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Zhu Xi’s Ideal of Moral Politics: Theory and Practice

  • Diana ArghirescuEmail author
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Part of the Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy book series (DCCP, volume 13)

Abstract

This analysis of Zhu Xi’s political thought is an attempt to argue for two main points. First, he was a profound and creative Neo-Confucian political thinker. Through his commentaries on the Four Books, Zhu sheds new light on Confucian and Mencian ancient political thought and gives them a whole new significance within the political and social context of his time. Second, to the extent possible given his modest position in the bureaucratic hierarchy and the context of his time, Zhu Xi valued what he considered his duty as a civil servant and was committed politically to actively putting into practice his vision of good governance in accordance with the political worldview of his School of principle (li xue 理學), which finds its source in the teaching of his Northern Song Masters, particularly that of the Cheng brothers. This study focuses on Zhu’s commentaries on the Four Books (Sishu zhangju jizhu 四書章句集注) (Zhu 2002, vol. 6), but also refers to the Family Rituals (Jiali 家禮) (Zhu 2002, vol. 7), Conversations of Master Zu (Zhuzi yulei 朱子語類) (Zhu 2002, vols. 14 and 17), Reflections on Things at Hand (Jinsilu 近思錄) (Zhu 2002, vol. 13), and Collected Works of Zhuwengong Huian (Huian xiansheng Zhuwengong wenji 晦庵先生朱文公文集) (Zhu 2002, vols. 20 and 21).

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada

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