Hwadam So Kyong Dok

 

So Kyong Dok (1489-1546) was a scholar and philosopher in the period of the feudal Joson dynasty (1392-1910).

He was clever from his childhood, but he began to go to school only when he was 14 because his family was very poor.

Growing in a time when social contradictions of the feudal Joson dynasty began to loom, he got displeased with the feudal rulers’ scramble for hegemony, arbitrariness and oppression. So he gave up government service and lived in seclusion in Hwadam while pursuing academic studies and striving to educate the rising generation. So people called him "Mr Hwadam" in general.

When he was 25, he established a materialistic outlook on the universe on the basis of his unique study, practical experience and special observation of phenomena.

Touring Mts Kumgang and Jiri and other scenic spots, he composed lots of poems singing of the beauty of the country, and put forward a materialistic outlook on the universe sympathising with the people who were suffering from exploitation and oppression.

In his late years he made public some papers including his treatises “Record of Principles” and “Theory of the Basic Principles and the Atmospheric Force of Nature” that describe the philosophy he had studied all his life.

He held in his treatises that the motive power for the evolution and development of all things in the world as well as changes in their motion lies in not God or something spiritual but in material substances, and that the great combination of the material substances constitutes the sky and the earth, while the minor combination, different things. And he judged that all sorts of things and phenomena as types of existence of material elements are related to and dependent on one another, and are in steady motion.

Like this So tried to consider the essence of the natural world and the law of its development from a materialistic and dialectic viewpoint, albeit naively.

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