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Phenomenalist of Han epoch

Phenomenalist was a class of scholars, often mentioned in the Lun-hêng by Wang Ch'ung, who seem to have themselves to the study of natural phenomena and calamities, such as heat cold, inundations, droughts, famines, etc. to which, however, they did not ascribe natural, but moral causes, misled by the pseudo-science of the liking and similar works.

Phenomenalist believes that natural phenomena or calamities was not the result of government
or conduct, especially of the sovereign. When the sovereign is pleased, it is warm, and, when he is angry, it is cold. Heaven punishes a sovereign's wrongdoing by earthquake, inundations, droughts, and famines, etc.

People could influence weather conditions, When Tsou Yen (邹衍), a scholar of the 4th cent, b.c, had been put into prison upon a trumped up charge, he looked up to heaven and wept. All of a sudden snow began to fall, although it was midsummer.

Phenomenalism has influence on Chinese for many centuries. A famous tragedy, "Snow in Mid-summer" or "Dou Erh Yuan" by Guan Han Qin in Yuan epoch, tells the story of a widow named Dou Erh (窦娥), who, under the tortures of a corrupt official, was wrongly convicted and executed in the public for murder. She proclaimed her innocence in execution ground by making three wishes to Heaven: let her blood stain the white silks, let snow fall from the skies in summer, and let drought parch the land for three years. Moved by her innocence, Heaven fulfils all of her wishes.

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