雖然中晚明文化存在尊情的傾向，已為許多學者所認可。但以此作為研究前提或背景之前，或許應先探問：中晚明情觀如何浮上學術檯面？「情」所以成為中晚明的文化焦點，其實不僅關乎文化內部的歷史事實，也牽涉研究者處身的學術風尚。使晚明情觀浮上學術檯面的資本主義論述，力道雖強大，卻也同時掩蓋或渲染「情」在文本中及文本間的具體意涵。以戲曲、小說為例，飽含情欲的作品固然蔚為盛觀，然而它們和所謂「左派王學」、詩文評述中的情感論等等，是否構成連續且關係緊密的時代潮流？縱使學者近年來在地域經濟、城市風尚、士商關係、出版事業等範圍的研究上，多能突破經濟決定論的限制，但在聚焦於近現代的視野下，既以社會變動為解釋框架，則未必能置外於「啟蒙」或「反傳統」的聲浪。而「啟蒙」或「反傳統」概念的使用，本身就極具爭議性。因此，「情」是否為中晚明文化的關鍵詞？或如何成為關鍵詞？目前我們所能廓清的，恐怕不比所遮蔽的更多。 Although many scholars have agreed that a ch'ing (情)-valuing trend existed in mid-late Ming culture, one should first ask how ch'ing attracted the attention of the mid-late Ming academic world. The reason that ch'ing became a cultural focus in the mid-late Ming was not only because of the prevailing culture, but also because of Ming academic fashion. Capitalist discourse caused ch'ing to become popular in the mid-late Ming. However, it was often invoked out of context to exaggerate intertextuality. While many operas and novels of this period were about love and desire, were they a part of the thought trends of that time? Although recent researchers have generally surpassed the limitations of economic determinism, they are often still influenced by "enlightenment" or "anti-tradition," both of which are contested concepts. Is ch'ing a cultural key word in the mid-late Ming? If so, how did it become one? This paper will shed some light on these questions.