Dissertation
Dissertation > History, geography > History of China > Semi-colonial and semi -feudal society ( 1840 to 1949 ) > Old Democratic Revolution period ( 1840 ~ 1919 ) > The late Qing Dynasty (1840 ~ 1911 )

Personality, Scholarship and Political Tactics of Tseng Kuo-fan

Author WuGuoRong
Tutor ZhuHanMin
School Hunan University
Course Specialized History
Keywords Tsent Kuo-fan Personality Scholarhsip Tactics Internal Tactics
CLC K252
Type PhD thesis
Year 2008
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Studies on Tseng Kuo-fan, the No.1 prestigious official attributed to the resurgence of late Qing Dynasty has never been ceased since the end of the Qing Dynasty, especially since 1980s, in the context of“hot studies on Chinese ancient civilization”, Tseng Kuo-fan has once again become the focus of the general public. With the publishment of the 30-volumes Complete Works of Tseng Kuo-fan by Hunan Yuelu Publishing House as a symbol, studies on Tseng Kuo-fan is witnessed to have entered into an expressway. More and more people cast their concerns and enthusiasm over Tseng Kuo-fan. So far, more and more achievements on studies about Tseng Kuo-fan have been made, academic works and descriptions have taken on a great change and turn compared to ever before, especially the research achievements on his military, political, Westernization movement, Confucian philosophy, talents selection, education and administration thoughts etc. Of course, there still exist some weak links, for example, works on relationships between his personality, scholarship and political tactics are rarely seen. In order to strengthen studies on Tsent Kuo-fan, this Article will explore this aspect with the title as“Personality, Scholarship and Political Tactics of Tseng Kuo-fan---A Case Study on the Ideal Life and Spiritual Structure of Confucians.With the key representative figure of Huxiang Culture of the late Qing Dynasty, Tsent Kuo-fan as the research subject, this Article, agaisnt the background of traditional Confucians’pursuit for ideal life and supreme Confucian ideal, takes the mutual relationships of his personality, scholarship and political tactics as the main thread, supported by his biographical activities and spiritual process to explore his personality, learning and political tactics in a systematic manner.Chatper 1 of this Article is Introduction, introducing the background, significance of the title selection, comprehensive description of studies on Tseng Kuo-fan related to this subject, the main research contents, key points, and methodologies thereof.Chapter 2 is the beginning of the main body of the Article, mainly investigating his biographical activities and spiritual process vertically. In this Chapter, we will explore his biographical flow as childhood’s ambition in learning, Confucian official to Confucian general in his middle-age to his life of seniority to disclose his spiritual processes of major experiences and vicissitudes of every stage with a view to having a primary understanding of the formation of his spiritual structure.Chapter 3 is mainly targeted against his spiritual structure. Starting from“three-immortals”of traditional Confucianism, pointing out that the“three-immortal”undertakings as establishing moral integrity, rendering meritorious service to society and achieving glory by writing are all pursuits of in Tsent Kuo-fan’s ideal life, thus, expounding his life goals from the interative relashipships of personality and moral integrity building, of learning and ambition for glorious writing, and of political tactics and rendering meritorious service to society.Chapter 4 focuses on concrete study of Tsent Kuo-fan’s viewpoints on the relationship of personality and learning. Founded on the connotation of hisideal personality and further analysis on the knowledge basis of personality cultivation, this chapter tries to dissertate the highly consistent spiritual connotation, value orientation, methods and channels between personality and learning.Chapter 5 explores the relationship between personality and political tactics. Influenced by Song Dynasty’s Confucians, the Confucian tactics adopted by Tsent Kuo-fan in realizing traditional Confucians’supreme ideal as being both sound in theory and practice and integrating both spiritual pursuit and practice, apparently bears the characteristics and disposition of taking internal tactics as political tactics, as was also applied in his practice of life. Meanwhile, in his political tactics, there witnesses unavoidably the contradiction and complementation of the tactics of Confucius and Mencius, and that of Shencius and Han-Feicius.Chapter 6 mainly investigates the relationship between his learning and political tactics. In this Chapter, his charter for scholarship and tactics of rendering meritorious service to society is respectively explored and analyzed on the basis of“Rituals”governing his learning and political tactics to further explain the internal association and political feature of his“Ritual”theory and Ritual Rule.The final part is Conclusion. Firstly, based on the close consideration of the traditional Confucians’pursuit for ideal life, this Article has systematically combed the relationships between Tsent Kuo-fan’s personality and scholarship, personality and political tactics, scholarhsip and political tactics to arrive at the conclusion that it is from his own spiritual structure with personality as basis, rendering meritorious service to society as support and scholarship has both of them, that Tsent Kuo-fan achieved the Confucians’ideal of integrating ideal and practice. In addition, the Conclusion has also identified the innovative points of the Study, and conducted a forecast and assessment of the applied prospect and social values of this Article, and therefore, pointed out the projections and vision of this Study in the future.

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