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ERIC Number: ED272892
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-May-19
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Confucius Say: Naming as Social Code in Ancient China.
Hagemann, Julie Ann
Confucius (551-479 B.C.) believed in the power of language to regulate society. Concerned about civil war and the moral and social decay of his time, he advocated a peaceful society with a mild and moderate form of law and order and with an emphasis on the well-being of individuals through compassion, kindness, and justice. This form of law consisted of learning a set of names and corresponding duties that became a social code. For him, language was a system of names of titles that gave a man his definite status in society and defined his relationship with others. Language learning was both the skill of applying the correct name to the reality of the situation and the motivation to act accordingly. Confucius concentrated on both filial and political names and inherent relationships. One was expected to know the duties and to fulfill them, to meet the standard and thereby earn the name. When the standard was not met, the title was stripped and the name was changed or rectified to fit the true situation. Thus a name reflected desired or abhorred attitudes, allowed or forbidden actions. Confucius believed that these rules and names had the power to regulate the lives of millions of people for thousands of years, and indeed they have pervaded every aspect of Chinese society, possibly because the system was backed by the ruling class and perpetuated the existing social structure, but most of all because of the code's inherent democracy. Confucianists accept such a code because it promotes their individual and social interest. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China