About this topic
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 1928 that also include the Chinese original text.
Introductions Littlejohn 2010 Robins 2008
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312 found
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  1. added 2018-11-12
    Is Xunzi a Utilitarian? Revisiting a Disagreement.Zhaohui Mao - forthcoming - Asian Philosophy:1-10.
  2. 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 - forthcoming - Asian Philosophy:1-10.
  3. 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.
  4. added 2018-10-06
    Wittgenstein and the Xunzi on the Clarification of Language.Thomas D. 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 (...)
  5. 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 (...)
  6. 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 (...)
  7. 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.
  8. 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 (...)
  9. 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.Benoît Vermander - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (2):301-303.
  10. added 2018-05-09
    Yu in the Xunzi: Toward a Precise Understanding.Colin J. Lewis - 2018 - Asian Philosophy (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 (...)
  11. added 2018-04-16
    Confucianism and American Philosophy.Mathew A. Foust - 2017 - Albany, USA: SUNY Press.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. added 2018-02-17
    Wang Ying: On Xun Zi's Ethical Thought.Jia-Rung Fan - 2007 - Philosophy and Culture 34 (12):115-118.
  17. 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 (...)
  18. added 2018-01-16
    Ritual Education and Moral Development: A Comparison of Xunzi and Vygotsky.Colin J. 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 (...)
  19. added 2018-01-16
    Chen, Guanglian 陳光連, Research on the Meaning of “Fen” in the Xunzi 荀子“分”義研究.Benoît Vermander - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (1):121-123.
  20. added 2017-11-13
    Hsüntze the Moulder of Ancient Confucianism.Homer Hasenpflug Dubs - 1927 - Ch'eng-Wen.
  21. added 2017-11-11
    Jer-shiarn Lee: On Hsün Tzu's Theory of Names.Hsien-Chung Lee - 2006 - Philosophy and Culture 33 (6):111-116.
  22. added 2017-11-11
    Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsün Tzu's Moral Epistemology.A. S. Cua - 1991 - Philosophy East and West 41 (1):111-117.
  23. added 2017-11-11
    A New Translation of the Hsün-TzuXunzi: A Translation and Study of the Complete Works, Vol. 1A New Translation of the Hsun-Tzu.Chauncey S. Goodrich & John Knoblock - 1990 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 110 (3):487.
  24. added 2017-11-11
    Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsün Tzu's Moral Epistemology.A. S. Cua - 1987 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 20 (4):278-280.
  25. added 2017-11-11
    Why is Hsün Tzu Called a Legalist?T'ang Hsiao-wen - 1976 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 8 (1):21.
  26. added 2017-11-11
    A Descriptive Review of Hsün-Tzu's Thought.Liang Ch'I.-Hsiung - 1974 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 6 (1):4.
  27. added 2017-10-30
    Dongfang, Shuo 東方朔, Hierarchical Order and Just World—Research on the Thought of Xunzi 差等秩序與公道世界: 荀子思想研究.Benoît Vermander - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (4):585-588.
  28. added 2017-10-30
    Li in Early Confucianism.Thomas Radice - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12463.
    Li 禮 plays a central role in early Confucianism, but its complexity is not always fully understood. At first glance, it may seem as if li behaviors are merely attempts to promote conservative practices from the idealized Chinese past. However, by examining the nature and function of li, as described the Analects and the Xunzi 荀子, it becomes overwhelmingly apparent that li is a much more complicated phenomenon. Li actually plays key roles within the interconnected fields of Confucian ethics, religion, (...)
  29. added 2017-10-06
    Which Teacher Should I Choose?: A Xunzian Approach to Distinguishing Moral Experts From Fanatics.Eirik Lang Harris - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (3):463-480.
    This essay examines whether an invocation of an epistemological privilege on the part of supposed moral experts prevents potential students from being able to evaluate among potential candidates for the role of plausible moral teacher. Throughout, it works to demonstrate that it is possible for even the untutored student to distinguish between a fanatic and a moral expert. In particular, this essay focuses on the version of virtue ethics espoused by the early Chinese philosopher Xunzi. It argues that by reflecting (...)
  30. added 2017-10-06
    The Epistemological Principles and Methods in the Doctrines of Hsun-tzu and Mo-tzu.Chun-hai Tseng - 2004 - Philosophy and Culture 31 (7):59-78.
    This article is the theory of knowledge should be Articles: ancient and modern theme for the occasion of the aims of the Mexican science or knowledge Xun Xue principles or methods to introduce readers to the above theory of knowledge in Chinese philosophy reflected in the article, are dealt with ink on cognitive science and Xun Xue conditions, approaches, knowledge of the nature of classification and presentation of Chan. The article explains the specific ink identified seven kinds of reasoning, and, (...)
  31. added 2017-10-06
    Ritual Action (Li) in Confucius and Hsun Tzu.Michael R. Martin - 1995 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (1):13 – 30.
  32. added 2017-08-07
    Li, Qing, and Ethical Transformation in the Xunzi.Winnie Sung - 2017 - Asian Philosophy 27 (3):227-247.
    This paper analyses the connection between knowing Dao and ethical transformation in Xunzi’s thought. While there have been many discussions concerning what Dao is and how one may come to Dao, there has not been sufficient attention on how knowing Dao leads to ethical transformation. In Section 2, I explicate Xunzi’s concept of bi 蔽 and suggests that one’s not knowing Dao has to do with a certain problematic state of the heart/mind. In Section 3, I analyse xu虛, yi 一, (...)
  33. added 2017-08-07
    Xunzi and the Primitivists on Natural Spontaneity and Coercion.Frank Saunders - 2017 - Asian Philosophy 27 (3):210-226.
    This article explores two opposing views from Warring States China concerning the value of human natural spontaneity and large-scale government coercion. On the one hand, the Ruist philosopher Xunzi championed a comprehensive and coercive ethical, political, and social system or Way that he believed would lead to social order and moral cultivation while opposing people’s xìng. On the other hand, the authors of roughly books 8–10 of Zhuangzi, the primitivists, criticized a Way bearing a striking resemblance to Xunzi’s on the (...)
  34. added 2017-08-07
    Musical Harmony in the Xunzi and the Lüshi Chunqiu: Different Implications of Musical Harmony Resulting From Their Dissimilar Approaches to the Concept of Resonance Between Sound and Qi.J. O. Jungeun - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (3):371-387.
    This article discusses two interpretations of musical harmony around the 3rd century BCE based on the Xunzi 荀子 and the Lüshi Chunqiu 呂氏春秋, comparing the concepts of resonance between sound and qi 氣 in each interpretation. The Xunzi supports the moral influence of the sage kings’ music where ethical resonance between sound and bodily qi serves as firm ground for musical harmony begetting social harmony. In contrast, the Lüshi Chunqiu advocates the idea of physical resonance between sound and cosmic qi (...)
  35. added 2017-08-07
    Hutton, Eric L., Ed., Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Xunzi. [REVIEW]Winnie Sung - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (3):441-445.
  36. added 2017-05-30
    Wong on Three Confucian Metaphors for Ethical Development.Christian B. Miller - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (4):551-558.
    This is my contribution to a symposium on David Wong’s paper, “Early Confucian Philosophy and the Development of Compassion.” I simply grant Wong his reading of the relevant texts and consider the merits of the ideas about ethical development on their own terms. In particular, my aim is to see how fruitful these ideas might be in the contemporary philosophical landscape.
  37. added 2017-05-20
    Method Mourning: Xunzi on Ritual Performance.Thomas Radice - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (2):466-493.
    Xunzi's 荀子 essay, "A Discussion of Rituals" is the earliest attempt in early China to theorize at length about the nature and importance of rituals. This essay is crucial to understanding the importance of ritual in Xunzi's philosophy of self-cultivation, of which there is no shortage of analysis.1 Most of this analysis centers on the notion of ritual in general, but Xunzi's essay also reveals his reaction to several criticisms to specific ritual practices, especially mourning rituals and ancestral sacrifices, that (...)
  38. added 2017-05-20
    Solving for the Triad: Xunzi and Wendell Berry on Sustainable Agriculture as Ethical Practice.Matthew Duperon - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (2):380-398.
    The classical Confucian thinker Xunzi is often characterized as a hard-nosed realist, and stands out in the early Chinese canon for his uncompromising materialist cosmology. Xunzi sees the actions of Heaven in terms of natural material forces rather than supernatural theistic ones, and this view leads him to reject various forms of supernaturalism. Xunzi's cosmological concept of the Triad formed by Heaven, Earth, and Humans also places humans at the center of the cosmos, and as such makes his stance very (...)
  39. added 2017-05-20
    Two Rival Interpretations of Xunzi's Views on the Basis of Morality.Michael R. Slater - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):363-379.
    This essay examines the textual evidence and arguments for two rival ways of interpreting Xunzi's accounts of the origins and normative bases of ritual and the Way: a human-centered line of interpretation which maintains that the moral order constituted by the Confucian Way and its ritual tradition was the artificial creation of a group of ancient sages, and a Heaven-centered line of interpretation which maintains, in contrast, that those same sages based the Confucian Way and its ritual tradition on a (...)
  40. added 2017-05-20
    The Implications of Mencius' and Hsün Tzu's Thoughts in Life-and-Death Education: A Case Study on "Abortion".Gong Xiu - 2007 - Study of Life and Death 1 (6):91-123.
    This paper attempts to Xun Xue Meng learning and cut into two context shows that Confucianism in death education in the diverse meaning and subject effect. Mencius doctrine mainly "human nature is good" for its focus on the basis of the moral subject of "moral self-discipline"; Xunzi by the "evil nature" as the theory of tone, emphasis on "community ethics" key. In this paper, two from Meng Xun's "human nature", "Righteousness and Profit," shows the difference in opinions and view on (...)
  41. added 2017-05-20
    The Construction of the Core Values ​​of Xun Zi's Philosophy.Hsiang-Ling Wang - 2007 - Philosophy and Culture 34 (12):21-40.
    "Core value" is the interface between traditional and modern bridges, is more characteristic of the modern; another modern element is the "rational thinking." Xunzi Zhe Thought a deep modernization of these two key characteristics, which concerned with modern management thinking ability of contracting knowledge and ability - "righteousness" and ability to practice the core values ​​- "Ceremony" is Xunzi Zhe Thought the main areas. "Justice" when and not if the independent thinking of the judge ability, and "gifts" behavior defined by (...)
  42. added 2017-05-20
    The Thought of "Prudence" in Xun-zi.Hsiao-Huei Pan - 2003 - Philosophy and Culture 30 (8):95-114.
    "Xunzi" book refers to "knowledge" / "wisdom" of up to four hundred and eighty seven, shows the "known" / "wisdom" of attention. In this paper, "Xunzi" in the "wisdom" De / "Wisdom" Thought must also be through the "knowledge" and "wisdom" of the analysis and understanding. Xunzi highlight the "heart" ─ especially the "demasking heart" ─ cognitive meaning is very special, "intellectual" de / "Wisdom" is also the special theory of moral knowledge construction in the present form, "Xunzi" "Wisdom" One (...)
  43. added 2017-05-20
    Basic Writings of Mo Tzu, Hsün Tzu, and Han Fei Tzu. Di Mo, Fei Xunzi, Burton Han & Watson - 1967 - Columbia University Press.
  44. added 2017-04-24
    Kant, Xunzi and the Artificiality of Manners.Anja Berninger - 2017 - Asian Studies 5 (1):173-192.
  45. added 2017-04-24
    Brief Lives: Xunzi.Dale DeBakcsy - 2016 - Philosophy Now 115:52-53.
  46. added 2017-04-24
    Review of Rituals of the Way: The Philosophy of Xunzi by Paul Rakita Goldin. [REVIEW]Joanne Birdwhistell - 2002 - Philosophy East and West 52 (4):498-500.
  47. added 2017-04-24
    Review of Virtue, Nature, and Moral Agency in the Xunzi by T. C. Kline III; Philip J. Ivanhoe. [REVIEW]Kurtis Hagen - 2001 - Philosophy East and West 51 (3):434-440.
  48. added 2017-04-03
    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 (...)
  49. added 2017-04-03
    Xunzi's Sanhuo.Chaehyun Chong - 2012 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (3):424-435.
    This article explicates Xunzi's three types of cognitive delusions in Xunzi's Zhengming Pian. The followings are my conclusions: first, general names such as “a white horse,” “a horse,” “a thief,” and “a man” are thought of as proper nouns because the classic Chinese theory of language concerned pragmatics rather than semantics. Second, classic Chinese epistemology does not address conceptual knowledge or knowledge based on argumentation distinguished from the art of description. Third, Gongsun Long believes in an extreme form of one‐name‐one‐thingism. (...)
  50. added 2017-04-03
    Father and Son in Confucianism and Christianity: A Comparative Study of Xunzi and Paul – By Yanxia Zhao.John Berthrong - 2010 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (2):330-333.
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