Xunzi

Xunzi is among the most fascinating philosophers of any era or tradition. The compilation of writings named after him presents intriguing views in ethics, metaethics, epistemology, political theory, and philosophy of language. Xunzi's Confucianism also presents many interesting contrasts with the thought of the Zhuangzi, which in many places I believe is responding to Xunzi or Xunzi-like positions.

Xunzi presents a fascinating and deeply insightful philosophical system, yet one that is also intensely frustrating. I have found the Xunzi to be a very rewarding text to teach. Students engage deeply with the material and quickly realize that they are grappling with a keen mind, which articulates profound insights about the place of social mores and cultural activity in human life and the relation between humanity and nature. At the same time, they are often disturbed by the appalling blindspots they identify in Xunzi. 

Keywords: Xunzi, Xunzi's ethics, Xunzi's philosophy of language, Xunzi's epistemology, Confucianism, 荀子, 荀子倫理學, 荀子語言哲學, 儒家哲學