Xunzi’s practical philosophy of governance; concepts of rites (li), law (fa) and social order and contemporary Chinese Party-State

13:15 to 14:45

On Monday 24 May 2021, Professor Matti Nojonen from the University of Lapland will give a guest lecture on the topic of ‘Xunzi’s practical philosophy of governance; concepts of rites (li), law (fa) and social order and contemporary Chinese Party-State’.

Please register here by Thursday, 20 May 2021.

This lecture has three overlapping layers focusing on the political/governance philosophy of Xunzi (荀子, ca. 310-237 B.C.) who was one of three so called grounding fathers of Confucianism. Firstly, Professor Nojonen will introduce the roots of Xunzi’s political philosophy, fundamental ideas and concepts whereafter he will focus on the dialectics and practice-related concepts of “rites/ritual/appropriate behavior” (li, ), law (fa) and the ideas of social order. In the second part of the lecture, Professor Nojonen will reflect contemporary governance ideas and practices of the Chinese Party-State through the “Xuncian” framework. The motivation for this analysis emerges from the systematic urge of the Party-State agents and academic community to learn from own tradition (so called “national learning” movement, guoxue国学, and new strive of finding learnings from Chinese wisdom, Zhongguo zhihui中国智慧). Eventually, in the third section he will illustrate how Xunzi’s ideas are seen and utilized in the academic community. Xunzi is sometimes thought of as a Legalist, or as a Confucian who moved toward Legalism. Xunzi’s ideas were not necessarily popular or openly praised by subsequent generations of Chinese thinkers, but his ideas on what were the elements and practice-related concepts of successful governance of society, the role and position of the individual in society have had an immense influence on the Chinese Imperial (and even contemporary) governance philosophy and practices.

Read more about the event here.

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