Ethics

Huang Chün-chieh on early Chinese historiography, ethics and the notion of “Dao”

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Abstract

This article attempts at scrutinizing the peculiarities of Chinese historical thinking via a study of the Chinese reflection onthe Ch ’in experience. We survey the Chinese intellectuals ’and historians ’reflections upon the Ch ’in empire and argue that Chinese historical thinking is essentially moral thought; traditional Chinese historical scholarship is the study of ethics in its own right. To better analyze the ethical concerns of Chinese historical thinking, the second section of this paper begins with a study of the characteristics of Chinese thinking; the third section deals with the negative and positive moral judgments that t he Chinese intellectuals had extrapolated from their reading of the Ch ’in experience; the fourth section inquires into the two -foldness of the notion of taoin Chinese historical thinking; the final section concludes with some reflections on the difficulties in Chinese historical thinking.

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