Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy Part 34

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Gongsun Yang (d. 338 B.C.E.). Also known as Shang Yang or "Lord Shang." He was chief minister for Duke Xiao of Qin (r. 361338 B.C.E.) and the purported author of the Book of the Lord of Shang , an important work of the Fajia, "Legalist School" (see Important Terms). Gongsun Yang is credited with developing the notion of government through "laws" or "legal standards" (fa ), in which a ruler establishes clearly defined and easily understood standards of duty and behavior for his subjects, and then motivates his people to accord with them through the use of rewards and punishments. This idea directly influenced the thought of Han Feizi.

Guan Zhong (d. 645 B.C.E.). Guan Zhong was chief minister for Duke Huan of Qi (r. 685643 B.C.E.) and the purported author of the Legalist (see Fajia under Important Terms) work the Guanzi . Under his guidance, Duke Huan became first of the ba, "Lord Protectors" (see Important Terms). Primarily as a consequence of this event. Guan Zhong was either praised or criticized by later thinkers.

Houji ("Duke of Millet"). Originally an official t.i.tle but now regarded as a proper name for Qi , who served as the minister of agriculture under Emperor Shun (see below).

Huang Di ("Yellow Emperor"). Third of the "Three Sovereigns" (see Fu Xi above and Shen Nong below). He is credited with the invention of wooden houses, boats and carts, and with the implementation of the earliest forms of writing. His wife is credited with inventing the methods of sericulture (raising silkworms to produce silk).

Huizi (c. 380305 B.C.E.). Also known as Hui Shi and along with Gongsun Long (see above) a prominent figure within the Mingjia, "School of Names" (see Important Terms). Though a prodigious author, few of Huizi's works are extant today. He is most well known for his ten paradoxes, which purportedly show that there is an underlying unity to the universe. He concludes from this that we should show compa.s.sion to all things. Huizi was a friend and perhaps a teacher of Zhuangzi.

Jie ("Tyrant Jie"). Purportedly, the evil last ruler of the Xia dynasty (see Important Periods). His traditional reign dates are 18181766 B.C.E.

Li ("King Li"). An incompetent, cruel Zhou dynasty ruler. He ascended to the throne in 878 B.C.E.

Li Lou . Also known as Li Zhu A contemporary of Huang Di (see above), Li Lou was renowned for his acute vision. It was said that at a hundred paces he could see the tip of an autumn hair. (In autumn an animals hair is thinnest and most fine.) Pengzu . ("Ancestor Peng"). The Chinese Methuselah, purported to have lived seven hundred years.

Robber Zhi (Daozhi ). On some accounts, a contemporary of Huang Di, but more commonly regarded as an infamous and shameless brigand of the Spring and Autumn Period (see Important Periods). Some sources say that he came from Lu, Kongzi's home state.

Shen Buhai (d. 377 B.C.E.). Prime minister of the state of Han under Marquis Zhao of Han (r. 358333 B.C.E.) and an important figure within the Fajia, "Legalist School" (see Important Terms). Shen Buhai is credited with developing the idea of "administrative methods" (shu ), an elegant, though somewhat inflexible, system for evaluating the performance of government officials by comparing the objectives or duties that ministers "name" (ming ) for themselves when they propose an action or accept a government position, with the actual "form" or "situation" (xing or ) that results when they carry out said duties. If "form" and "name" match, the minister has properly performed his duties and should be rewarded; if they do not match, the minister has failed in his duties and should be punished. This idea directly influenced the thought of Han Feizi.

Shen Nong ("Divine Farmer"). Second of the "Three Sovereigns" (see Fu Xi and Huang Di above), he is credited with the discovery of the hoe and the plough, the invention of agriculture, and with establishing the basic inst.i.tutions of trade and commerce.

Shenzi (c. 350275 B.C.E.). Also known as Shen Dao , an important figure within the Fajia, "Legalist School" (see Important Terms). Shenzi developed the doctrine of "the power of position" (shi , an idea that directly influenced Han Feizi's thought. According to the doctrine of shi, the key to a rulers success lies in his ability to maintain his sociopolitical superiority over his subjects so that he can use the power and prestige of his position to intimidate people into obeying his commands. This idea can be understood as an amoralized, inst.i.tutional version of the earlier notion of government through "moral charisma" (de ) advocated by the Confucians. But whereas the Confucians maintained that the power of moral charisma is generated through the cultivation of the ruler's character, Shen Dao and Han Fei believed that the power of status is simply a concomitant feature of the rulers sociopolitical position.

Shi Kuang ("Music Master Kuang"). A blind musician of the sixth century B.C.E. who, reportedly, could foretell the outcome of a battle by listening to the hoofbeats of the enemy cavalry or the fortunes of a king by listening to the grumblings of his people. He is often cited as the standard for musical taste and a paradigm for connoiseurs in general.

Shun ("Emperor Shun"). Second of the mythical "Three Sage-Kings" (see Yao and Yu below). His traditional reign dates are 22552205 B.C.E. Renowned for his filial piety, Shuns own father-known as the "Blind Man"-and stepmother treated him remarkably badly and even attempted to kill him on several occasions in order to benefit his spoiled and generally worthless half-brother. Shuns continued love and respectfulness in the face of this abuse eventually won over his parents and brother, moving them to reform.

Shu Qi Younger brother of Bo Yi (see above).

Sima Qian (c. 14590 B.C.E.). A Han dynasty (see Important Periods) figure who completed the (Records of the Historian), a work begun by his father, Sima Tan. The is the first comprehensive account of Chinese history from its beginnings to the time of composition. It had a tremendous influence on later Chinese views of history and historiography and was treasured as a fount of moral and political exemplars and insights.

Songzi (c. 360290 B.C.E.). Also known as Song Rongzi , Song Xing , or Song Keng , a pacifist who encouraged people to simplify their lives and avoid conflict by minimizing their desires, particularly what he considered to be artificial desires for things such as prestige, wealth, and power.

Tang ("King Tang," also known as "Tang the Successful"). His traditional reign dates are 17661753 B.C.E. Defeated the tyrant Jie (see above) and founded the Shang dynasty (see Important Periods).

Wen ("King Wen"). A virtuous va.s.sal of the tyrant Zhou (see below), his name means "cultured." King Wen ruled over a state called Zhou (Note that the name of this state, though romanized the same way as the name of the tyrant Zhou-see above-is written with a different graph.) While having good warrant for rebellion, King Wen remained loyal to his ruler, sustained by the hope of reforming him.

Wu , ("King Wu"). His traditional reign dates are 11221115 B.C.E. Son of King Wen (see above). His name means "martial." After succeeding his father, he overthrew the tyrant Zhou (see below) and founded the Zhou dynasty (see Important Periods), which was named after the state over which he ruled.

Yao ("Emperor Yao"). First of the mythical "Three Sage-Kings" (see Shun above and Yu below). His traditional reign dates are 23562255 B.C.E. He is credited with the invention of the calendar, developing rituals and music, and establishing the basic structure of government. Yao skipped over his own unworthy son and designated a peasant named Shun as his successor, based upon the latter's remarkable filial piety. Yao is said to have trained Shun to rule and shared power with him during the last twenty-eight years of his reign.

Yi Yin . An able minister of King Tang's (see above). According to some accounts, Yi Yin was working as a farmer when his talents were recognized and he was promoted by the king. Others say that he attracted the king's attention through his cooking.

Yi Ya . Famed as a remarkably talented chef who worked in the kitchen of Duke Huan of Qi (see Guan Zhong above). Yi Ya's ability to harmonize various flavors in ways that people in general found delicious and appealing was seen as emblematic of the way sages are able to hit upon those ethical principles and practices that all people approve of and take delight in.

You ("King You"). An incompetent, cruel Zhou dynasty ruler. He ascended to the throne in 781 B.C.E.

Yu ("Emperor Yu"). Third of the mythical "Three Sage-Kings" (see Yao and Shun above) and founder of the Xia dynasty. His traditional reign dates are 22052197 B.C.E. Yu is credited with overseeing the first successful state efforts at flood control, a remarkably important project given the topography of central China. Yu is said to have so selflessly dedicated himself to this work that he wore off all the hair of his thighs and shins. In carrying out his duties, Yu is said to have pa.s.sed by his own house three times without pausing, even though he could hear his wife and children weeping over his absence. While cited by many early thinkers, Yu was a particular favorite of Mozi, perhaps because his dedication to public duty seemed to trump his devotion to his own family.

Zhou Gong ("The Duke of Zhou"). Brother of King Wu (see above). According to traditional accounts, when King Wu died, his infant son became ruler of the newly founded Zhou dynasty (see Important Periods). The Duke purportedly served the young king as a wise and virtuous regent and did not attempt to wrest power from him for his own gain. The Duke of Zhou served as a paragon for selfless devotion to the greater good.

Zhou ("Tyrant Zhou"). The evil last ruler of the Shang dynasty (see Important Periods). His traditional reign dates are 11541122 B.C.E. See also the entry for Wen, above.


Xia ("Xia dynasty"). Traditional dates: 22051766 B.C.E. See Yu and Jie under Important Figures.

Shang ("Shang dynasty," also known as the "Yin dynasty"). Traditional dates: 17661122 B.C.E. See Tang and Zhou under Important Figures.

Zhou ("Zhou dynasty"). Traditional dates: 1122256 B.C.E. Often divided into "Eastern" and "Western" Zhou (see below).

Western Zhou (Xizhou ). The earlier part (1122771 B.C.E.) of the Zhou dynasty. Widely regarded as a golden age of peace, stability, and prosperity. See Wen, Wu, and Zhou Gong under Important Figures.

Eastern Zhou (Dongzhou ). The latter part (770256 B.C.E.) of the Zhou dynasty. It began when disgruntled va.s.sals, together with "barbarian" (i.e., non-Chinese) forces, sacked the Zhou capital and killed the ruling king. Remnants of the Zhou royal family escaped and founded a new capital far to the east at Loyang and installed the king's son as ruler. However, the dynasty never again controlled China.

Spring and Autumn Period (Chunqiu ). The period 722481 B.C.E. covered by the court chronicle of Lu, Kongzi's native state (see Spring and Autumn Annals in Important Texts). This period saw the rise of the inst.i.tution of ba ("lord protector," see Important Tems).

Warring States Period (Zhanguo shidai ). The period 403221 B.C.E. It began when the Zhou king officially recognized the part.i.tioning of the state of Jin , which had been carved up by and divided among the members of an alliance of other states in 453. Soon after, in 335, the rulers of these and other allegedly "va.s.sal" states began to usurp the t.i.tle w.a.n.g , "king" (see Important Terms) which rightfully only the Zhou king could claim.

Qin dynasty . A short-lived dynasty (221207 B.C.E.) that marked the end of the "Warring States Period" by unifying the various states into a single empire. It is from the name "Qin" that we get our word "China."

Han dynasty . A long lasting and largely stable dynasty consisting of an "Earlier" or "Western" and a "Later" or "Eastern" period, on either side of a brief interregnum (see below).

"Earlier" or "Western Han" (206 B.C.E.8 C.E.) "Later" or "Eastern Han" (25220 C.E.)


The Changes (Yi). A multilayered composition whose earliest strata originate in divinatory texts of extremely old provenance, perhaps as early as the beginning of the first millennium B.C.E. There is little evidence of it playing a major role in the thought of any of the philosophers covered in this volume, though it was known to them in some form. It becomes profoundly important to the history of Chinese thought after the addition of various Appendices. This occurred sometime around the third to second century B.C.E.

The History (Shu or Shangshu . The original text purportedly contained the p.r.o.nouncements and judgments of important figures at critical junctures in history. Along with the Odes (see below) the Shujingwas regarded as a cla.s.sic from the very earliest period. Both were seen as repositories of traditional wisdom and cited as support by a wide range of Chinese thinkers. The present version of the text contains some genuine Zhou dynasty (see Important Periods) era writings, though its purportedly pre-Zhou material remains suspect.

The Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu). The court chronicle of Lu, Kongzi's native state. It takes its name from the generic name for such chronicles, which literally meant "Springs and Autumns" (i.e., the regular pa.s.sage of time). Tradition says that Kongzi edited this remarkably terse work. Two influential commentaries on it, the Gongyang zhuan and Guliang zhuan, present interpretations of the text that see it as offering "praise and blame" judgments of various historical individuals and events. A third text, the Zuozhuan (see below) is not so much an interpretation as a complement to the text. It fills in historical details of the events recorded in the Spring and Autumn Annals rather than offering interpretations of its cryptic p.r.o.nouncements.

The Odes (Shi). A collection of rhymed poems derived from early folk songs and ceremonial incantations. Tradition claims that Kongzi edited an earlier group of three thousand poems down to three hundred, but modern scholars regard this as myth. The text existed in a number of versions during the early period and like the History was regarded as a cla.s.sic. The message of the Odes was thought to be more allusive and allegorical in nature and interpreting the poems has been a preoccupation of thinkers from Kongzi on down to contemporary times. The text we have today, called the Mao version, is named after and can directly be traced to a student of Xunzi's. It contains three hundred and five poems divided into three types: Feng ("The Airs"), Ya ("The Elegies"), and Song ("The Hymns").

The Music (Yue). A no longer extant text that probably was more concerned with the proper effects and meaning of music and its contribution to social and ethical well-being rather than an a.n.a.lysis of the nature of music itself. The Liji (see the Rites below) contains a chapter called the Record of Music (Yueji) but the relationship between this text and the ancient cla.s.sic is uncertain at best.

The Rites (Li). By the end of the Han dynasty (see Important Periods) there were several texts that purported to describe the proper form of ancient ceremonies and their significance. Among the most important of these are the Rites of the Zhou Dynasty . (Zhouli), On Etiquette and Rites . (Yili), the Rites (Liji), and the Rites of the Elder Dai (Da Dai Liji). While none of these descend from any known pre-Han text it is clear that at least large sections of the first two texts existed and were known as early as the fourth century B.C.E.

Zuozhuan ("Zuo's Commentary"). A substantial historical text that augments the Spring and Autumn Annals by providing a wealth of detail concerning the events recorded in the original court chronicle.


ba ("lord protector" or "hegemon"). Lord protectors were rulers of states who, although nominally va.s.sals to the Zhou king, actually ruled in the king's place, supported by the mutual political and military support of their fellow "va.s.sals." See Spring and Autumn Period under Important Periods.

baijia ("Hundred Schools"). A collective name for the various schools of thought that proliferated during the late Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods (see Important Periods). The notion of a "school" of thought in early Chinese philosophy is quite loose. Only rarely does it describe a set of thinkers who shared fundamental beliefs or doctrines. More often it is a concept applied retrospectively to identify groups of thinkers who shared common themes or approaches or who studied with or were inspired by a common thinker.

dao ("Way"). One of the basic meanings of early forms of this character was a physical "path," but it came to refer more generally to a way of doing something, an oral or written account of such a way, and, when used as a verb, to give such an account. Depending on the context, the dao in question can be a way of doing something, or it can refer to the right way. Daoists appropriate the term to refer to what is responsible for the overall, underlying pattern of the universe.

Daojia ("Daoist School" or "Daoism"). A term applied retrospectively, in the Han dynasty (see Important Periods), to a varied collection of thinkers, especially Laozi and Zhuangzi, who rejected both the particular conceptions of ethical cultivation of the Erudites and the rationalistic consequentialism of the Mohists.

de ("Virtue"). One of the most important senses of early forms of this character was "Royal Virtue"-the spiritual force a king cultivates through proper sacrifice and deportment that allows him to gain and maintain his rule. This sense of de being a kind of power remains central for many of its later meanings. Most generally, it could designate the natural effect or power-good, bad, or indifferent- that a person or thing had upon those nearby. For Kongzi, de came to mean something like "moral charisma"-a property that any good person could cultivate and have. It retained the connotation of having a "magnetic" capacity to draw, influence, and inspire others that was part of the earlier notion of "Royal Virtue." Daoists too embraced a related but distinctive sense of de, describing it in terms of the natural therapeutic effect Daoist sages have upon the people, creatures, and things within their presence.

Fajia ("Legalist School" or "Legalism"). A term applied retrospectively in the Han dynasty (see Important Periods) to an intellectual movement centered on the writings of Gongsun Yang (Lord Shang), Shen Dao, Shen Buhai (see Important Figures), and others that took an amoral approach to the problems of social and political organization and management.

junzi ("gentleman"). Literally, this term means "son of a lord," and hence originally referred to someone possessing a particular social status. However, Kongzi emphasized living up to the ethical implications of this social role, so that being a genuine gentleman is a goal to strive for, rather than something simply bestowed by n.o.ble birth.

li ("rites," "rituals," or "propriety"). This term originally referred to religious rituals, such as sacrifices of food and wine to the spirits of one's ancestors, but it came to have a much broader application, including matters of etiquette and aspects of one's entire way of life, including dress, behavior, and demeanor. Li sometimes seems coextensive with all of ethics and can even extend to what seems like the patterns of nature. Mengzi also uses the term to refer to a virtue a.s.sociated with following the rites.

li A unit of length equal to about one-third of a mile.

ming ("fate" or "mandate"). Most broadly, ming refers to what is determined independently of human agency or choice. It is a concept closely related to tian ("Heaven"), and like tian has both descriptive and normative senses. Thus, unavoidable future events (such as one's death) and inescapable natural facts (such as the need to eat) are said to be ming. However, ming can also refer to what is normatively mandated, such as the right to rule of a sage-king (which is referred to as Tian Ming, the "Mandate of Heaven").

Mingjia ("School of Names" or "Sophists"). A term applied retrospectively in the Han dynasty (see Important Periods) to a varied collection of thinkers who shared a common interest in the nature of language, debate, and paradox, including Gongsun Long and Huizi (see Important Figures).

Mojia ("Mohist School" or "Mohism"). The school of thought that grew around and out of the teachings of Mozi.

mu A unit of land measure equal to about 733 square yards, a little less than one-seventh the area of a football field.

qi Perhaps originally referring to the mist that arose from heated sacrificial offerings, this term later came to refer to vapor in general and human breath in particular. In a more technical sense, qi was thought of as a kind of vital energy found in both the atmosphere and the human body and existing in various densities and levels of clarity or turbidity that is responsible for, among other things, the intensity of one's emotions. Zhuangzi recommends being guided by the qi, presumably because he regarded it as more objective and impersonal than the promptings of one's own heart. In later Chinese philosophy, qi was thought of as the fundamental "stuff" out of which everything in the universe condenses and into which it eventually dissipates.

qing ("the genuine," "essence," or "disposition"). The qing of something is what it genuinely is, as opposed to what it might appear to be. This is often conceived of in terms of how it would spontaneously behave and develop if given a proper environment and support. More specifically, some interpreters have argued that the qing of a thing can be the essential characteristics of that thing. Toward the end of the Warring States Period, qing came to refer to human emotions or dispositions (perhaps because some thinkers regarded these as essential to humans beings).

ren ("humaneness" or "benevolence"). For Kongzi, this term refers to the sum total of virtuous qualities, or the perfection of human character. (It is etymologically related to the character for "human," and thus has previously been rendered "manhood-at-its-best."). For Mohists it is the universal and impartial concern one should manifest toward all people. For certain later thinkers, like Mengzi, ren came to be understood as a specific virtue akin to benevolence or compa.s.sion. However, for Mengzi and other Erudites, benevolence is "graded," stronger for family members than for strangers.

Ru ("Erudites"). Traditionally translated as "Confucian," this term has no etymological relationship with the name "Kongzi" (Confucius). The term appears to have been in use prior to the time of Kongzi, but there is considerable scholarly debate over exactly what its original meaning was. After Kongzi, however, it clearly is used to refer to those who think of themselves as carrying on the tradition of culture and learning that Kongzi defended and came to represent. However, the Erudites often disagreed vehemently among themselves about how to interpret this tradition.

shen ("spirit," "spiritual," or "spiritlike"). Shen, like gui , ("ghost"), can refer to a spiritual being, such as the spirit of a dead ancestor. However, some philosophers speak of living people as shen, "spiritual" or "spiritlike," when they accomplish things beyond the range of normal human capacities, such as morally transforming people through the power of Virtue.

sheng ("sage"). A sheng is a person who has achieved the greatest possible human excellence. Sages may possess special abilities (see de above), but they are still human beings. See also shi and xian.

shi ("scholar" or "knight"). Speaking most generally, a shi is a member of the social elite. However, the precise nature of that elite varies with historical period and society. Early on, the shi were members of the warrior n.o.bility (hence "knight"), but already by the time of Kongzi "shi often referred to someone who was literate, hence it is sometimes translated "literatus." (Much later, in j.a.pan, shi refers to the samurai, who were often both warriors and scholars.) As with junzi (see above), later philosophers emphasize living up to the duties implied by the social role rather than enjoying the prerogatives of one's often hereditary position. See also sheng and xian.

si ("to concentrate or reflect on"). Si refers to a directing of the attention on something either external or mental. Although the term is often translated as "thinking," it does not generally refer to ratiocination or theoretical reasoning. However, si does not exclude what we would commonly call "reflection."

tian ("Heaven"). This term can refer to the sky, hence the standard translation "Heaven." However, Heaven can also be a sort of higher power. Various thinkers conceive of this higher power in different ways, though. Thus, Heaven seems to be very much like a personal G.o.d in the Mohist writings, but is more like the impersonal processes of nature in the writings of Zhuangzi and Xunzi, and is somewhere in the middle in the sayings of Kongzi and Mengzi. In the period covered in this anthology, Heaven is not primarily thought of as a place, and is not connected with any explicit views about an afterlife.

tianzi ("Son of Heaven"). A t.i.tle for the legitimate ruler of the world (i.e., a true king, see w.a.n.g below).

w.a.n.g ("king"). A genuine king should rule by Virtue (see de above) not by brute force. In addition, there should be only one genuine king at a time. As in the case of junzi and shi (see above), there is a distinction between the de facto social and political role and its idealized, normative conception. See also the entry on ba ("Lord Protector") above, and the entries for Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period in the list of Important Periods.

wuwei ("nonaction" or "effortless action"). Although it literally means "the absence of doing," wuwei does not refer to acting like an inanimate object. Rather, nonaction is acting in a way that is natural, unforced, and unself-conscious. The Laozi and Zhuangzi both advocate nonaction, but the latter text strongly suggests that it can be achieved only through years of self-conscious practice. The term also appears in "Confucian" works and the Erudites also take nonaction as a goal, but they disagree with Daoists about the means to achieve this goal, and the kinds of activities in which one manifests it. See also ziran.

xian ("worthy"). A term designating a level of cultivation in general somewhere between a shi and a sheng.

xin ("heart," "disposition," or "feeling"). This term can refer to the physical organ in the chest, but it also can refer to the psychological faculty of thinking, perceiving, feeling, desiring, and intending. (These were not regarded as separate functions by Chinese philosophers, as they sometimes are in Western philosophy.) By synecdoche, xin can also refer to "feelings" or dispositions to feel or perceive things in a certain way.

xing ("nature" or "human nature"). For most thinkers in the cla.s.sical period, this term refers to the characteristics of a paradigmatic instance of the sort of creature that one is. (This is much like one of the senses that "nature" has in Western philosophical writings, hence the translation.) These tendencies are more likely to be realized if one is given a healthy environment. Thus, the sprout of a willow tree has a tendency to grow into an adult willow tree, but it may die from a lack of water, or be warped through techniques such as those used to grow bonsai. Xunzi insists that xing be used only to refer to the characteristics something has innately. Often in philosophical texts the nature under discussion is specifically "human nature" (renxing ), so the character xing by itself will sometimes be translated that way.

yi ("right" or "righteousness"). One early definition states that "The right is the appropriate," where "appropriate" (yi ) refers to what is appropriate for one to do and to be, given the situation and one's social role (e.g., ruler, minister, father, son, etc.). However, yi can also refer to what is right or appropriate for a person in general. By extension, the term refers to the character of one who does what is yi (hence "righteousness"). Note that "human rights" is a very different notion that belongs to a distinct and unrelated conceptual framework.

yin and yang . In their earliest use, yin and yang may have referred to the shady and sunny sides of a hill respectively. Eventually, the terms were a.s.sociated with qi (see qi above) and understood either as two distinct modes of qi or as two fundamental forces that shape and guide qi. In general, yin and yang designate two broad sets of phenomena characterized by a.s.sociated states, tendencies, or qualities. For example, day, hot, above, active, masculine, speech, Heaven, etc. are yang; night, cold, below, still, feminine, silence, earth, etc. are yin. The various phenomena and the states, tendencies, and qualities within each set are thought to be related to one another and all are regarded as natural aspects of different situations, things, or events. Yin and yang are thought to be complementary forces or qualities and a given situation, thing, or event can often be described in terms of one or the other. Used early as technical terms in Chinese medicine, the pair eventually became part of the standard vocabulary of Chinese cosmology.

zhi ("wisdom," "cleverness"). Zhi typically has a positive connotation and refers to a virtue that manifests itself in such things as good judgments about the consequences of various actions. However, sometimes zhi refers to amoral intelligence or cleverness, and in some contexts clearly is regarded as a human vice or defect.

zi ("Master"). An honorific term, often used after someone's family name, typically referring to a teacher who has disciples (e.g., "Kongzi" = "Master Kong"). It may be used by someone in reference to teachers who are not one's own "master."

ziran ("natural"). Literally meaning "self-so," this term describes anything that occurs of its own accord, without external coercion. A number of thinkers of this period regard such unself-conscious spontaneity as a mark and necessary const.i.tuent of a well-lived life. See also wuwei.

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