Bak Jiwon (born 1737)

Bak Jiwon (Korean박지원; Hanja朴趾源; 1737–1805), styled Yeonam (Korean연암; Hanja燕巖, 'Rock of swallow'), was a philosopher and novelist in the late Joseon dynasty. He has been regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of the so-called "Practical Learning (silhak)" movement. Park Jiwon belonged to the "School of Profitable Usage and Benefiting the People" (Korean이용후생파; Hanja利用厚生派; RRIyong Husaeng-pa) to promote the industrialization of his country and the development of trade by positively introducing western technologies to Joseon Korea. Park Jiwon proposed that Joseon import advanced technologies from the Qing dynasty, and promote mercantilism.[1]

Park Jiwon
Born(1737-03-05)5 March 1737
Hanseong, Joseon
Died10 December 1805(1805-12-10) (aged 68)
Hanseong, Joseon
Other namesYeonam
Notable workCollection of the Rock of swallow(Also called Yeonamjip),
The Jehol Diary
Era18th-century philosophy
RegionKorean Confucianism

The scholars Bak Jega, Yu Deukgong and Yi Deokmu were influenced by Park Jiwon.


Along with Hong Daeyong, he argued that the ground is not flat but round. He saw that the Earth could be a large circle, not a flat surface. It also claimed that the land consists of one dust and soil. He argued that the world is objectively real, from celestial bodies to all things, and that everything in the universe is created in the process of the particle of dust and movement and change. Park's claim that the Earth is a round circle was accepted as absurd.

Personal criticismEdit

Park Jiwon's appearance is described in Gwajeong-rok (過庭錄), written by his son, Park Jong-chae. He was tall and very big, had a long face, prominent cheekbones, and a double eyelid. The record is almost identical to the remaining portraits of Park Jiwon. Park also said that his voice was so loud that he could be heard far outside the fence even if he spoke. Although there was one portrait depicting Park Jiwon as a middle-aged man, Yeonam forced him to destroy the portrait, saying it was less than 70 percent of his original self, and he never accepted his son's plea to paint it again.

Park Jiwon was also not able to negotiate easily with others. Kim Ki-soon said, "He lacked the power to hold down smoothly because he was so graceful, and he was always too strong to have a smooth side." Park Jiwon also admitted, "It's all because of my personality that I've been through this sort of mess all my life." In fact, Park entered the government office with a sound letter and served as a minister of internal affairs and internal affairs, but was not included in key posts in the government.



Popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ Koh Mi-suk (고미숙) (7 March 2011). 고전 인물로 다시읽기: 글쓰기 ‘프리랜서’ 연암 박지원 [Discovering classics: the 'freelancerer' Yonam Bak Jiwon]. Seoul Shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  2. ^ "박지원" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-05-13.

External linksEdit