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Xunzi's Theory of Social Norms to Regulate Human Desires

황호식 1

1고려대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This essay attempts to investigate the relationship between human desires and social norms in Xunzi. It can be stated that Xunzi is one of the first philosophers to take human desires as his major issue and to build his theory in Chinese philosophy. Therefore, to explore Xunzi’s philosophy of human desires is significant since we can have a sense of Eastern philosophies of human desires, especially, in Korean academic circles where Western theories of human desires are mainly on the table. According to my study, Xunzi defines human beings as born with desires and social at the same time. Furthermore, he examines how human beings can achieve peace in a society. As a result, he suggests Confucian ritual norms as a social regulation to nurture human desires and to control human tendency to pursue their desires to the extreme, which can bring strife and disorder to the society. Only when human beings guide their desires in the right way of Confucian ritual norms are they able to lead harmonious lives with each other in the society.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.