This paper discusses the two Neo-Confucian scholars’ similarities and dissimilarities, through Mou Zhongshan’s (牟宗三) claim that Hu Wufeng (胡五峰) and Liu Jishan (劉蕺山) belong to the Type of “Revealing of Human Nature with Heart/Mind.” (以心著性)
First, we believe that Hu Wufeng actually discriminates between Heart (心,心體) and Human Nature (性,性體). His thoughts of “Revealing of Human Nature with Heart/Mind” are found in his discussions on Doctrine of the Mean (《中庸》), Critique of Buddhism and his opinions of “Principle of Heaven and Human Lust.” (天理人欲)
Secondly, Liu Jishan’s thought not only belongs to the Type of “Revealing of Human Nature with Heart/Mind” but also emphasizes that “Heart/Mind and Human Nature are one.” (心性合一) But Liu Jishan would not deny that Human Nature and Tao (道,道體) are transcendental. He just opposes the idea of regarding Human Nature and Tao as isolated and individual entities.
Furthermore, the uniqueness of Hu Wufeng and Liu Jishan in the history of Neo-Confucianismis is undeniable. Hu Wufen’s thought of “The Oneness of the Way of Heaven, Human Nature and Mandate” (天道性命相貫通) is different from Zhu Xi (朱熹) and Lu Xiang-shan’s (陸象山) philosophy. So we can say Hu Wufen has inherited Chou Dun-Yi (周敦頤) , Zhang Zai (張載) and Cheng Mingdao’s (程明道) thought. Similarly, Liu Jishan emphasizes the meaning of “The Oneness of the Way of Heaven, Human Nature and Mandate” and the moral metaphysical aspect of Confucianism. Conclusively, his thoughts are different from the school of Wang Yang-ming (王陽明) and do not belong to the Philosophy of Mind (心學).