This study described the academic nature of Shin Gyeong-Jun, Wi, Baek-Gyu and Hwang Yoon-Seok, who are representative literary writers of Honam Silhak in the 18th century, speculated on how their studies developed through their poetry, and then presented their orientational consciousness and directions for further studies.
Shin Gyeong-Jun, Wi, Baek-Gyu and Hwang Yoon-Seok studied traditional Confucianism and their achievements are characterized by practicality, breadth and intensity. This was indicated in the scholarly and practical minds shown in this study. Shin Gyeong-Jun wrote a number of pieces and they were helpful in everyday life rather than being empty or concerning impractical theories. Wi, Baek-Gyu was erudite and well-informed and in particular, through writing on the evils in reality in rural areas he criticized what was happening at that time. Hwang Yoon-Seok, who was well-informed and educated, was deeply interested in the natural sciences such as astronomy and dynamics. Shin Gyeong-Jun, Wi, Baek-Gyu and Hwang Yoon-Seok showed their respective aspects by creating poetry which reflected their studies.
First, Shin Gyeong-Jun abandoned the form of poetry and described minute forms of life from an observational perspective. He wrote 145 pieces of poetry under 62 titles, of which 28 had the formal exception of combining different forms, and used minute forms of life for writing poetry through objective observation. Wi, Baek-Gyu wrote poetry describing reality in rural areas as a basis of his life. 「Yeonnyonhaeng 1」 and 「Yeonnyonhaeng 2」 are his representative pieces. They did not have literary value as they were inclined to practical descriptions, but they describe the reality of rural areas at the time. Hwang Yoon-Seok wrote poetry on natural phenomena he was interested in. These included 「Ilsiksi」ㆍ 「Wolsikosipun」ㆍ 「Gatanhaeng」ㆍ 「Gojaehaeng」 and 「Jeongdongtan」. This study analysed 「Ilsiksi」 to confirm that the poet had the world view of an organism.
Finally, through speculation on their orientational consciousness, it was discovered that they loved people with unconventional and practical minds and directions for further studies on 'Honam Silhak' were presented.