Here, attention is given to a cluster of terms that Xunzi uses in his understanding of the ideal state for humans and that reveal their internal relations. The cluster includes zhi 治, li 理, he 和, and yi 一. The kind of ideal state for humans that Xunzi envisions is finally explained on the basis of the relations among these terms. Li especially comes under close scrutiny. A new interpretation of li is offered by revealing its holistic nature. In relation to this nature, an ethical and political requirement in Xunzi’s thought is extracted from a relevant notion, da li 大理. Also, the substantive content of the ideal state is elaborated by examining other relevant terms such as lun 倫 and fen 分. Finally, the relation of the cluster of terms to the notion that has been traditionally considered central to early Confucian thought, yi 義, is examined. Briefly stated, the aim here is to bring to light the conceptual map of a cluster of terms that converge on the idea of the ideal state for humans, which is central to Xunzi’s ethical and political thought.


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pp. 740-758
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