(Translation) 成俔 文明論

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Original Script

Classical Chinese English



Discussion Questions

Further Readings



(sample) : Jaeyoon Song

  • Discussion Questions:

Student 1 : Yishu Ma

  • Discussion Questions:

-As this article takes China as an idealized model, how did people during the 15th-16th century Joseon understand their own culture? Are there any other literati writings which could give us further information?

Student 2 : Samuel Sai Hay Chan 陳世熙 진세희

  • Discussion Questions:

What do you think is the point of 成俔 tried to make in the essay? Is his depiction of China and Korea fair and trustworthy? If not, what is the reason of him depicting the two countries in such ways?

Student 3 : Younès M'Ghari

  • Discussion Questions:

Were the author's representations towards China and Korea widely spread among Korean scholars? Even across the opposite political factions of the time?

What would have been the king's reaction if he could have read this text?

Who compiled this text, when and for what purpose? What kinds of texts precede and follow it in that compilation?

Student 4 : King Kwong Wong

  • Discussion Questions:

Why did Sŏng Hyŏn (Seong Hyeon) write an essay comparing the Chosŏn (Joseon) people and the Chinese people? What did he want to achieve with this writing?

Student 5 : (신동조)

  • Discussion Questions:

How reasonable or compelling of his writing? Is his statement on the cases of the Ming acceptable, apart from its effect as a writing strategy? Is it a philosophical thesis or rhetorical leaflet?

Student 6 : Stacey

  • Discussion Questions:

What were the motivations behind this piece? Do you think the author is equally critical and reverent of Choson and Ming China, respectively, or is he idealising one in order to create a greater contrast?

Describe the relationship between China and Choson during the time of this text.

Student 7 : Russell Guilbault

  • Discussion Questions:
  1. Seong Hyeon's criticism of the social/political organization of Joseon, compared to the Ming, seems to me to echo Gim Siseup's emphasis on the importance of 'myeongbun' 名分. Both Seong Hyeon and Gim Siseup believe a strictly enforced system of distinctions between various social ranks & positions is necessary for a country to be properly governed. I'd like to do some more looking into how important this concept was & how widely it circulated among literati during this period.

Student 8 : Q

  • Discussion Questions:

Entertaining the possibility that all of our authors may be writing with intended ambiguities or hidden agenda. In case of 성현, what would be the reasonable limit of research determining or eliminating the possibility of such hidden agenda?

Student 9 : Yeonjae Ra

  • Discussion Questions:

1. how the title “文明論” can be translated? (discussion of the civilization?)

2. why he only writes about the difference between choseon and ming dynasty? when we see the articles of 燕行使(usually 燕行錄), there are lots of contents dealing with the folk customs. are there some limitations to 朝天使 at early choseon period?

Student 10 : (Kanghun Ahn)

How accurate are Song Hyon's observations of China vis-a-vis the real China at the time?

Is it really a good rhetorical strategy to draw upon such a black and white logic to criticize one's own society?

How prevalent was it, among Choson literati, to utilize the idealized portrayal of China in order to criticize Choson society?

Student 11 : (Write your name)

  • Discussion Questions:

Student 12 : (Write your name)

  • Discussion Questions: