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In Xunzi’s philosophy, ritual propriety (禮義 liyi) is not merely an instrument for making people moral. It also constitutes the ontology for true human existence. In this comparative study of Xunzi’s ritual propriety and Heidegger’s understanding of language, I argue that ritual propriety for Xunzi is an ontological medium fused with the presence of the human being. Analogous to Heidegger’s language as the house of being, ritual propriety is the house of human being for Xunzi. The house metaphor here does not refer to something static. Ritual propriety and language are the venue in which the process of humanization and the process of Dasein’s opening unfold respectively. This study also reveals important cultural differences between Xunzi and Heidegger.


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