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Summary Xunzi was the influential philosopher of China's Warring States period (479–221 B.C.E.). He considered himself a follower of Confucius, and his philosophy belongs to the tradition of what might be called classical Confucianism. It certainly took part in consolidating the doctrine. Xunzi's significance has often been underestimated, especially in favour of Mencius. Xunzi system addresses topics ranging from economic and military policy, through the justification of traditional authority and institutions, to action theory and the philosophy of language.
Key works Original texts by Xunzi can be found in Xunzi 1963. There are alternative, older translations of Xunzi texts Xunzi & Dubs 1928 that also include the Chinese original text.
Introductions Littlejohn 2010 Robins 2008
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334 found
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  1. added 2020-05-14
    Confucian Ethics as Virtue Ethics.Kai Wang - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 9:75-79.
    Against the background of modern academic study, this article consciously uses Aristotle’s virtue ethics as a tool to theoretically analyze Xunzi’s ethical philosophy. This article tries to briefly analyze the basic structure of Xunzi’s moral philosophy and to reveal its unique rationalist theoretical character by exploring the following three topics: “the understanding of human beings,” “the establishment of a moral foundation,” and “the accomplishment of virtue in practice.” From the perspective of comparative philosophy, this article can also be viewed as (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-14
    Is Fa a Way for Achieving Good Government?Wei Sun - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 9:69-73.
    Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi had different views of good government. Due to their different understandings of good government, Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi formulated their different approaches to achieving a good government. Confucius argued for li and allowed some room for fa in achieving a good government. However, since Mencius’ view is that a good government results from the moral cultivation of the ruler, ministers and people and moral persuasion, he neglected li as the approach to achieve a good government. In (...)
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  3. added 2020-05-14
    Rethinking Hsun Tzu in Today’s Poverty and Corruption.Manuel B. Dy - 2011 - Eco-Ethica 1:97-111.
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  4. added 2020-05-14
    Die Sozialen Lehren der Altchinesischen Philosophen Mo-Tzu, Meng-Tzu Und Hsün-Tzu.Erich Steinfeld - 1971 - De Gruyter.
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  5. added 2020-04-27
    Confucianism and American Philosophy. [REVIEW]Andrew Lambert - 2017 - Review of Metaphysics 71 (4).
  6. added 2020-04-13
    Xunzi’s Theory of Music: An Educational Implication.In Kim - 2020 - Journal of Moral Education 32 (1):43-58.
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  7. added 2020-02-11
    10. Mencius, Xunzi, and Dai Zhen.Kwong-Loi Shun - 2017 - In Alan K. L. Chan (ed.), Mencius: Contexts and Interpretations. University of Hawaii Press.
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  8. added 2020-01-26
    Xunzi and the Problem of Different Strokes for Different Folks: On T ang Siufu’s Self-realization through Confucian Learning.Eric L. Hutton - 2020 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 19 (1):113-120.
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  9. added 2020-01-13
    Morality in Politics: Panacea or Poison?Eirik Lang Harris - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Utah
    In the Western philosophic tradition, virtue theory has rarely been extended to the political realm. There is a long tradition that advocates the role of virtue in ethical theory, but the implications of this tradition for political theory have largely been neglected. However, in the Chinese tradition, we very early on see the use of virtue-based theories not only in ethics but in political thought as well. Indeed, one of the most sophisticated early Confucian philosophers, Xúnzǐ 荀子 (fl. 298–238 BCE), (...)
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  10. added 2020-01-09
    The Core Message of Xunzi’s Claim that Xing is Bad.Doil Kim - 2020 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 19 (1):121-131.
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  11. added 2019-11-28
    Self‐Realization Through Confucian Learning: A Contemporary Reconstruction of Xunzi's Ethics. By Siufu Tang.John Ramsey - 2019 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 46 (3-4):253-256.
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  12. added 2019-10-25
    The Art of Convention: An Aesthetic Defense of Confucian Ritual.Irene Liu - 2019 - In Colin Marshall (ed.), Comparative Metaethics: Neglected Perspectives on the Foundations of Morality. New York, USA: Rutledge. pp. 119-138.
    This paper aims to produce a defense of the ethical significance of Confucian ritual. An adequate defense must explain how these conventions are based in a culturally-neutral, objective ground. After a brief account of how Confucians view the relationship between rituals and moral goodness, I consider three sorts of justification. Mencian naturalism appeals to a conception of flourishing that is grounded in human nature. Xunzian consequentialism looks to how ritual brings about social order. I argue that both of these approaches (...)
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  13. added 2019-10-24
    Theorizing Confucian Virtue Politics : The Political Philosophy of Mencius and Xunzi.Sungmoon Kim - 2019 - Cambridge University Press.
    Surprisingly little is known about what ancient Confucian thinkers struggled with in their own social and political contexts and how these struggles contributed to the establishment and further development of classical Confucian political theory. Leading scholar of comparative political theory, Sungmoon Kim offers a systematic philosophical account of the political theories of Mencius and Xunzi, investigating both their agreements and disagreements as the champions of the Confucian Way against the backdrop of the prevailing realpolitik of the late Warring States period. (...)
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  14. added 2019-10-24
    Xunzi’s Concept of Hsing: Relation to Desire.Kwang-Min Kim - 2019 - Journal of Moral Education 31 (3):21-39.
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  15. added 2019-09-17
    Aesthetic Education in Confucius, Xunzi, and Kant.Christian Helmut Wenzel - 2019 - Yearbook for Eastern and Western Philosophy 2018 (3):59-75.
    This essay introduces ideas from Confucius, Xunzi, the Six Dynasties, and Kant about beauty, music, morality, and what we might today call “aesthetic education.” It asks how beauty and morality are related and how they ideally should be related to each other. We know that beauty and morality can drift apart, and we may wonder how aesthetic education might work best. Should the arts be a means for developing morality? Or should it be the other way around? These questions are (...)
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  16. added 2019-09-17
    Xunzi on the Role of the Military in a Well-Ordered State.Eirik Lang Harris - 2019 - Journal of Military Ethics 18 (1):48-64.
    Chapter 15 of the Xunzi stands as the most comprehensive account of the early Confucian analysis of warfare. Unlike a range of other early, non-Confucian discussions on warfare, particular strategies and tactics are taken to be of secondary importance. Thus, Xunzi refuses to discuss practical military strategy without framing it within a much broader ethical, social, and political context. On his account, a well-ordered, flourishing state necessarily rests upon a particular set of rituals and social norms in which people can (...)
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  17. added 2019-09-17
    Overcoming Our Evil: Human Nature and Spiritual Exercises in Xunzi and Augustine.Marianne Farina - 2010 - Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 30 (2):215-216.
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  18. added 2019-09-17
    Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsun Tzu's Moral Epistemology.John Marshall - 1986 - Review of Metaphysics 39 (3):561-563.
    How should we proceed to resolve ethical dilemmas? A. S. Cua is well known not only for his many studies in the history of early Chinese--more specifically, Confucian--thought, but also for his contributions to contemporary moral philosophy. His historical inquiries are in large part inspired, however, by his philosophical interests. In the present book, in which he examines and reconstructs the moral epistemology of Hsun Tzu, his aim is to illuminate an important type of ethical reasoning--and so to help us (...)
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  19. added 2019-07-25
    On the View That People and Not Institutions Bear Primary Credit for Success in Governance: Confucian Arguments.Justin Tiwald - 2019 - Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture 32:65-97.
    This paper explicates the influential Confucian view that “people” and not “institutional rules” are the proper sources of good governance and social order, as well as some notable Confucian objections to this position. It takes Xunzi 荀子, Hu Hong 胡宏, and Zhu Xi 朱熹 as the primary representatives of the “virtue-centered” position, which holds that people’s good character and not institutional rules bear primary credit for successful governance. And it takes Huang Zongxi 黃宗羲 as a major advocate for the “institutionalist” (...)
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  20. added 2019-06-06
    Basic Writings of Mo Tzu, Hsün Tzu, and Han Fei Tzu.Burton Watson (ed.) - 1967 - Columbia University Press.
    Compiling in one volume the basic writings of these three seminal thinkers of ancient China, each from a different philosophical school, this book reveals the richness and diversity of the ancient Chinese intellectual world.
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  21. added 2019-06-06
    The Works of Hsüntze.Homer H. Xunzi & Dubs - 1928 - Ch'eng-Wen Pub. Co.
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  22. added 2019-06-05
    The Highways and Byways of Ritual: Pascal and Xunzi on Faith, Virtue, and Religious Practice.M. Cline Erin - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (1):3-25.
    Blaise Pascal contends that ritual is not simply an expression of religious faith; it is also the means by which religious faith is cultivated. While Pascal fails to offer a plausible account of how ritual can lead to faith, the classical Confucian philosopher Xunzi’s account of ritual – especially his account of how rituals shape a person’s character and how one comes to “acquire a taste” for the things that rituals achieve – is a helpful resource for extending and refining (...)
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  23. added 2019-06-03
    The Ontological Dimension of Xunzi's Ritual Propriety: A Comparative Study of Xunzi and Heidegger.Jifen Li - 2019 - Philosophy East and West 69 (1):156-175.
    In Confucianism, ritual propriety 1 is commonly understood as an instrument for guiding people's actions. In this essay, however, I argue that taking ritual propriety merely as an instrument external to human beings fails to appreciate important aspects of Xunzi's conception of ritual propriety. Drawing on suggestions from Martin Heidegger's philosophy, I argue that ritual propriety in the Xunzi is analogous to language in Heidegger in important ways. For Heidegger, language is the "house of Being." For Xunzi, ritual propriety could (...)
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  24. added 2019-06-03
    Relating the Political to the Ethical: Thoughts on Early Confucian Political Theory.Eirik Harris - 2019 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 18 (2):277-283.
    This essay examines the role that the the ethical plays in early Confucian political philosophy. By focusing primarily on the political thought of Xunzi, I argue that there is a necessary relationship between ethical ideas and political ideas in texts such as the Analects, Mengzi, and Xunzi. In particular, I argue against a more ‘realist’ reading of the tradition which argues that for early Confucians political order was not only a goal independent of ethical goals but also one in which (...)
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  25. added 2019-06-03
    Language and Logic in the Xunzi.Chris Fraser - 2016 - In Eric Hutton (ed.), Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Xunzi. Dordrecht, Netherlands: pp. 291–321.
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  26. added 2019-03-05
    Is Xunzi a Utilitarian? Revisiting a Disagreement.M. A. O. Zhaohui - 2018 - Asian Philosophy 28 (4):358-367.
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  27. added 2019-03-05
    Virtue and Virtuosity: Xunzi and Aristotle on the Role of Art in Ethical Cultivation.Lee Wilson - 2018 - Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture 30:75–103.
    Christian B. Miller has noted a “realism challenge” for virtue ethicists to provide an account of how the character gap between virtuous agents and non-virtuous agents can be bridged. This is precisely one of Han Feizi’s key criticisms against Confucian virtue ethics, as Eric L. Hutton argues, which also cuts across the Aristotelian one: appealing to virtuous agents as ethical models provides the wrong kind of guidance for the development of virtues. Hutton, however, without going into detail, notes that the (...)
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  28. added 2019-02-11
    Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsün Tzu’s Moral Epistemology.Lloyd Sciban - 1990 - Philosophy East and West 40 (2):266-268.
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  29. added 2019-02-11
    Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsün Tzu’s Moral Epistemology. [REVIEW]Richard Bosley - 1987 - Idealistic Studies 17 (3):277-278.
    In light of Hsün Tzu’s account of drawing distinctions in support of certain pragmatic ends, one might say there are three classes of readers of A. S. Cua’s book. The first is of those who are at home in Literary Chinese; the second is of those, like this reviewer, who read very little of the language; and the third is of readers with no Chinese. The first class will doubtless be engaged by the linguistic studies conducted, for example, in Chapter (...)
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  30. added 2019-02-11
    Xunzi Li Xue Zhi Yan Jiu.Feilong Chen - 1979
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  31. added 2019-02-11
    Confucius and Hsün-TzŭConfucius and Hsun-Tzu.Herrlee Glessner Creel - 1931 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 51 (1):23.
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  32. added 2018-11-12
    Is Xunzi a Utilitarian? Revisiting a Disagreement.Zhaohui Mao - 2018 - Asian Philosophy 28 (4):358-367.
    ABSTRACTIn Chinese scholarship, Xunzi is often regarded as an eclectic Confucian master who accepted some form of utilitarian thoughts. This characteristic was also observed by some western scholars such as Benjamin I. Schwartz. In a recent study, I argued that the basic character of Xunzi’s philosophy is utilitarianism in a broad sense based on an examination on his intellectual criticism and political criticism. Xunzi asserts that humans are innately driven by self-interested desires, and he evaluates all intellectual works and political (...)
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  33. added 2018-11-12
    Zhi and Neng Belong to Mind: A Study of the Capacity to Be Good in the Mind of Xunzi.Lizhu Li - 2018 - Asian Philosophy 28 (4):348-357.
    ABSTRACTThe mainstream of academia thinks that Xunzi’s theory of human nature, which claims that human nature is bad, is in contrast with those of Confucius and Mencius and is unable to provide a foundation for human moral subjectivity. However, there are more and more scholars bringing up different ideas, such as Lu Debin and Fung Yiuming. They think that Xunzi’s wei 偽, which includes zhi知 and neng 能, is a kind of inborn capacity to think and activate that belongs to (...)
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  34. added 2018-10-06
    Integrative Ethical Education: Narvaez’s Project and Xunzi’s Insight.Yen-Yi Lee - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (13):1203-1213.
    In the early 2000s, some scholars suggested integrative ethical education as an approach to reconcile the gap between cognitive-development education, based on rule ethics, and traditional character-ethics education, inspired by character ethics in Western ethical education. Darcia Narvaez also tried to establish a comprehensive and systematic model. Nonetheless, she has indicated four questions that need further research. This paper aims to respond to Narvaez’s project and its questions from the angle of Xunzi’s ritual education. It argues that Xunzi’s thought may (...)
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  35. added 2018-10-06
    Wittgenstein and the Xunzi on the Clarification of Language.Thomas Carroll - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (4):527-545.
    Broadly speaking, language is part of a social activity in both Wittgenstein and Xunzi 荀子, and for both clarification of language is central to their philosophical projects; the goal of this article is to explore the extent of resonance and discord that may be found when comparing these two philosophers. While for Xunzi, the rectification of names is anchored in a regard for establishing, propagating, and/or restoring a harmonious social system, perspicuity is for Wittgenstein represented as a philosophical end in (...)
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  36. added 2018-08-28
    Xunzi on Heaven, Ritual, and the Way.Michael R. Slater - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (3):887-908.
    According to a dominant line of interpretation in recent Anglophone Xunzi scholarship, Xunzi conceived of Heaven along impersonal rather than personal lines, and regarded Heaven—together with Earth—roughly as the orderly and indifferent forces of Nature, as opposed to a deity who is aware of and takes an interest in the affairs of human beings; who rewards virtue and punishes vice; whose ways can be known through divination; and who can be propitiated through sacrifice.1 This general view of Xunzi's philosophy has (...)
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  37. added 2018-08-28
    Xunzi and Mimamsa on the Source and Ground of Ritual: An Analogical Argument.Alexus McLeod - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (3):737-761.
    In recent years, there have been debates surrounding various aspects of the early Confucian philosopher Xunzi's view on ritual as a specific core element of his ethical thought.1 One of the main questions concerns the source of ritual. Is ritual something that humans discover in the world, or is it instead something they create? That is, does Xunzi offer a realist or a conventionalist view of ritual? The answer to this question is of great import for understanding the thought of (...)
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  38. added 2018-08-28
    Normative Reasons and Moral Reasoning in the Mengzi and the Xunzi.Philippe Brunozzi - 2017 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 44 (1-2):33-52.
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  39. added 2018-08-23
    The Role of Human Nature in Moral Inqiury: MacIntyre, Mencius, and Xunzi.Richard Kim - 2015 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 32 (4):313-333.
    Appeals to human nature in normative inquiry have fallen out of favor among contemporary philosophers. There are a variety of reasons frequently cited by those who see appeals to human nature as deeply problematic: (a) that the notion of human nature, which conceives nature as having a teleological direction, is incompatible with evolutionary biology; (b) that the manifest diversity of cultural values and traditions falsify any essentialist claims involving a common nature necessarily shared by all humans; (c) that appeals to (...)
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  40. added 2018-05-09
    Yu in the Xunzi: Toward a Precise Understanding.Colin J. Lewis - 2018 - Asian Philosophy 28 (2):157-169.
    An ongoing dialogue in Xunzi scholarship addresses the role of yu (欲), often rendered as ‘desire,’ in motivation, but little has been said about what yu actually is, or whether the translation of ‘desire’ accurately reflects Xunzi’s use of the term. Employing textual analysis alongside research in cognitive science, most notably work on the so-called ‘wanting-liking’ distinction, I work toward a more precise understanding of Xunzi’s notion of yu and its functions. I suggest that yu be construed as a kind (...)
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  41. added 2018-05-09
    Wang, Qingguang 王慶光,A Comparison Between Xunzi and the Daoist School of Qi荀子與齊道家的對比: Taipei 臺北: Da’an Chubanshe 大安出版社, 2014, 481 Pages.Benoît Vermander - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (2):301-303.
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  42. added 2018-04-16
    Confucianism and American Philosophy.Mathew A. Foust - 2017 - Albany, USA: SUNY Press.
    In this highly original work, Mathew A. Foust breaks new ground in comparative studies through his exploration of the connections between Confucianism and the American Transcendentalist and Pragmatist movements. In his examination of a broad range of philosophers, including Confucius, Mencius, Xunzi, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Peirce, William James, and Josiah Royce, Foust traces direct lines of influence from early translations of Confucian texts and brings to light conceptual affinities that have been previously overlooked. Combining resources from (...)
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  43. added 2018-02-23
    Aquinas and Gregory the Great on the Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer.Scott Hill - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    I defend a solution to the puzzle of petitionary prayer based on some ideas of Aquinas, Gregory the Great, and contemporary desert theorists. I then address a series of objections. Along the way broader issues about the nature of desert, what is required for an action to have a point, and what is required for a puzzle to have a solution are discussed.
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  44. added 2018-02-17
    A Study on the Expansion and Limitations of Xun Zi's Theory of the Origin of Morality. 박영진 - 2014 - Journal of Ethics 1 (97):97-120.
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  45. added 2018-02-17
    Wang Ying: On Xun Zi's Ethical Thought.Jia-Rung Fan - 2007 - Philosophy and Culture 34 (12):115-118.
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  46. added 2018-02-17
    Han De-min: The Social Ideal of Xun Zi and Confucianism.Yun-Hsiang Chang - 2007 - Philosophy and Culture 34 (12):111-114.
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  47. added 2018-02-17
    Introduction: The Issues of Knowledge and Morality in Xun Zi's Philosophy.Hsiao-Huei Pan - 2007 - Philosophy and Culture 34 (12):1-3.
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  48. added 2018-02-01
    Xin in the Xunzi.Sung Hiu Chuk Winnie - unknown
    This thesis examines the theories of action, decision-making and human nature in the Xunzi, an ancient Chinese text from the Warring States period. It focuses in particular on Xunzi’s concept xin. The discussion begins with a challenge to a widely-accepted but often unsupported assumption in the literature that human desires are sometimes set in tension against the heart/mind As a corollary of this view, it is also often suggested that yu is associated with a lack of morality, while xin is (...)
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  49. added 2018-01-16
    Ritual Education and Moral Development: A Comparison of Xunzi and Vygotsky.Colin Lewis - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (1):81-98.
    Xunzi’s 荀子 advocacy for moral education is well-documented; precisely how his program bolsters moral development, and why a program touting study of ritual could be effective, remain subjects of debate. I argue that these matters can be clarified by appealing to the theory of learning and development offered by Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky posited that development depends primarily on social interactions mediated by sociocultural tools that modify learners’ cognitive architecture, enabling increasingly sophisticated thought. Vygotsky’s theory is remarkably similar to Xunzi’s account (...)
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  50. added 2018-01-16
    Chen, Guanglian 陳光連,Research on the Meaning of “Fen” in the Xunzi荀子“分”義研究: Nanjing 南京: Dongnan Daxue Chubanshe 東南大學出版社, 2013, 283 Pages.Benoît Vermander - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (1):121-123.
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