An ongoing dialogue in Xunzi scholarship addresses the role of yu (欲), often rendered as ‘desire,’ in motivation, but little has been said about what yu actually is, or whether the translation of ‘desire’ accurately reflects Xunzi’s use of the term. Employing textual analysis alongside research in cognitive science, most notably work on the so-called ‘wanting-liking’ distinction, I work toward a more precise understanding of Xunzi’s notion of yu and its functions. I suggest that yu be construed as a kind (...) of desire with an emphasis on ‘wanting’ that, while motivational, differs from broader, less precise notions of desire, and that this feature constitutes a distinctive aspect of Xunzi’s philosophy of psychology. In so doing, I propose a particular methodological approach for the interpretation of classical Chinese philosophy: when interpreting concepts that are subjects of empirical inquiry, empirical findings should lead us to favor some interpretations over others. (shrink)
In December of last year, a few clowns appeared on the grand and spectacular stage of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. These clowns were the reincarnated ghosts from the Capital Red Guard West City, East City, and Haidian Districts Pickets. They viciously attacked Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, engaged in slander on the Central Cultural Revolution Group, called dear Comrade Jiang Qing names, and sabotaged the organizations under the proletarian dictatorship. They provoked violence, created chaos, searched and confiscated the possessions of (...) revolutionary organizations, and spread reactionary declarations. The crimes they committed are simply too numerous to mention. These clowns were none other than the "Capital Red Guards United Action Committee.". (shrink)
Editor's Note: Over a long period of time, the evil bourgeois reactionary line has created antagonism between two groups of students in schools—antagonism on the basis of one's family background. This antagonism became very obvious during the initial stage of the Cultural Revolution, and has lasted to this day. It has prevented further criticism of the bourgeois reactionary line and hindered further development of the Cultural Revolution.
This article highlights the significance of the “Za shuo” 雜說 series for the study of Han Yu’s 韓愈 political ideology, which proposes a three-tier system of governance that is made up of the emperor, the feudal lords, and the bureaucrats. The emperor is the pinnacle of the system; he collaborates with his ministers to devise state policies in the inner palace. The feudal lords protect the emperor in the regional areas. The bureaucrats form the machinery of the government and implement (...) its policies. Challenging current scholarship, which treats each of Han Yu’s essays independently, the article proposes a new interpretation of them as a whole It argues that the three essays “Long shuo” 龍說, “Yi shuo” 醫說, and “Ma shuo” 馬說 form an organic unit that provides internally consistent counsel to the ruler for his governance, and that a fourth essay, “Ti Cui Shanjun zhuan” 題崔山君傳, is likely an interpolation. Through unearthing the true meaning of this series, the article also narrows down its time of composition, which has traditionally been left unspecified. This article also reveals Han Yu’s attitude toward the revived concern over the enfeoffment of princes in medieval China and toward his political ideology, which is not purely Confucian. The article thus is a contribution to the study of both political history and literary creation in the mid-Tang era. (shrink)