One of the main problems of Chinese philosophy is about 'sage'. However, the criteria for the image of ideal human being called sage is a relative matter that can be varied according to the peculiarity of a specific thought reflecting the temporal and social situations.
Sage, the ideal human being of Confucianism, is a fulfilled person within whom human sentiment, will, and morality are integrated harmoniously and sublimely into a unified personality, and all of these faculties are displayed in the social relationship. The ultimate orientation of Confucianism is to be a sage. That is, Confucianism takes 'learning to be a sage' as the basic ideology of its academic system.
However, before Chu Hsi there had been some differences in the views on sage from the Confucianism of pre-Ch'in period, and the Confucianism of Han-T'ang period to the Confucianism of Northern Sung period. Some were inclined only to the cultivation of internal virtue, others to the display of the wisdom of statecraft. By way of making synthesis of all these views on sage, Chu Hsi had built his own idea of sage. Basically his idea integrated 'the innate sage,' 'the acquired sage,' 'the self-cultivating sage,' and 'the governing sage' as a greater whole. Ultimately this is to emphasize that the ordinary people can be sages through 'the harmonized learning of rightful knowledge and powerful practice of it.'
If we try to look for, throughout the history of Confucianism, an appropriate word for Chu Hsi's view on sage, it will be 'the Mean(Chung-yung),' a representative product of the Confucianism of pre-Ch'in period. Thus, we call his view on sage as 'view on sage based on the standpoint of the Mean.' This kind of Chu Hsi's view, thereafter, became the basic frame for the Neo-Confucian idea of sage.
In the sense that his idea of view on sage based on the standpoint of the Mean, oriented to establish a moral ideal through the recovery of its positive aspect in the midst of strongly negative social reality, calls modern people's mind back to the lost 'ideal of great being', Chu Hsi's ideal system never loses its practical effectiveness even today.
2. 朱子 이전 儒學의 성인관의 특징
3. 朱子의 성인관의 기본 내용
가. 성인은 탁월한 인간 존재이다
나. 성인은 특별한 사회적 역할을 수행하는 인간 존재이다
다. 聖人은 일반인과 구분되는 인간 존재이다
라. 일반인은 성인이 될 수 있는가
4. 朱子의 성인관의 특징
가. 비관적 입장의 제시
나. 낙관적 입장의 제시
다. 중용적 입장으로의 수렴