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Encyclopedia > Xun Zi

In Chinese, "Xun Zi" refers to both the philosopher and the book he is attributed to. In this article, the book is spelled "the Xunzi"

Xún Zǐ (荀子, or Hsün Tzu c.310-237 BCE) was a Chinese philosopher who lived during the Warring States Period. His social and political theories are developed from and influenced by Confucianism. Active during the Hundred Schools of Thought, he wrote a book known as the Xunzi, in which he developed a systematic doctrine mostly oriented on "realism" and "materialism", as opposed to Mencius' interpretation of Confucius' thought. Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC Years: 315 BC 314 BC 313 BC 312 BC 311 BC _ 310 BC _ 309 BC... (Redirected from 237 BCE) Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC - 230s BC - 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC Years: 242 BC 241 BC 240 BC 239 BC 238 BC - 237 BC... A philosopher is a person devoted to studying and producing results in philosophy. ... Alternative meaning: Warring States Period (Japan) The Warring States Period (traditional Chinese: 戰國時代, simplified Chinese: 战国时代 pinyin Zhànguó Shídài) takes place from sometime in the 5th century BC to the unification of China by Qin in 221 BC. It is nominally considered to be the second part of the... Sage Confucius——孔子 Confucianism (Chinese: 儒家, Pinyin Rújiā, The School of the Scholars; or, less accurately, 孔教 Kŏng jiào, The Religion of Confucius) is an East Asian ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the early Chinese sage Confucius. ... The Hundred Schools of Thought (諸子百家 Pinyin: zhÅ« zǐ bÇŽi jiā) was an era of great cultural and intellectual expansion in China that lasted from 770 BCE to 222 BCE. Coinciding with the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, and also known as the Golden Age of Chinese thought... Mencius (most accepted dates: 372 BC – 289 BC; other possible dates: 385 BC – 303 BC or 302 BC) was born in the State of Zou (鄒國), now forming the territory of the county-level city of Zoucheng (邹城市), Shandong province, only 30 km (18 miles) south of Qufu, the town of Confucius. ... Confucius (traditionally September 28 551 BCE–479 BCE) was a famous thinker and social philosopher of China, whose teachings have deeply influenced East Asia for centuries. ...

He taught that man is innately selfish and evil and that the natural state of human societies is anarchy, endless war and chaos. He was one of the first thinkers to teach that morality is a social institution and debated on the difference between nature and nurture. Xun Zi also said that goodness is attainable only through education and conduct befitting one's status. His unsentimental and authoritarian inclinations were developed by his students Li Si and Han Feizi into the doctrine embodied in the School of Law, or Legalism. Anarchy can refer to several different things: The word anarchy, referring to an absence of government. ... Chaos derives from the Greek Χαος and typically refers to unpredictability. ... Morality, in the strictest sense of the word, deals with that which is innately regarded as right or wrong. ... Nature versus nurture is a shorthand expression for debates about the relative importance of an individuals innate qualities (nature) versus personal experiences (nurture) in determining or causing physical and behavioral traits. ... Li Si (Chinese: 李斯; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Li Ssu) (ca. ... Traditional Chinese: 韓非子 Simplified Chinese: 韩非子 Pinyin: Hán FÄ“izǐ Wade-Giles: Han Fei-tzu Han Feizi (韓非子) (d. ... Legalism is an approach to the analysis of legal questions characterized by abstract logical reasoning focusing on the applicable legal text, such as a constitution, legislation, or case law, rather than on the social, economic, or political context. ...

Besides the book written by Han Feizi, the Xunzi is the only known book of Chinese antiquity to show an elaborated and constructed doctrine. Each chapter deals with a given topic and often fights against concurrent ideas, as the ones of Daoism, Mohism, and even idealist version of Confucianism defended by Mencius. For other uses of the words tao and dao, see Dao (disambiguation). ... Founded by Mozi, Mohism (墨家), or Moism, is a Chinese philosophy that evolved at the same time as Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism (Hundred Schools of Thought). ...


  • Graham, A.C., Disputers of the TAO: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China (Open Court 1993). ISBN 0812690877

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
  • Dmoz directory on Xun Zi
  • Hsun Tzu historical information and writing excerpts
  • Concise overview of Hsun Tzu and a selection of his writings
  • Article from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy



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