Ritual in the Xunzi : a change of the heart/mind
Date of Issue2012
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
This article seeks to advance discussion of Xunzi’s view of ritual by examining the problem ritual treats and the way in which it targets the problem. I argue that the root of the problem is the natural inclination of the heart/mind to be concerned only with self-interest. The reason ritual works is that, on the one hand, it requires one to disregard concern for self-interest and observe ethical standards and, on the other, it allows one to express feelings in an ethically appropriate way. The ideal character shaped by ritual is one of respect in dealing with affairs and people; the ideal effect of ritual on the person is a sense of ease and security. Based on these conclusions, I will flesh out an implicit assumption Xunzi might have adopted about a pattern in human psychological constitution so as to further our understanding of Xunzi’s moral psychology.
© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.