Economic Equity, the Well-Field System, and Ritual Propriety in the Confucian Philosophy of Qi

Philosophy East and West 64 (4):856-865 (2014)
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The well-field system of land division was advocated by the classical Confucian Mencius and also by the Neo-Confucian Zhang Zai 張載 , both of whom, I argue, were philosophers of qi 氣 . In this system, land is divided into the shape of the Chinese character jing 井 . The outer eight parts would be private and cultivated by eight families, respectively, and the center part would be communal and fostered together in order to pay taxes.1 I argue that the function of the well-field system is consistent with the role of ritual propriety in Zhang Zai’s philosophy of qi, which emphasizes the realization of “great harmony” , which is a state of vital ..



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Jung-Yeup Kim
Kent State University

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