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Choi Hanki’s Theory of Gampyeong as a Diagnostic Tool - From Modern Psychiatric Perspectives -

nami lee 1 Chan-Kyu Lee 2 Haenghoon Lee 3

1심리분석연구원
2숭실대학교
3한림대학교

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ABSTRACT

“Gampyeong” in In-jeong (Politics and Humanity) by Choi Hanki is an essay on evaluation and selection of a capable person, which shows a significant achievement in terms of modern diagnostic evaluation techniques. “Gampyeong” is composed of four chapters: evaluation, teaching, selection, and encouragement of capable human resources. The chapter on evaluation breaks down into: 1) strength and clarity of characters; 2) morality and hospitality; 3) appearance; 4) knowledge and experience; and 5) material resources. From its scoring using tables and numbers, we may infer that he was influenced by Western scientific method. Choi realized that social corruption relying on personal connection hindered qualified officers from being appointed. He criticized society where bribery and favoritism, instead of capability, were key factors for promotions and appointments. He made strong efforts to make objective references and rational methods for human resource management based on Kihak, which is a more pragmatic and materialistic world view. Different from Yi Jema’s Sasang Euihak (or Sasang Constitutional Medicine, a typology based on four human physical temperaments and psychological characters), Gampyeong shows a more integrative and holistic understanding of human beings. He emphasized the longitudinal approach toward human development of characters. Evaluation of a socio-economic status, which was not always correlated to the hierarchical class system in the Joseon dynasty, was a reformist approach toward human and social development. Compared with its typology counterparts in Western psychology, Gampyeong set a good precedent for modern psychology, although his theory did not evolve into the level of Western psychopathology and failed to have any significant followers. To revisit and reilluminate Gampyeong requires further efforts to integrate the Eastern and Western methods on human typology in the 21st century.

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