道德與解脫 ：中晚明士人對儒家生死問題的辯論與詮釋 = Morality and liberation : debates and interpretations on the Confucian philosophy of life and death among mid-late Ming scholars
劉琳娜 Liu, Linna
Date of Issue2018
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
儒家生死觀在明代發生了重要的轉向，許多中晚明儒者回應佛教的挑戰，開始頻繁地探討生死問題，表現出高漲的自我解脫意識，這與先秦儒者主要關注現實人生的態度有很大的不同。心學宗師王陽明正視生死念頭在身心修養中的重要性，將超越生死一念抬到「盡性至命之學」的高度，其大弟子王龍溪承其餘緒，對「良知了生死」之說做了進一步的闡發。此後中晚明的思想界掀起一股探討「性命之學」的熱潮，但也由此引發了關於「儒學可否了生死」的論爭。通過對此辯論進行分析，將有助於揭示儒家在建立生死論述時可能面對的「道德」和「解脫」的價值衝突問題。文章選取了鄧豁渠、耿天臺和羅近溪三個人物為主要個案分析他們的生死觀。其中「異人」鄧豁渠是典型的儒學批判者，他從陽明學入手求道，卻轉而認為「陽明良知了不得生死」，質疑儒學倫理在生死問題上的有效性，從而引發各方爭議；陽明後學耿天臺針鋒相對地指出鄧豁渠是「兩截學問」，并通過論述儒家思想中「死而不亡」的境界，強調「吾儒自有死生之學」；而羅近溪又與耿天臺的思想相呼應，他以「生生」為核心建構儒家性命之學，通過對於身、心、天、人等關係的闡釋表達了完整的生命觀體系，間接回應了鄧豁渠提出的道德責任和個體解脫之間的張力問題。對此三者的研究也在一定程度上彌補了學界的不足：「離經叛道」的鄧豁渠在其時代很有爭議性，但目前對他的研究寥寥，尚無論述其整體思想系統的成果；耿天臺長期以來被賦予「衛道士」的身份，其思想中談及個人解脫的面向甚少受到關注；而關於羅近溪的成果雖然較豐富，但對其學問宗旨尚有爭議，他對於生死的觀點也有待進一步闡發。通過對這三位互有聯繫的思想家的分析，可以呈現出中晚明士人對於生死問題的共同關懷和思想分歧，並進一步探討儒者如何通過對道德形上學的闡發來回 應這場生死論辯中的價值衝突問題。 In response to Buddhist challenges, the Confucian view on life and death was reexamined and recast during the mid- and late-Ming period. Confucian scholars were concerned with liberation from the fear of death and they developed their philosophy of death that dramatically departed from Confucius’ view that focused on life rather than death. Wang Yangming, the leading scholar of the School of Mind, linked the issue of death with self-cultivation, and regarded liberating from death as a learning of “completing the development of one’s nature and reaching one’s final destiny”. His disciple Wang Longxi developed and articulated a view that one can liberate from death with Liangzhi. After that, discussing on death became a trend among Confucian scholars, and debates broke out on “whether Confucianism can liberate from death”. The debates revealed the problem that Confucians have to face concerning death: value conflicts between moral responsibilities and the will to be detached from the worldly affairs. This essay presents case studies on Deng Huoqu, Geng Tiantai and Luo Jinxi to show the key issues and attempted solutions in these debates. Deng Huoqu was a typical critic of Confucianism, who was a follower of Wang Yangming at the beginning, but finally turned to criticize Wang’s key concept of Liangzhi. Deng held a dichotomous view of the ultimate truth, in which the metaphysical world and physical world are totally separated. He argued that Confucians are attached to qingshi (emotional delusions), therefore cannot liberate themselves from death. His challenges evoked a number of responses. In strong disagreement with Deng’s dichotomous system, Geng Tiantai established his own system based on moral emotions, which is called bu rong yi (true trigger that cannot be stopped). He argued that moral emotions are endowed by the heaven, which is different from the so-called qingshi in Buddhism. He also made arguments on the immortal realm of Confucian sages, insisting that the learning of liberation from death is an innate part of Confucian philosophy. Luo Jinxi shared similar view with Geng, placing his understanding of nature and destiny on the Confucian concept shengsheng (to generate), and argued that, by the process of generation, human’s life is connected to the Heaven’s virtue. In Luo’s view, morality is established on the basis of shengsheng and humans can achieve eternity because they are united with Heaven. From this point of view, Luo also eased the tension between morality and liberation, showing us a comprehensive picture of the Confucian conception of life and death. The present study enriches and complements current research in the field. As a “deviant character”, Deng was controversial during his time, but has received little attention in current research. His philosophical system has yet to be further studied. Even though Geng has long been regarded as an “orthodox” Confucian, his thoughts of personal liberation have skipped mainstream scholarship. Luo has been more influential, but the major concern of his learning remains controversial. With an in-depth analysis of their conversations and interpretations on life and death, we find how Confucian thinkers during that scholarly vibrant period explored and developed a moral metaphysical system that establishes their own philosophy of life and death.