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Day 2 9:30 Panel 11

Chinese Philosophy

Upper Hall

Zhang Yunqi; Zhou Lvhan; Mo Zheqiong; Zhao Ke

Zhang Yunqi

Peking University, Year 1 Master in Chinese Philosophy

The Importance of 时 (the Timely) in Zhu Xi’s Theory of 义(Morality) and 命(Fate) Relationship

The relationship between morality (义) and fate (命,outcome in reality) is an important problem for Confucian moral theory. Even the ideal sage Confucius, who were supposed to have been perfectly moral, did not receive in reality the felicity and achievements that he deserved. Zhu Xi thinks that by conducting according to moral appropriateness(义),there is no longer such a thing as fate for the sage (不谓命). Here Zhu Xi mean that the sage can de-construct “fate” above achieving subjective ignorance or understanding towards fate. Zhu Xi thinks that moral appropriateness(义) is the timely normativity of 天理(principle of heaven), while fate is the timely manifestation and concretization of 天理(principle of heaven)in reality. By conducting morality in the exact timeliest way, the sage’s life became identical to the timely manifestation of the principle of heaven in reality. What the sage received in reality was exactly the principle’s timely concretization, there were no better possibility in that context. For the sage himself, he only practices the timeliness of the principle of heaven, there was no extra thing as a result that he deserve but did not receive. Here he provides a unique way of understanding moral normativity. What lies beneath is that, the world of reality and human life are a unity in terms of their being the timely concretization of the principle of heaven.

Zhou Lvhan

Hunan University, Year 2 Master Candidate in Philosophy

As we known, "language" plays an important role in the philosophy of Zhuangzi. Therefore "Book", a text carrier of "language", is also essential to understanding Zhuangzi’s thought. Zhuangzi strongly opposed writing texts and claimed that “Book” was the book of the deceased. This complete denial of the "book" is extremely rare whether in the pre-Qin period or the entire history of Chinese thought. In the pre-Qin period when Zhuangzi lived, a series of complicated historical movements were created around “book”. The classicization of "book" is accompanied by the historical process of the collapse of value system. Confucius regarded “Liujing” (the six classics) as classics and tried to reconstruct the meaning world. Zhuangzi chose a different way from Confucius. The first thing he began with was to deny “Liujing” which Confucius values most as the basic carrier of the meaning world. The "book" that Zhuangzi opposed is, on the one hand, a "book" as a real carrier of language, and on the other hand, a static or rigid form of writing. Zhuangzi tries to dispel the absolute meaning of “book” with his well-known “San Yan”, a unique form of writing, so that the meaning of the text can always be in a dynamic and open system. He fought against solidification of language through constant writing. This is the infinity of text, also the generative nature of "Tao."

Mo Zheqiong

Hunan University, Master Candidate

Xia is not the successor of Mohists

In the late Qin and the early Han Dynasty, the Mohist school, which was once more influential than Confucianism, had been lost. Where did Mohism go? Is there a successor and if yes, who is it and when? All those have become mysteries.

Since the late Qing Dynasty, Mohism, which had been quiet for 2000 years, suddenly aroused a heated discussion on the relationship between Xia (literally “knight-errant”) and Mohists focusing on the following questions: was Xia born from Mohism or vice versa? Are they actually the same or different but interacting with each other closely... These discussions aimed to clarify the origin, members, and successors of Mohists. However, with the revolutionary enthusiasm for saving the country and fighting against Confucianism, such discussion is inevitable emotional and agitative. For example, the term "Mo-Xia" created during this period seems like just a concept without any real object.

Influenced by these viewpoints, the academia gradually neglect the great conflicts between Xia and Mohism in their fundamental believes and mission, and the solid historic record of the Mohist exclusion of Xia, and that the death of the Mohist school and the prevalence of Xia in the Han Dynasty is only a coincidence, while the common parts of the Mohism and Xia, such as universal love, justice, and commitment, may just originated from the human virtues.

The current mainstream view that Xia is the successor of Mohists, has been challenged by very few scholars, as most Mohism researchers argue that Xia is closely linked to Mohism, which is rarely agreed by the Xia researchers. In addition, there are 9 different definitions of “Mo-Xia” and their use is confusing. All those support that taking Xia as the successor of Mohists is very problematic.

Zhao Ke

Lingnan University (Hong Kong)


A Mingled Throng: Temple, Monk and Local Society of Eastern Zhejiang 1368-1644


In “the Religion of China:Confucianism and Taoism”, Max Weber pointed out that the Protestant ethic contributed to the development of capitalism, while China's Confucian hampered China's development. Refer to the influence of military system, water conservancy project, bureaucratic gentry, currency and clan community which are related to economic development, Weber put forward "Why hasn’t China have the same bourgeois revolution as the West?" Why didn't china
produce capitalism? "etc. Weber believes that Chinese Confucianism and Taoism are as ethical as Buddhism, and did not produce laws like the west, and points out that the spiritual core of Confucianism and Taoism does not support its emergence of capitalism.
In my paper ,contrary to Weber's point of view, I believe that Buddhism of China has economic and social functions, it cooperate with Confucianism and Taoism, formed a mixed philosophy theory which promoted social and economic development. This study is about spatio-temporal analyses of religious establishments in Ming dynasty of China.I will choose several coutries of eastern zhejiang province as samples. By means of comparative analysis, quantitative analysis qualitative analysis and geographical analysis, I will investigate the regular pattern of buddhism development in eastern zhejiang province during 1368-1644 and its relationship with the change of social structure. Specifically speaking, for the comparative study, the objects for analysisare counties of wenzhou and taizhou. In terms of quantitative research, the statistical data include the number of temples, tax revenue, population and land. In the aspect of geographicalanalysis, the topography, rivers, transportation, urban and rural structures in eastern zhejiang are mainly investigated. In terms of qualitative research, this research mainly investigates the relationships among central administration, prefectures and counties, supervisory and military systems in the Ming dynasty, and at the same time exploring dynamic interaction of between construction of local buddhist temple and the differernt systems, thus observing the relationship between the central and local government. At the same time, the study will also investigate the influence of social unrest, land system, and reform of taxation on temple construction, so as to analyze the changes of power in the temple field and the relationship among different communities and social structures. In general, this paper is trying to explore the deep relationship between China's religious and social and economic development comparing to the west world.The main materials used in this paper are ancient maps,inscription,gazzater,literati notes,genealogical records and field trip materials.

Zhao Ke

Lingnan University (Hong Kong)

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