List of Neo-Confucians

This chart is reproduced from page 220-222 of our book, and lists major Neo-Confucian philosophers in chronological order, sorted into three general areas of philosophical focus. While we do not find traditional historiography’s sorting of Neo-Confucians into “schools” to be historically accurate, we do think that rough categories can be useful heuristics, and offer our categories in that spirit. For more discussion of these issues, see pages 1-3 of our book.


Vital Stuff Emphasis or Other Nature Emphasis Heartmind Emphasis

Northern Song


Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修 (1007-1072)

Shao Yong 邵雍 (1011–1077)

Zhou Dunyi 周敦頤 (1017-1073)

Sima Guang 司馬光 (1019-1086)

Zhang Zai 張載 (1020–1077)

Wang Anshi 王安石 (1021-1086)

Cheng Hao 程顥 (1032-1085)

Cheng Yi 程頤 (1033–1107)

Su Shi 蘇軾 (1037-1101)

Southern Song


Yang Shi 楊時 (1053-1135)

Zhang Jiucheng 張九成 (1092-1159)

Hu Hong 胡宏 (1106-1161)

Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200)

Lu Xiangshan 陸象山 (1139-1193)

Chen Liang 陳亮 (1143-1194)

Ye Shi 葉適 (1150-1223)

Chen Chun 陳淳 (1159-1223)



Wu Yubi 吳與弼 (1392-1469)

Chen Xianzhang 陳憲章 (1428-1500)

Luo Qinshun 羅欽順 (1465-1547)

Wang Yangming 王陽明 (1472–1529)

Wang Tingxiang 王廷相 (1474-1544)

Wang Ji 王畿 (1498-1583)

Luo Rufang 羅汝芳 (1515-1588)

Li Zhi 李贄 (1527-1602)



Huang Zongxi 黄宗羲 (1610-1695)

Wang Fuzhi 王夫之 (1619-1692)

Dai Zhen 戴震 (1724-1777)

Ling Tingkan 凌廷堪 (1757–1809)