The Horak debate was a philosophical discussion that originated among Noron scholars who aspired to refine the logic of Neo-Confucianism. The first round of this controversy took place in the early eighteenth century, a time in which the political and philosophical dominance of the Noron faction was widely recognized throughout the Joseon dynasty. Then, Song Si-yeol’s students, divided into those who established a presence in the capital city Hanseong and those who did so in Chungcheong-do province, began to express conflicting opinions regarding the conclusions of the controversy. The differences between the two groups mainly stemmed from the issue of correctly interpreting the logic of Neo-Confucianism, and such differences later caused divisions of several academic schools and political parties within the Noron faction. The second round of the Horak debate occurred during King Yeongjo’s reign. From the onset of his reign, Yeongjo consistently argued that politics and philosophy were two distinct fields, and such an emphasis contributed to the significant divergence between the Ho-ron and Nak-ron scholars over the relationship between academia and politics. This time around, the Ho-ron group and the Nak-ron group each established its own identity as an academic school and began to criticize each other in a rather harsh manner in connection with political parties within the central government. Through the debate, philosophical differences evidently manifested themselves in the area of political ideology.
In the eighteenth century, classic revivalism (bokgojuui 復古主義) emerged as a scholarly method for East Asian intellectuals in search of a new self-identity after the dynastic shift from Ming to Qing. Amidst this trend of the East Asian intellectual world, the Horak debate that arose among Joseon scholars was a peculiar phenomenon. Its basis was on the Noron’s political and scholarly positions founded upon Zhu Xi Confucianism (Jujahak 朱子學), which was incompatible with classic revivalism. Noron labeled classic revivalism negatively as classic imitationalism (uigojuui 擬古主義), and, in that context, the Nak-ron group of the Noron emphasized presentness and universality by arguing the equalness of past and present, the mind-hearts of sages and commoners,and natures of humans and animals. However, the Horak debate and the ideas that it represented began to decline in the nineteenth century in various ways, caused by, for example, Nak-ron’s overemphasis on presentness, its assimilation into Ho-ron, and the emergence of classic revivalism in Joseon Korea.
Confucian scholars of Joseon Korea carried out a philosophical debate on what they referred to as the original nature of humans versus non-human beings including animals. This debate arose from the correspondence between two followers of the Zhu Xi School in Korea, Oeam and Namdang, in 1709. The main question of the debate was whether humans and other beings including animals have equal natures. Following them, many scholars engaged in the debate, dividing into two groups: Nak-ron 洛論 and Ho-ron 湖論. Nak-ron scholars thought that the original nature of humans and other non-human beings was equal. Ho-ron scholars thought that the original nature of humans was different than that of other beings. According to Nak-ron opinion, animals inherently possessed a morality equal to the morality of humans. According to Ho-ron opinion, animals also possessed a morality; however, because the temperaments of animals were considered inferior to those of humans, the morality of animals was also considered inferior to the morality of humans.
In the East Asian intellectual context emphasizing the unity between human and the nature, Neo-Confucian scholars of Joseon displayed a profound interest in accomplishing the moral state of pure good without evil. The discussion on mibal 未發(the state where thoughts and emotions have not been aroused)within the Horak debate asked whether humans, with all their thoughts and desires, can free their mind-hearts from the influences of their innate temperaments (gijil 氣質). This study examines how the mind-heart was interpreted in the framework of the li-qi theory (igi ron 理氣論) as illustrated by the debates between two Joseon Neo-Confucian scholars, Yi Gan and Han Won-jin. Yi Gan and other Nak-ron scholars asserted that the mind-heart was “pure” in mibal and could therefore be established as the legitimate moral agent connected to original nature (bonseong 本性). On the other hand, Ho-ron scholars, including Han Won-jin, argued that one must accept the presence of qi 氣in the mibal state even though qi does not function in such a state, because it is only through qi that li 理can be manifested in reality.
Since the 1990s, the discovery of Korean Bronze Age village remains has resulted in close attention to the relationship between agrarian settlements and primitive wars. The characteristics of primitive wars during the Bronze Age, which featured stones as the main weapon of choice, differed from those of the wars by ancient states conducted with iron weapons. The features of such primitive wars that used stones as their weapon may be ascertained from the tradition passed down to the modern era known as seokjeon (stone battle). The kings of ancient states can be perceived as having been newly established supreme rulers that emerged when heads of primitive societies. The war, determined by the king of ancient state, was a sort of ideological political ritual, not the simple physical expression of social conflicts. A pertinent example in ancient Korea of war being conducted as a state ritual led by the royal power occurred during the reign of King Jinheung of Silla (540-576). Such wars featured moralistic, ritual, and religious overtones to the nobles as well as the people. More precisely, they were sacred wars meant to protect the state. These wars were implemented as religious rituals designed to protect the royal power and the state.
Both South and North American countries, as well as other traditionally Catholic states in Europe, have been seeing sharp declines in their ranks in the past few decades, especially in the number of people entering the priesthood and in the falling attendance of members of the congregation at Mass. The Catholic Church throughout the world is in a state of radical transition and is experiencing profound and dramatic changes following the close of the Second Vatican Council II 40 years ago. In contrast, the Catholic Church in Korea is thriving. This study examines the possible causes connected to the increase in membership in the Catholic Church, focusing on sociocultural factors and exploring questions of how these aspects of unique development have been historically and structurally related to the dynamics of Catholicism in Korea and the disparity between external growth and internal maturity.
The purpose of this article is to spell out the changing landscape of Korea’s professional interest group politics through an investigation into the factors that brought about a reduction in the monopolistic power of organized medicine in Korean health politics. To this end, the article first debates two theories concerning organized interests and their relationship with the government—pluralism and corporatism—and then summarizes changes in the Korean healthcare subsystem. The forces that made possible the role of the Korean Medical Association (KMA) as the sole representative of medical interests are also detailed. The main part of this article strives to use diverse angles to illuminate the principal factors that brought about the decline of the KMA’s monopolistic power: the environmental context, the changing relationship between the government and the KMA, health policy changes, and the KMA’s internal affairs.