||The main goal of this thesis is to analyze the interpretations of the Zhongyong by scholars of contemporary Confucianism and Western Sinology and to find, through reflection and discussion, a system of interpretation that is more fitting for the ideology of the Zhongyong. Secondly, by capitalizing on the research findings of other scholars, this thesis seeks to reinterpret the principles of Zhongyong in order to construct a modern interpretation which is coherent, logical, and can respond to issues confronting contemporary Confucianism.
The discussions in the thesis are structured into three parts.
First, the thesis analyzes the interpretations of the Zhongyong by Chun-Yi Tang(唐君毅), Tsung-San Mou(牟宗三), and Si-Guang Lao(勞思光), representatives of contemporary Confucianism. The strategy of analysis is to comb through these scholars’ appraisal of the thoughts of Confucius and Mencius and then link that appraisal to their viewpoints about the Zhongyong. After analyzing the systems of interpretation of these three scholars, we try to arrive at, through theoretical reflection, an appropriate reading of the concept of “Heaven and Human Relationship” from Confucius and Mencius down to the Zhongyong.
Secondly, the thesis analyzes the interpretations of the Zhongyongby Wei-Ming Tu(杜維明) and Roger T.Ames(安樂哲), representatives of Western Sinology. From the analysis, we can see that the approaches of these two scholars actually inherit partially the viewpoints of contemporary Confucian scholars and then extend to the discussion of the "sociality" and "religiousness" in Confucianism. Similarly, after analyzing these two scholars’ viewpoints, we will reflect on the problems in their interpretations of the Zhongyong in the hope of obtaining a proper intellectual orientation for the “the Confucian theory of human nature” of Confucianism.
Lastly, we compare the interpretations of the key concepts in the Zhongyong by scholars of contemporary Confucianism and Western Sinology to shed light on the paths for advancing the ideology of the Zhongyong. Furthermore, we hope to bring out, through reinterpretation, the profound meaning in the Zhongyong through a reading of these scholars’ interpretations of such core concepts as “Mandate of Heaven”, “Xing”, and “Cheng” in Confucianism.