This is the first volume in English to provide a comprehensive introduction to the philosophical thinking of representative Neo-Confucian thinkers from the eleventh to eighteenth centuries. The volume describes the contributions these thinkers made to debates and discussions associated with the interpretation and deployment of key concepts and issues such as: sagehood; xing (human nature); xin (heart/mind); li (principle) and qi (vital force); dao; tian (heaven); ren (humanity); qing (feeling); cheng (sincerity) ; knowledge; learning; innate capacities vs. learned capacities; self-cultivation; as well as the legacies of the sages of antiquity, the Duke of Zhou, Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi. Individual chapters also locate the contexts in which these debates and discussions were developed: from interchanges with contemporaries to arguments extended through time. No other book exists which attempts to provide the same sort of comprehensive coverage and analysis. Individual contributors are all experts in the field and range from senior scholars to outstanding early career scholars who have been recommended to the project by their peers.

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