Cheng Yi (philosopher)

Cheng Yi (philosopher)

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Cheng Yi courtesy name Zhengshu (正叔), also known as Mr. Yichuan (伊川先生), was a Chinese philosopher born in Luoyang
Luoyang
Luoyang is a prefecture-level city in western Henan province of Central China. It borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, and Jiaozuo to the northeast.Situated on the central plain of...

 during the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

. He worked with his older brother Cheng Hao
Cheng Hao
Chéng Hào , styled Bochun , was a neo-Confucian philosopher from Luoyang, China. In his youth, he and his younger brother Cheng Yi were students of Zhou Dunyi, one of the architects of Neo-Confucian cosmology.-Life:...

 (程灏). Like his brother, he was a student of Zhou Dunyi, a friend of Shao Yong
Shao Yong
Shao Yong , courtesy name Yaofu , named Shào Kāngjié after death, was a Song Dynasty Chinese philosopher, cosmologist, poet and historian who greatly influenced the development of Neo-Confucianism in China....

, and a nephew of Zhang Zai. The five of them along with Sima Guang
Sima Guang
Sīmǎ Guāng was a Chinese historian, scholar, and high chancellor of the Song Dynasty, jinshi 1038.-Life, profession, and works:...

 are called the Six Great Masters of the 11th century by Zhu Xi.

Cheng entered the national university in 1056, and received the "presented scholar" degree in 1059. He lived and taught in Luoyang, and declined numerous appointments to high offices. In 1086, he was appointed expositor-in-waiting and gave many lectures to the emperor on Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

. He was more aggressive and obstinate than his brother, and made several enemies, including Su Shi
Su Shi
Su Shi , was a writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and statesman of the Song Dynasty, and one of the major poets of the Song era. His courtesy name was Zizhan and his pseudonym was Dongpo Jushi , and he is often referred to as Su Dongpo...

, the leader of the Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

group. In 1097, his enemies were able to ban his teachings, confiscate his properties, and banish him. He was pardoned three years later, but was blacklisted and again his work was banned in 1103. He was finally pardoned in 1106, one year before his death.