Jeong Yakyong

Aug 5, 1762 - Apr 7, 1836

Jeong Yakyong / Jung Yak-Yong, often simply known as ‘Dasan’, was one of the greatest thinkers in the later Joseon dynasty period, wrote highly influential books about philosophy, science and theories of government, held significant administrative positions, and was noted as a poet. He was a close confidant of King Jeongjo and his philosophical position is often identified with the Silhak school, and his concerns are better seen as explorations of Neo-Confucian themes.
Jeong was born on 5 August 1762 in Gwangju-gun, Gyeonggi-do and died on 7 April 1836 in there too. He spent 18 years in exile in Gangjin, South Jeolla Province, from 1801 until 1818, on account of his membership of the Southerners faction, and also because of the Catholic faith of his elder brother. Korean Catholics sometimes claim that Jeong was baptized with the name John Baptist, but there is no documentary proof of this. He was came from Naju Jeong clan.
At birth he was given the courtesy title Gwi’nong, and later he was also known by the ja Miyong and Songbu 美庸; among his ho were Saam, Tagong, Taesu, Jahadoin, Cheolmasanin, Dasan, Yeoyudang.
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“In general, how did the Son of Heaven come about? Did he descend from Heaven, or did he emerge from the earth? A leader is chosen to be the head of the neighborhood when five houses become neighbors. A leader is chosen to be the head of the village when five neighborhoods become neighbors. A leader is chosen to be the head of the county when five villages become neighbors. Several heads of counties choose a feudal lord, and several feudal lords choose the Son of Heaven. Thus the Son of Heaven is chosen by the people.”

Jeong Yakyong
Aug 5, 1762 - Apr 7, 1836
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