Here, I'd like to introduce the essence of Korean Philosophy.

Korean philosophy is not so well known mainstream of world's thinking or ideology, but it includes the most essential thinking scheme of oriental philosophy. Most people knows only something about Chinese or Japanese philosophy. But Korean philosophy became the bridge from Chinese to Japanese philosophy, producing new creation of oriental philosophy out of Chinese one and influencing absolutely on Japanese philosophy.

Concerned with Japanese philosophy, it has been almost all the way under the strong influence of Korean. Concerned with Chinese philosophy Korean philosophy has some important and essential foundation for it. If the philosophy were reflexive and critical thinking activity of a thing, along the consensus of all the philosophers, Korean philosophy can be said to be a, and perhaps only, reflexive foundation of the yin-yang philosophy of oriental. We can confirm it in the concept of Samjae.

In spite of such a abundant philosophical resource Korean philosophy couldn't be known to many people, under the shade of Chinese and Japanes one, as China has been the most influential empire in the center of recent history of oriental area and its culture while Japan was the first country that Westerners got familiar to first. But all of these reasons are historical. So it cannot change the significance of each philosophy itself, though it can change the power of a philosophy. Of course, the power and influence of a philosophy has something to do with its significance in many cases. But we still have good reason left to look into the origianal value of a philosophy to know the inherent value of each.

Let me comment one prominent clue to the significance of Korean philosophy. You may have heard of Yin-yang, the well-known unique concept of oriental philosophy. This concept composes hexagram that symbolizes each step or aspect of the oriental philosophy of Change. (I hope you to have some knowledge of I Ching, too, perhaps.^^) Three of yin or yang compose each hexagram, and its composition is based on the principle of Samjae. Samjae means three essential element of oriental abstract scheme; Sky, Earth and Man. Then, we can conclude Samjae is more fundamental concept, which is more philosophical in the sense that philosophy is a critical and reflexive thinking activity. But you cannot find nothing that comments more on Samjae in Chinese bibliography. Instead the oldest philosophical bibliography is full of explanations and comments on Samjae rather than Yin-yang. If you understand the full meaning of old Korean philosophy in right way, I believe you can understand the whole figure of oriental philosophy on the basis of more reasonable, not mysterious, foundation like Western one.

I wish this site can help you to investigate these topics.









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