Abstract

It is argued here that Mozi's critique of warfare in the chapter "Against Offensive War" ("Fei gong") cannot be fully understood without the arguments presented in the chapter "Explaining Ghosts" ("Ming gui"). For Mozi, the problem of war can only be resolved if the existence of providential ghosts can be proven. But he indicates in his arguments concerning the existence of ghosts that it is doubtful whether such a condition can be met. Consequently, despite the apparently optimistic tenor of chapters such as "Imperial Love" ("Jian ai"), Mozi's political thought reveals an implicit understanding of the rational limits of resolving fundamental problems of injustice in the world.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 343-363
Launched on MUSE
2004-05-28
Open Access
No
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