Philosophy East and West 57 (3):311 - 329 (2007)
AbstractA major controversy in the study of the "Analects" has been over the relation between two central concepts, ren (humanity, human excellence) and li (rites, rituals of propriety). Confucius seems to have said inconsistent things about this relation. Some passages appear to suggest that ren is more fundamental than li, while others seem to imply the contrary. It is therefore not surprising that there have been different interpretations and characterizations of this relation. Using the analogy of language grammar and mastery of a language, it is proposed here that we should understand li as a cultural grammar and ren as the mastery of a culture. In this account, society cultivates its members through li toward the goal of ren, and persons of ren manifest their human excellence through their practice of li
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References found in this work
Thinking Through Confucius.David L. Hall & Roger T. Ames - 1987 - Philosophy East and West 41 (2):241-254.
Ren 仁 and Li 禮 in the Analects.Kwong-loi Shun - 2002 - In Bryan W. Van Norden (ed.), Confucius and the Analects: New Essays. Oup Usa. pp. 53--72.
Observing Ritual “Proprietyli” as Focusing the “Familiar” in the Affairs of the Day.Roger T. Ames - 2002 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 1 (2):143-156.
Citations of this work
Ritual and Rightness in the Analects.Hagop Sarkissian - 2013 - In Amy Olberding (ed.), Dao Companion to the Analects. pp. 95-116.
Harmonising with Heaven and Earth: Reciprocal Harmony and Xunzi's Environmental Ethics.Yi Jonathan Chua - 2022 - Environmental Values 31 (5):555-574.
Ritual Education and Moral Development: A Comparison of Xunzi and Vygotsky.Colin Lewis - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (1):81-98.
Beyond Rote-Memorisation: Confucius’ Concept of Thinking.Charlene Tan - 2015 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (5):428-439.
The Limitations of Ritual Propriety: Ritual and Language in Xúnzǐ and Zhuāngzǐ.Chris Fraser - 2012 - Sophia 51 (2):257-282.
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