Publication details [#15010]

Xu, Xiang. 2020. A Reexamination of Guiju as Model: A Key Metaphor in Mengzi. Philosophical Trends 11. 40+127-128 pp. URL
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The term guiju is a key metaphor in the philosophy of Mengzi that calls for further investigation. Relying on Michael Polanyi’s distinction between “rule” and “example”, we can know that in Mengzi’s bringing together “the Sage” and “guiju”, the term does not refer to abstract rules of law, but should be understood as a philosophically ideal model with exemplary personality features and social manners. In terms of its objective characteristics as used in the Mengzi, the term guiju consistently demonstrates the notion that “teaching is superior to politics”, that excellence serves as a concrete reference for it, and also that ambiguity too has its own high value. Thus, in addition to rules of law which must be followed, the Mengzi uses the term guiju to refer to a specific model for practicing moral skills. This paper examines the practical purposes of the application of guiju as a model that guides the direction of one’s moral life development with attention to phrases such as “the wind of the Sage” and “the prosperity of will”.