論戴震 (1723–1777) 之考證哲學及其反思/On Dai Zhen’s (1723–1777) Philosophy of Evidential Research and Its Reflection
Dai Zhen was known as a leading proponent of the evidential research (kaozheng) school during the Qian Jia Era. However, he regarded kaozheng as primarily a means of revealing the truth. Moreover, he was regarded as a philosopher rather than as merely a kaozheng, or textual, scholar. In this respect, his philosophical writings reflect an attempt to substitute his own philosophy for the Song Philosophy of Principle (lixue). Dai Zhen’s philosophical writings indicate the impact philology had on philosophical issues. The methodology Dai Zhen adopted was essentially linguistic, that is, xungu (etymology, lit., “glossing”). The merit of this methodology was that it would trace back the original meanings of key terms in the Classics, and this in turn, would benefit the understanding of the Confucian tradition. The aim of this paper is to explore Dai Zhen’s attempt to reconstruct the Confucian tradition, and to assess his philosophy of evidential research in order to manifest its value and limitation.
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