Warring States Project
So what does all this mean, for a decently modern person?
The statesmen of the late Imperial period, most explicitly Lyang Chi-chau, sensed that there was something, back there in the Classical period, that China had lost in the meantime, and needed to recover. Our results show that Lyang Chi-chau was right. They show in some detail what that something was. That picture is less static, less homogeneous, than the one in the usual textbooks. What, then, was this distinctive element of Classical Chinese thought actually like?
- It Changed. Like all of China, it was different at the end than at the beginning.
- It was Human. It was not a creation of the ancient sages, though it sometimes appealed to their imagined precedent.
- It was not entirely Isolated. During the Warring States, there was slight but increasing contact with other ancient cultures.
- It sought Freedom. The aspirations of individuals high and low appear strongly in the record. Not everybody supported the unification wars.
- It was Submerged, not preserved, in the later authoritarian Empire.
Here are some implications of our researches that might have interested the late Imperial reformers, and may still interest some in the present age. If anyone has another question, large or small, just Ask WSP.
This page concludes the outline tour of the Project and its work. If you find yourself interested in taking an active part in that work, see our Making Contact page. If you have particular questions or suggestions, let us know. Thanks for joining us, and best wishes in your own work.
2 April 2007 / Contact The Project / Exit to Home Page