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Cheng Hao

Ch'eng Hao, also Ming-tao (1032–85). Brother of Ch'eng Yi (or I, also I-ch'uan, 1033–1107), with whom he formed the neo-Confucianism of the Sung dynasty. Both of them opposed the far-reaching reform programme of Wang An-shih (Wang Anshi) (1021–86): Ch'eng Hao was dismissed in 1080 and went into retirement in Lo-yang; Cheng Yi was not in an official post until 1086. In Ch'eng Hao's view, human nature does not change from one age to another, so that reform must be, not to innovate, but to recover ‘the laws established by the wise kings of old’.

Ch'eng Yi, in contrast, believed that true insight can be achieved only by the minute analysis of all things, in order to discover their fundamental constitution and thus the part that each plays in the whole.

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