Abstract

It is argued here that ancient Chinese convictions-that appearances and truth, the outer and the inner, and everything else in the universe are correlated; that the outer can change the inner; and that the cosmos and human society are inherently hierarchical-gave rise to the Confucian politicization of appearance, and this culminated in the rites' stringent requirements of reverence and gravity from the traditional Chinese junzi (the morally and often socially superior man) during public appearances, thereby causing his humor to fade and vanish in public, thanks to an apparently natural antithesis between reverence/gravity and laughter/humor.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 514-532
Launched on MUSE
2004-09-17
Open Access
No
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