The Confucian Creation of Heaven: Philosophy and the Defense of Ritual Mastery
Demonstrating that the relation between practice and theory in early Confucianism is highly systematic, the author suggests that Confucianism represents a species of 'synthetic' philosophy, distinct from the analytical traditions of the West but equally rigorous in its attempt to disclose the foundations of understanding. He illustrates how theory served as an ancillary activity, expressing ethical insights derived from the systematic structure of core ritual practice, and legitimizing those insights in terms of teleological model of their efficacy in creating a divinely ordained political utopia. The central agenda of the early Confucians is pictured as the preservation and promotion of ritual skills and the aesthetic social perspectives they generate. Metaphysical and political theory serve as practical vehicles mediating between the skill-based philosophy of the early Confucian community and the changing features of the intellectual, social, and political environments in which that community had to survive.
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Appendix A The Origins of the Term Tien
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action aesthetic Analects appears arguments century B.C. Ch'i Ch'ien Chao chapter chih chiin-tzu Chuang Tzu claim Confucian Confucius Creel dance denote descriptive disciples discussion early Chou early Confucianism early Ruism ethical evidence function graph graphemic Heaven hsing Hsun K'uang Hsun Tzu human ideal innate inscriptions interpretation Kao Tzu King late Chou legitimize linkage linked Master meaning of T'ien Mencian Mencius mind ming Mo Tzu Mohist nature Note notion one's oracle texts passage person philosophical phrase portrait practice pre-Ch'in prescriptive prescriptive and descriptive refer religious rhetoric role of T'ien Ruist community Ruist doctrine Ruist ritual Ruist texts rule ruler Sage Sagehood seems self-cultivation sense Shang Shih Shih-chi skill social suggests T'ien-like Taoist teleological term theory of T'ien tion totalistic traditional Tso-chuan Tsou Tzu's virtue Warring States period Western Chou word Yang Chu Yang Liang Yen Yuan