From “Having a Brilliant Monarch” to “Awakening People”——Wang Yangming’s Application and Promotion of Ethic Reason by His “Study of Innate Knowledge”
【Abstract】 The consistency of the ideological system in Song and Ming Dynasties is a consensus to Confucian idealist philosophy ever since its formation. Nevertheless, there exists a certain deviation of ideological dimension and continuous turn of stress in probing between the studies of Song and Ming Dynasties. It can be analyzed from either the development of Confucian idealist philosophy, such as the division of Zhu Xi studies, and, of course, the turn of social trends of thought. But, in view of the official ideology set up by the Ming Dynasty, the strengthening of autocracy and the worsening of the scholars become the true reason leading to the division and, at the same time, promote its ontology of heavenly reason, which is originally "common", to have no option but to turn to its application to the stratum of individual mind. It is precisely the individual awakening caused by the division, the autocracy and the continuous worsening of political environment that constitute an ideological and cultural atmosphere for the rise of Wang Yangming’s theory of mind, and the innate knowledge of "knowing right and wrong at any time" awakens individual mind and, at the same time, promotes a target of "having a brilliant monarch" in Song Dynasty to "awakening people" in Ming Dynasty.