Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-56761
Gassmann, R H (2011). Heart and Mind in Ancient China – Or: A Desirable Theory. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 74(2):237-273.
Thinkers in the Zhànguó period of Chinese history debated intensely whether men were by nature “good” or “bad”. This debate has for many years been an important focus of sinological interest, but usually these properties were not attributed to men, but rather to so-called “human nature” (xìng 性) – thus, in effect, mirroring well-known (and problematic) “European” positions and discussions. The aim of this paper is, on the one hand, to redirect attention to the original Zhànguó positions and to explore the reasons for their variance by offering novel and close historical readings of relevant passages, and on the other, to propose a viable historical reconstruction of the common anthropological assumptions underlying these positions by blending it with the traces of a dominant cognitive image present in the texts. This calls for a systematic rethinking of the role of hearts (in the plural), desires, and behavioural patterns in their interplay and as elements of a concept of the psychological build of human beings current in early China.
|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed, original work|
|Communities & Collections:||06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of East Asian Studies|
|DDC:||950 History of Asia|
|Deposited On:||23 Feb 2012 17:56|
|Last Modified:||09 Dec 2012 06:50|
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Additional Information:||Copyright: Cambridge University Press.|
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