo-Gonfucius moralistic literature", and poets are especially sure to be called "Moralistic poetry" which were far superior to the others in qualities as well as quantities. There were many aesthetic elements in the thoughts and characters of Neo-Confucius moralists. The more Neo-Confucius moralists were conscious of the gaps in the real world, the more convinced they became that the basic appearance of the world was characterized by creation and compromise, and tried to understand intuitively the nature of extremes beyond the boundary of world of experiences. Their way of intuition was, therefore, affected by aesthetic elements. They experienced the mental boundary of ``becoming in harmony with nature (光風霽月)`` during the process of or as the result of building on characters, which were filled with pleasures of overcoming themselves and compromising with the essence of world and nature. For Neo-Confucius moralists, such intuitive experiences came from encountering with nature and literatures. Its mental boundary was distinguished from ``losing the wilt while appreciating outer things(玩物喪志)``. Mental attitudes and ethical determinations varied among Neo-Confucius moralists, where they found the world of natural laws in harmony beyond the reality. Yi On-jok tried to establish legitimately the viewpoint of Chu Hui (朱熹)`s ``Zhulilun(主理論)``; however, he revealed his disposition over ``Lixue(理學)`` in his poems as much as So Ong (召雍) in North Sung Dynasty, while caring for poetry, had not moved beyond the boundary of ``Rixue(理學)``. So Kyong-dok having never taken any official post, opened his mind to nature and pursued mental purity and truth. He argued the theory of unifying Oi(氣) and Li(理); according to Yi Hwang, he, however, having mistaken (氣) for Li(理), and the natural presentation of (氣) for the essence of Li(理) therefore, was in danger of transforming human desire into natural laws. Cho Sik aimed to be faithful in practicing ``righteousness based on the respect for reason(主敬行義)`` and to achieve in his mental life ``Ming(明)``, which clarified virtues internally and ``Duan(斷)`` which cut out injustice externally. He tried to exercise the principles of Neo-Confucius moralism with all his might. Yi Hwang sought to realize the natural laws and make an encounter between souls in pious life. He expected that the world was the beginning of the reason, and restore the nature by unifying the reason with the subject into one. He, however, demanded that in order to achieve one`s reason, the essence of his mind remained calm, which became the object for the scholars in the later period to overcome. Yi Hwang, seeking after calmness and peace to cultivate mind, which were therefore reflected in his poems, wrote many poems in which he "took a stroll among water and rocks, recited poems exactly as he felt, and enjoyed his life of serenity and rest," according to Yi Ii. He tried to keep his mind moderate and mild, freed from egotism and prejudice. Yi Ii, on the other hand, had a very realistic (naturalistic) point of view that both vices and virtues were all among the reality and humans. He, by arguing that in order for human beings to maintain morality, it was essential to have ``近思力行``, which restrained human desire, emphasized the importance of overcoming the fundamentalism of Neo-Confucius moralism and practicing in everyday life(事上磨鍊). Yi Ii, however, due to his effort to understand very specifically the reality and failure to reform it, became so much frustrated as to feel isolated from the world. He had a very strong moralistic will to connect closely inner righteousness(內聖) with external action(外王). But the defective nature of the reality did not allow him to realize his ideal. His mentality was, therefore, disturbed by the emptiness, loss of self-esteem, and temptation of transcendency. Yi Dok-hong, one of the best disciples of Yi Hwang, did not leave many writings; his literary thought, consciousness, and styles, though, were fairly uniquely established to be called "scrutinization over the origins of life`` He expressed poetically his inclination to accepting the essence of life, which could be called ``the unique origin of changes in all things``, that is, the cosmic life through the concept of ``respect``. His poems, however, did not show generosity and mildness of ``Youyouhaning(優遊涵泳)``, as found in Yi Hwang`s writings. It is fair to say that such character was the result of his extreme search for Neo-Confucius moralistic fundamentalism more than his poetic talent. It cannot be denied that the outward appearance of Conformism, that is, egotistic attitudes of thinking subjects, which oppressed a free spirit and was often warned by Yi Hwang and Yi Ii, was exposed in his poems. It was the other side against which Yi Hwang made strong precautions. Neo-Confucius moralists in the Sixteenth Century mostly utilized nature as the space for disciplining, that is, learning and cultivating themselves, and were convinced that they either had experienced or could experience the awakening in the course of nature. While for the people of noble birth in Chosun Dynasty, nature was where they rested and cultivated themselves, Neo-Confucius moralists had a rather strong tendency to try to discover the dynamic laws in the course of nature. Such tendency, however, appeared to become weaker among those who claimed to be Neo-Confucius moralists in the later period. In the late Chosun Dynasty, Neo-Confucius moralism and its literature had considerably changed and its historical values had been greatly lost. Life and literature of Neo-Confucius moralists in the Sixteenth Century, however, had much implication regarding how to cope with the difficulties and obstacles that people are facing in modem society. It can be considered as the frame of reference, which enables people to overcome the concept of nature separate from themselves and the mechanistic world view, to restrain uncontrolled manifestation of desires, and to return to live in harmony with nature and spirit. Such pathos is badly missed.

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