Destiny and heavenly ordinances: Two perspectives on the relationship between heaven and human beings in confucianism [Book Review]

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (1):13-37 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX


As a pair of important categories in traditional Chinese culture, “ ming 命 (destiny or decrees)” and “ tian ming 天命 (heavenly ordinances)” mainly refer to the constraints placed on human beings. Both originated from “ ling 令 (decrees),” which evolved from “ wang ling 王令 (royal decrees)” into “ tian ling 天令 (heavenly decrees),” and then became “ ming ” from a throne because of the decisive role of “heavenly decrees” over a throne. “ Ming ” and “ tian ming ” have different definitions: “ Ming ” represented the limits Heaven placed on the natural lives of human beings and was an objective force that men could not direct, but was embodied in human beings as their “destiny”; “ Tian ming ” reflected the moral ideals of human beings in their self-identification; It originated in man but had to be verified by Heaven, and it was therefore the true ordinance that Heaven placed on human beings. “ Ming ” and “ tian ming ” are two perspectives on the traditional relationship between Heaven and human beings, and at the same time Confucians and Daoists placed different emphasis on them.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 84,108

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

110 (#130,321)

6 months
1 (#511,561)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Fate and the Good Life: Zhu Xi and Jeong Yagyong’s Discourse on Ming.Youngsun Back - 2015 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (2):255-274.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Complete Works: The Rev. Oxford Translation.Jonathan Barnes (ed.) - 1984 - Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
The Politics. Aristotle & Trevor J. Saunders - 1968 - Oxford University Press. Edited by William Ellis.
Zhongguo ren xing lun shi.Fuguan Xu - 2001 - Shanghai: Hua dong shi fan da xue chu ban she.

Add more references