Xunzi is traditionally identified as the third philosopher in the Confucian tradition, after Confucius and Mencius. Unlike the work of his two predecessors, he wrote complete essays in which he defends his own interpretation of the Confucian position and attacks the positions of others. Within the early Chinese tradition, Xunzi's writings are arguably the most sophisticated and philosophically developed. This richness of philosophical content has led to a lively discussion of his philosophy among contemporary scholars.
This volume collects some of the most accessible and important contemporary essays on the thought of Xunzi, with an Introduction that provides historical background, philosophical context, and relates each of the selections to Xunzi's philosophy as a whole and to the themes of virtue, nature, and moral agency. These themes are also discussed in relation to Western philosophical concerns.
Note on Conventions and Abbreviations.
1. Henry Rosemont, Jr., "State and Society in the Xunzi: A Philosophical Commentary."
2. Antonio S. Cua, "Ethical Uses of the Past in Early Confucianism: The Case of Xunzi."
3. Jonathan W. Schofer, "Virtues in Xunzi's Thought."
4. Joel J. Kupperman, "Xunzi: Morality as Psychological Constraint."
5. Bryan W. Van Norden, "Mengzi and Xunzi: Two Views of Human Agency."
6. David B. Wong, "Xunzi on Moral Motivation."
7. T. C. Kline III, "Moral Agency and Motivation in the Xunzi."
8. David S. Nivison, "Xunzi and Zhuangzi."
9. D. C. Lau, "Theories of Human Nature in Mencius and Xunzi."
10. Eric Hutton, "Does Xunzi Have a Consistent Theory of Human Nature?"
11. Philip J. Ivanhoe, "Human Nature and Moral Understanding in the Xunzi."
About the Authors:
T. C. Kline III is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University, Chicago.
Philip J. Ivanhoe is Reader-Professor of Philosophy, City University of Hong Kong.