Rectifying names [cheng-ming] in classical confucianism


Authors
Chung-Ying Cheng
University of Hawaii
Abstract
The concept of rectifying names [cheng-ming] is a familiar one in the Confucian Analects. It occupies an important, if not central, position in the political philosophy of Confucius. Since, according to Confucius, the rectification of names is the basis of the establishment of social harmony and political order, one might suspect that later political theories of Confucian-ists should be traced back to the Confucian doctrine of rectifying names. It need not be added that the theory of rectifying names, as developed by Hsün Tzu in the third century B. C., served the double purpose of strengthening his political doctrine of government on the one hand and repudiating doctrines of names on the other
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DOI 10.2753/CSP1097-1467080367
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