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Classical Confucian Political ThoughtA New Interpretation$
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Loubna El Amine

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163048

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163048.001.0001

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A Harmonious Society

A Harmonious Society

(p.82) Chapter 3 A Harmonious Society
Classical Confucian Political Thought

Loubna El Amine

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how Confucians prefer a society that produces a more exalted level of order. This higher level is achieved by means of rituals, which operate as an institutional mechanism for the regulation of society. The chapter also analyzes the differences between Mencius and Xunzi on the question of human nature and its relationship to the use of rituals. Mencius is more optimistic about the ability of people to develop morally in a spontaneous way, and allows for a bigger role for the emulative example of the ruler, while Xunzi emphasizes more strongly on the importance of rituals. In this dimension of their thought, the conventional view of Confucianism more closely reflects Mencius' politics than Xunzi's.

Keywords:   Confucians, rituals, order, Mencius, Xunzi, human nature, moral development

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