Online ISSN : 2187-5278
Print ISSN : 0387-3161
ISSN-L : 0387-3161
A Study on the Structure of Ito Jinsai's Doctrine of"Extension" : Its Specific Character as an Educational Thought
Masami Yamamoto
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2000 Volume 67 Issue 3 Pages 311-321


The aim of this paper is to clarify the structure of Ito Jinsai's doctrine of"extension", by which Jinsai meant moral practice for exerting one's conscience on the variety of human relations. The writer sets the following three points to be discussed. The first point is what Jinsai considered as the object of"extension". Jinsai divided human disposition into"nature"and"mind", with the understanding that the former is the natural and unconscious matter while the latter is the spontaneous and conscious matter. Then, he assumed that the basis of the"mind"is the"four beginnings in human mind"consisting of the senses of commiseration, shame, compliance, and mormal judgment, and that, by extending these senses, the"nature"can also be"extended". The second point is how Jinsai thought about the purpose of the"extension". In this connection, he thought that the process of extension from the"four beginnings of human mind"to the"morality of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom"is also the process of extension of human relations proceeding from the self to others and from an intimate person to remote. Thus, Jinsai's concept of"extension"was explainable from the viewpoint of human relations. The third point is how we appreciate Jinsai's doctrine of"extension"historically.His"extension"was expounded with an intention of emulating Chu-Hsi's doctrine of learning, which emphasized restoration of one's"original nature". While Chu-Hsi set the object of learning internally in one's true nature, Jinsai meant to unify one's inner nature with one's outer social relations through learning. Jinsai's doctrine of"extension"also had a unique meaning of his own completely different from the doctrine of"mastery"by Ogyu Sorai, who was a typical Confucianist after Jinsai and who set the object of learning thoroughly externally in preaching"mastery".

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