This is a preprint

In my previous work, I clarified two characteristics of pure knowing (liang zhi): (1) pure knowing as the capacity of making moral judgments, and (2) pure knowing as moral standards and moral knowledge. In this paper, I clarify another two aspects of pure knowing: (3) pure knowing as moral motivation, and (4) pure knowing as practical ability (enriched by practice). Moral emotion unifies all these characteristics of pure knowing. Regarding the interpretation of the unity of pure knowing and action in Wang’s thought, this paper maintains that the interaction of pure knowing and action should be seen as a dynamic pattern, in which the two mutually promote each other. This paper disagrees with the following viewpoints: (1) Pure knowing does not exist or function without action. (2) Pure knowing only can be recognized, examined and confirmed, but cannot be developed. These views risk dividing apart the continuity of lived experience. This paper argues that there is a difference of degree in clarity of consciousness, motivating power, and promotion of experiential knowledge between pure knowing without action, and various levels of pure knowing refined through action.


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