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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1783.1/7284
Title: Two senses of 'Wei' (僞) : a new interpretation of Xunzi's theory of human nature
Authors: Fung, Yiu-Ming (馮耀明)
Keywords: Philosophy
Xunzi
Human nature
Issue Date: 
Citation: Dao : a journal of corporative philosophy
Abstract: In contrast to the traditional and ordinary interpretation of Xunzi’s (荀子298-238BCE) theory of human nature which considers Xunzi’s theory as claiming that human nature itself is bad or evil, this paper aims at, firstly, arguing that the interpretation is wrong, or at least incomplete, and secondly, constructing a new interpretation that, according to Xunzi’s text, we can assert there are some factors in human nature which are able to promote good behaviors. In order to do these, I shall demonstrate that some of the major paragraphs in Xunzi’s text were misinterpreted or misarranged, analyze that the word wei (偽artifice) in the chapter of “Zheng-ming” (正名 On the Correct Use of Names) has two different but related senses, one of which designates some of the potential capacities of human nature, and argue that the 23 words in the chapter of “Rong-ru” (榮辱 On Honor and Disgrace) should not be deleted as redundant, as was done by the two famous philologists in Qing (清) dynasty, Wang Niansun (王念孫) and Wang Xianqian (王先謙). Based on these analyses and arguments, I shall provide a new interpretation of Xunzi’s theory of human nature in a more cogent and coherent way.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1783.1/7284
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