The Thought of the Guodian Ziyi

Pang Chiwing, Leiden University
WSWG 17, Leiden University, 18 September 2003


Although the concrete content of each section differs, there is one single "thread of thought" that pervades all sections of the Guodian Ziyi: the promotion of the efficacy of morality. The analysis on the thought as developed in the Guodian Ziyi also involves the analysis of terminologies. I have divided the twenty-three sections of the Guodian Ziyi into three clusters. Sections belonging to the same cluster show similarities concerning the concrete content and the usage of different terms.

One important thing about the Guodian Ziyi is that the explicit grounding for the belief of the efficacy of morality is lacking. It will become clear that that one single "thread of thought" presupposes a worldview in which the sociopolitical order is a moral order and the harmony can only be attained by means of morality. This intellectual preoccupation, which underlies the world of thought of the Guodian Ziyi, is characteristic for the thought of Confucius as developed in the Analects.


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