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Xunzi (fl. 298–238 BC)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G050-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 12, 2024, from

Article Summary

Xunzi is one of the most brilliant Confucian thinkers of ancient China. His works display wide-ranging interest in such topics as the relation between morality and human nature, the ideal of the good human life, the nature of ethical discourse and argumentation, the ethical uses of history, moral education and personal cultivation. Because of the comprehensive and systematic character of his philosophical concerns, Xunzi is sometimes compared to Aristotle. Noteworthy is his emphasis on li, or rules of proper conduct, and the holistic character of dao, the Confucian ideal of the good human life. He criticized other philosophers not because of their mistakes, but because of their preoccupation with one aspect of dao to the exclusion of others.

Citing this article:
Cua, A.S.. Xunzi (fl. 298–238 BC), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G050-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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