London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

LKL book database logo

Korean Women Philosophers and the Ideal of a Female Sage: Essential Writings of Im Yungjidang and Gang Jeongildang

Korean Women Philosophers and the Ideal of a Female Sage introduces the lives and ideas of two female Korean Confucian philosophers from the late Joseon Dynasty (18th-19th century), Im Yunjidang (1721-1793) and Gang Jeongildang (1772-1832), examining how their writings contribute to contemporary philosophical inquiry. Both philosophers are known for arguing that women are as capable as men of attaining the highest forms of intellectual and moral achievement and thereby can become female sages (yeoseong), with their reasoning building on distinctively Confucian philosophical claims about the original, pure moral nature shared by all human beings.

Editors and translators Hwa Yeong Wang and Philip J. Ivanhoe provide an analysis of the social, political, and historical factors that surrounded these women and informed their writing. This volume explores how these female philosophers navigated the challenges presented by the extensively patriarchal culture in which they lived. Im Yunjidang and Gang Jeongildang’s resistance and response to the patriarchal context of late Joseon society informs the content and style of their writing, producing original philosophical ideas that remain of great value to the field today.

By providing elegant English translations, thorough annotations, and analysis of the cultural and historical context of these writings, Wang and Ivanhoe provide a nuanced, informative, and invaluable look at the work of these two notable Korean female philosophers. This volume is certain to appeal to readers across the areas of Women’s Studies, Philosophy, East Asian Studies, Literature, and more, diversifying the current canon and providing perspectives on philosophy that have for far too long been overlooked.

Source: publisher’s website

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.