Proprieties as Governmental Rules of Confucian Hermeneutics

  • Shan Chun


The Spring and Autumn Period is a special phase of Social Chaos in Ancient China. Li (Rule of Rite) was then the governmental rule of the Zhou Dynasty, into which Confucius introduced Xiao (filial piety), Zhong (loyalty), and Y, (righteousness or cosmopolitan commitment) as governmental constituents at family, dukedom, and universe levels respectively. The governmental rule of Confucian investigation has its focus on the right to live as human beings and family ethos. In the constitutional structure of families, dukedoms, and the universe the power and right, responsibility and obligation, have been balanced between father and his sons, duke and his subjects, as well as emperor and his dukes. The power of father over sons, duke over subjects, and emperor over dukes is held in check by being morally obliged to be a kind father for sons, benevolent duke for subjects, and generous emperor for dukes, constituting a universally harmonious polity. By this investigation Confucius ushered into Chinese political and legal traditions a Rule of Virtue, paving the base of governmental rule with L, as its mainstay and Xing (Rule of Punishment) as its subordinate and establishing the principles for peaceful international relations featured as Unified Humanity for Diversified Worlds (tianxia ruiren).


Filial Piety Autumn Period Confucian Ethic Moral Courage Legal Philosophy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Confucian StudiesChina University of Political Science and LawBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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