Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chiao Hsün

3635448Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Chiao HsünFang Chao-ying

CHIAO Hsün 焦循 (T. 理堂, H. 里堂老人), Mar. 17, 1763–1820, Sept. 4, scholar and philosopher, was a native of Kan-ch'üan (Yangchow), Kiangsu. Becoming a hsiu-ts'ai in 1779, he entered the Academy, An-ting shu-yün 安定書院 at Yangchow (ca. 1782). From 1787 to 1794 he taught the children of several rich families in his neighborhood, and in the meantime studied the Classics and mathematics. In 1795 he went to Shantung as a secretary to his relative, Juan Yüan [q. v.], then commissioner of education in that province. Late in the same year he accompanied Juan to Chekiang. In 1797 he returned home, but went back to Chekiang three years later when Juan became governor of that province. In 1801 he became a chü-jên, and in the following year went to Peking where he competed unsuccessfully in the metropolitan examination. The autumn of 1802 he again spent in Chekiang, but after returning home late that year he gave up hopes of an official career and decided to study the Classics at home. In 1806 a famine, caused by flood in his district, compelled him to accept a teaching position. Later in the same year he was engaged by I Ping-shou (see under Chang Wên-t'ao), prefect of Yangchow, to co-operate with other scholars in compiling the following two works concerning that region: 揚州圖經 Yang-chou t'u-ching, a gazetteer; and Yang-chou wên-ts'ui (文粹), an anthology. Neither work was then printed, but the former seems to be extant, and the latter, after being re-edited by Chiao, was published under the title 揚州足徵錄 Yang-chou tsu-chêng lu, 27 chüan. It was printed in the Jung-yüan ts'ung-shu (see under Ch'ên Li). In 1809 he was engaged as a compiler of the gazetteer, 揚州府志 Yang-chou fu-chih of 1810. Early in 1811 he took an oath to devote the rest of his life to a study of the Classic of Changes, which his grandfather and his father had studied. Between the years 1813 and 1818 he produced six works on this Classic, and also a number of commentaries to other classics. From 1817 to 1820 he worked on his interpretations of Mencius, entitled 孟子正義 Mêng-tzŭ chêng-i, 30 chüan. The transcription of the final draft of this work was not quite finished when he died. His son, Chiao T'ing-hu 焦廷琥 (T. 虎玉, b. 1782), and his brother, Chiao Chêng 焦徵 (T. 季蕃, b. 1774), completed the transcription. This and some twenty other works by Chiao Hsün—several printed when he was alive, the rest after his death—are collectively known as 焦氏遺書 Chiao-shih i-shu, 124 chüan. This collection was reprinted in 1876. At least five more works by Chiao Hsün appear in various ts'ung-shu (叢書).

In his early years Chiao Hsün devoted much time to the study of mathematics and he became known, together with Ling T'ing-k'an [q. v.] and Li Jui 李銳 (T. 尚之, H. 四香, 1765–1814), as the "Three Comrades Who Discuss the Heavens" (談天三友). Li Jui left a collection of works on astronomy and mathematics, entitled 李氏遺書 Li-shih i-shu, which was printed by Juan Yüan in 1823. Seven of these deal with the calculations of various ancient calendars, and the other four with algebraic equations, trigonometry, and evolution. The interest in Chinese mathematics which was revived in the eighteenth century by Tai Chên [q. v.] was now beginning to bear fruit. Chiao Hsün sent the works of Li Chih (see under Mei Ku-ch'êng) to Li Jui and thus inspired the latter's studies in Chinese algebra. The mathematical works of Chiao Hsün, comprising five items, appear in the Chiao-shih i-shu, but are known collectively as 里堂學算記 Li-t'ang hsüeh-suan chi. The one dealing with Chinese algebra is entitled, 天元一釋 T'ien-yüan-i shih, 2 chüan. He also left a work on evolution, entitled 開方通釋 K'ai-fang t'ung-shih. These works were elementary, but because the explanations in them were clearly written they could serve as textbooks.

By means of his knowledge of mathematics and philology Chiao Hsün worked out a method of interpreting the Classic of Changes—the most recondite of all the classics because it originated as a book of divination. His 雕菰樓易學 Tiao-ku lou I-hsüeh comprises three main works and two supplementary ones. The three main works are: 易章句 I chang-chü, 12 chüan, a punctuation of the text; 易圖略 I t'u-lüeh, 8 chüan, explanations with diagrams of the various combinations of the kua 卦; and 易通釋 I t'ung-shih, 20 chüan, comments on the Classic. The two supplements are: 易話 I hua, 2 chüan; and 易廣記 I kuang-chi, 3 chüan. His main contribution to the study of the Changes was his application of the principles of mathematics to determine comparatively the amount of good fortune or calamity which, according to the Changes, ensued from various types of conduct. His conclusion was that the Classic was written to show men how they might prolong their happiness by avoiding calamities and how they might extricate themselves when once involved.

Chiao Hsün produced several other works on classical topics. One of these, the 群經宮室圖 Ch'ün-ching kung-shih t'u, is incorporated in the Chiao-shih i-shu. It is an illustrated treatise on the plans, technical terms, and uses of the houses, palaces, temples and other kinds of buildings mentioned in various classics. Another is the 論語通釋 Lun-yü t'ung-shih, printed in the Mu-hsi hsüan ts'ung-shu (see under Liu Hsi-hai), in which he explains seventeen terms from the Analects to show that Confucius taught forgiveness and that the different schools of thought should therefore cease quarreling with each other.

Having lived most of his life in or near Yangchow, Chiao Hsün wrote a work on a scenic and historic part of that region, entitled 北湖小志 Pei-hu hsiao-chih, 6 chüan, a work also incorporated in the Chiao-shih i-shu. He culled from various works a collection of miscellaneous notes about Yangchow which he entitled 邗記 Han-chi, 6 chüan. It was printed in the 傳硯齋叢書 Ch'uan-yen chai ts'ung-shu of 1885. He left a collection of miscellaneous notes, entitled 里堂道聽錄 Li-t'ang tao-t'ing lu, 50 chüan, the manuscript of which is in the National Library in Peiping. A similar collection, entitled 易餘籥錄 I-yü yao-lu, 20 chüan, was printed in 1886 in the Mu-hsi hsüan ts'ung-shu. Chiao's interest in music, operas and lyrics is reflected in a collection of notes, entitled 劇說 Chü-shuo. A collection of his poems and short articles in prose, entitled Tiao-ku lou chi (集), 24 chüan, was printed in 1824 at Canton by Juan Yüan who also printed the works of Chiao T'ing-hu, entitled 密梅花館集 Mi-mei-hua kuan chi, 2 chüan. A supplement to the Tiao-ku-lou chi was edited by Hsü Nai-ch'ang 徐乃昌 (T. 積餘) under the title, Chiao Li-t'ang i-wên (軼文), and printed in Hsü's 鄦齋叢書 Hsü-chai ts'ung-shu in 1900. Juan Yüan and Chiao Hsün were life-long friends, and after Chiao died Juan wrote a very appreciative sketch of his life.

As a philosopher Chiao Hsün was an admirer and, from certain points of view, a follower of Tai Chên. His Mêng-tzŭ chêng-i and the short articles in his collected works compare favorably with Tai's Mêng-tzŭ tzŭ-i shu-chêng. According to Chiao Hsün, human nature (hsing 性) is primarily motivated by the desires of food and sex, just as with other animals. The difference lies in man's capacity to acquire knowledge by which he may so regulate his desires that he can prevent calamities prejudicial to his continued existence or the existence of the group. For him, knowledge (智) or the understanding of what is proper (宜) in conduct, is the thing most necessary to the well-being of man. Following the clues that he derived from the Classic of Changes, he taught that the acquisition of knowledge enables man to change from inappropriate conduct, which leads to calamity, to appropriate conduct, which leads to happiness. He interpreted tao 道 as the proper 'thoroughfare' of human life in general, and li 理 as the thoroughfare which is suited to man individually. Like Tai Chên he advocated the regulation, as over against the suppression, of human desires. But unlike Tai Chên he did not press the implications of this belief with revolutionary fervor. Influenced here, too, by the Classic of Changes, he advocated forgiveness and reconciliation—the kind of conduct that avoids extreme positions, not the kind that revolutionists with strong convictions are inclined to follow.

[1/488/11a; 2/69/21b; 3/422/1a; 4/135/15a; 7/34/9a; 13/7/14a; 17/7/51a; Wang Yung-hsiang 王永祥, 焦學三種 Chiao-hsüeh san-chung (1933), including three items: 年譜 Nien-p'u, 思想 Ssŭ-hsiang, and 易學 I-hsüeh; Tai Tung-yüan li chê-hsüeh, (see under Tai Chên), pp. 116–38; Min Êr-ch'ang 閔爾昌, 焦里堂先生年譜 Chiao Li-t'ang hsien-shêng nien-p'u (1931).]

Fang Chao-ying