Xunzi

Xunzi
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Xun Kuang also known as Xunzi (Hsün-tzu, “Master Xun”). He was a Chinese Confucian Philosopher. He was writer of Warring States period. And, Contributed to Hundred School of Thoughts. Book known as Xunzi is traditionally based on him. His works were a major influence in forming doctrines of Han dynasty. His works are still in an excellent condition. His influence raised during Tang Dynasty. His opponents were Mencius & Zisi.

Early Life

Xunzi was born as Xun Kuang. Some texts interprets his surname as Sun not Xun. He was Born in 310 BC according to Chinese History. Born in the State of Zhao. Born during reign of Emperor Xuan of Han (73-48 BC). There is no information regarding his lineage. Even, his early life was complete mystery. At 50, he went to state of Qi to study & teach at Jixia Academy. Shi Ji mentioned, Xunzi became member of Academy during King Xiang of Qi. 

Qi Academy

After Qi Academy, Xunzi visited to state of Qi from 265 BC to 260 BC. There he praised state Governance & discussed military affairs . He worked at court of King Xiaocheng of Zhao. Further, moved to state of chu on invite of PM, Chu. Thereby, became Magistrate of Lanling in 240 BC on PMs advice. Unfortunately, he lost his position after assignation of PM. 

 


Death

He retired, remained in Lanling (region today in Shandong province). He was buried in Lanling in 235 BC (aged 74–75). His student Li Si overtook the Ministerial post after Xunzi’s death. 

Philosophy

Xunzi witnessed chaos after fall of Zhou dynasty & rise of Qins. He developed doctrines focusing on state control by means of Law & Penalities. Xunzi believed inborn human tendencies are evil. Therfore , ethical norms had been invented to rectify people. 

Relation with Confucianism

His Confucianism has dark shade then the Optimistic. Also, he believed people can be refined via education & rituals. Xunzi believed Penal law can play secondary role in the state. Ultimately, he refused to admit theories of state & administration. Apart, from rituals & Self-Cultivation, arguing for the Gentleman.