The tradition of the virtue of qian and its contemporary fate
Research Article First Online: 28 October 2008 Abstract
The virtue of
qian, one of the traditional Chinese virtues, usually refers to humbleness, humility and modesty. Ancient thinkers in China not only expounded on the meaning and basis of qian, but also argued for its value. It was usually thought that the value of qian rested in its ability to cultivate virtue, promote scholarship, get along with people, and maintain enterprises. Ancient thinkers in China placed so much emphasis on the virtue of qian that there was a tendency to overemphasize qian. There is also a tradition of qian in the West, which is less likely to become excessive compared to that in the East. Presently, Chinese society is transitioning into a modern society, but the virtue of qian still has value. While continuing to embrace its traditional essence, we should adopt useful aspects from the Western concept of qian to reshape the virtue of qian so that it conforms to modern Chinese society. Keywords virtue of qian virtue traditional morality
Translated by Huang Deyuan from
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