Formation of Chinese Humanist Ethics (3)

The Formation of Chinese Humanist Ethics   
    -----from a hermeneutic-semiotic  point of view
   ( 《中国人本主义伦理学的形成:从解释学、符号学观点看》)
 
Volume 2: The Constitution of Han-Academic Ideology
 
 TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Introduction: Ethics and Academic Ideology  .......................................................3
1. The Expanded Scope of Ethics ...................................................................... 4
2. The Historical Encounter between Ethics and Ideology ........................................... 4
3. The Ideological Aspect of Ethics ..................................................................... 5
4. Academic Ideology ..................................................................................... 5
5. The Archetype of Chinese Society and Culture ..................................................... 6
6. The Method and Objects of the Present Study ...................................................... 6
7. Ethical-Ideological Coordination and the Chinese Literati ......................................... 8
8. The General Signi?cance of Han-Confucianist Ideology. ........................................... 9
 
 

 
Part One:  The Background and Conditions of Han-Confucianism                          .......... 11
 
(1) The Legendary Pre-Ch’in Historical World and the Systematized
Historical World of the Han Dynasty ....................................................................... 11
 
1. Two Types of Chinese History ........................................................................... 11
2. The Heterogeneous Dialogical Situation: Intellectual and Historical
Elements ...................................................................................................... 12
3. The Composition of Han-Confucianist Ideology ....................................................... 14
 
(2) The Ch’in-Han Political Background: The Establishment of Chinese Despotism...................................................................................................... 15
                                                                                                                             
1. The Establishment of the Centralized Despotic System in
Chinese History ............................................................................................... 16
1) The Original Feudal System of the Chou Dynasty:
The Initial Period of Centralization of Political Power ............................................... 16
2) The Transformative Process of Totalizing Power ................................................. 19
2. The Basic Traits of the Ch’in-Han Despotic Systems ................................................. 22
1) The Basic Traits of Political Despotism Starting in the Ch’in-Han Period ..................... 23
2) The Archetype of Political Despotism .............................................................. 24
 
(3) Towards the Uni?ed Cultural World: The Identity of Pre-Ch’in Schools and the Formation of Han Texts                                       ........................................................................... 26
 
1. The General Tendency of Chinese Thought from the Late Chou to
    the Ch’in-Han Period .................................................................................... 27
2. The Identity of the Masters and Sects in Pre-Ch’in Learnings and Schools ........................ 29
1) The Masters of the Pre-Ch’in Schools ............................................................. 30
2) The Content of the Teaching ....................................................................... 31
3) The Composition of Pre-Ch’in Schools ............................................................. 32
4) The Interpenetration of the Pre-Ch’in Schools .................................................... 35
3. Early Period of Bookmaking in China .................................................................... 36

 
4. The Semantic Composition of the Character “ju” Used in
Han-Confucianism ............................................................................................ 37
 
(4) The Superstitious Traditions: Heaven-Man Communication      ..................... 41
 
1. Heaven and the Superstitious Tradition ................................................................ 41
1). Heaven as Supernatural Will ........................................................................ 41
2). The Typology of Chinese Superstition ............................................................. 42
2. The Cosmological and Metaphysical Systems of the
    Late Chou-Han Period .................................................................................... 43
1) Yin-Yang Thought .................................................................................... 44
2) The Five Elements System.......................................................................... 44
3) The Pattern of Historical Circulation.............................................................. 45
4) The Development of Han Superstition..................................................................... 46
3. The Utilitarian Background of the Communication between Heaven and Earth
          ................................................................................................................. 48
1) Restricting the Rulers........................................................................................ 48
2) The Tool Used by the Rulers................................................................................. 48
3) The Tool Used by the Challengers........................................................................... 49
4) Belief, Self-deception and Deception in the Doctrine of the
Heaven-man Correspondence................................................................................... 50
5) The Relationship of Power to Superstition................................................................. 50
 
(5) Genealogical Fiction and Dei?cation in the Later Chou Period: The Establishment of Multi-Lineage Frameworks    ........................................................................................................ 52
                                               
1. The Lineage of Blood-Ties or the Family........................................................................ 53
2. Political Genealogy: The Imperial Lineage....................................................................... 54
1) The Genealogical Ideology of the Imperial Lineage during the
Pre-Ch’in Imperial Movement.................................................................................... 54
2) Rules for the Transition of Power............................................................................. 56
3. The Cultural and Spiritucal Tradition: The Lineage of Indoctrination
       ...................................................................................................................... 57
4. The Genealogical Logic: The Lineage of the Chinese Tao and the Dei?cation of the
    Temporal Hierarchy of  Power ......................................................................................58

 
Part Two: The Formation of the Han-Confucianist System ..................................................... 60
 
(6) The Han-Academic Ideological System........................................................................... 60
 
1. The De?nition of Ideology in Our Analysis....................................................................... 60
2. Han-Academic Ideology and the Han-Rulers.................................................................... 62
3. The Operative Levels of Han-Academic Ideology.............................................................. 63
4. the Basic Operative Items of and Roles in the ju-Academic
    Ideological System................................................................................................. 63
5. Academico-Ideological Operations in the Four Levels.......................................................... 65
1) The Textual Level............................................................................................. 65
2) The Socio-political Level...................................................................................... 66
3) The Intellectual and Scholarly Level.......................................................................... 67
4) The Moral-behavioral Level.................................................................................... 67
 
(7) The Establishment of Han-Confucianism   .................................................................... 68
 
1. The Strategy in Analyzing the Han-Confucianist Movement.................................................... 68
2. The Pre-Confucianist Period: Legalist-Taoist (Huang-Lao) Politics
     and Classical Learning............................................................................................. 70
3. The Beginning of Han-Confucianism: The Legalist Han Emperor
    Wu-ti and the ju-School Tung Chung-shu...................................................................... 70
1) The Originator of the Confucianist Movement:
The Han Emperor Wu-ti.......................................................................................... 71
2) The Confucianist Thinker: Tung Chung-shu................................................................ 71
4. The Complete Establishment of Confucianist System in Former Han
........................................................................................................................... 74
5. The Utility of the Classical Texts in Political Ideology:
   The Usurpation of Wang Mang.................................................................................... 76
6. The Pragmatization of Han-Confucianism: The Establishment of
Political Dogma in the Reign of Chang-ti.............................................................................. 78
7. The Establishment of Han-Confucianist Scholarship: The Transition from the Ideological to the Scholarly Role in the Late Later Han ........................................................................................................................... 79
 
 
(8) The Social Conditions of Confucianist Ideological Operations: Obedience to Power according to the Doctrine of   Filial Piety ........................................................................ 81  
                                                                                                                   
1. The Ideological Utility of the Family System in the Han..................................................... 81
2. Traditional Elements Ideologically Employed.................................................................. 82
1) From the Biological to the Social.......................................................................... 82
2) From the Naturally Affectional to the Socially Deferential.............................................. 82
3) From Traditional Familial Succession to Absolute Domination......................................... 83
3. The Extension and Transformation of Filial Piety into Political Allegiance................................ 83
1) Absolute Obedience......................................................................................... 84
2) The Consciousness of Belonging to the Superior........................................................ 85
4. Belonging to the Objective Order of Domination............................................................. 86
1) The Funeral of the Father.................................................................................. 86
2) Sacri?ce to Ancestors....................................................................................... 86
5. hsiao  as Ideological Training for Supporting
Despotic Politics..................................................................................................... 87
 
(9) The Organization of the Classical Texts                                                ..................... 89
 
1. The Identity of the Confucianist Classics..................................................................... 89
1) The Gradation of the Texts................................................................................ 89
2) The Number of the Basic ClassicTexts.................................................................... 90
2. The Source and Origin of the Classic Texts................................................................... 92
1) The Lineage of the Teaching of Individual Texts........................................................ 93
2) The Lineage of the Teaching of All Classic Texts........................................................ 93
3) The Special Position of the Confucian Texts............................................................. 94
3. The Establishment of the Institutional Hierarchy of Learning and
Teaching.............................................................................................................. 95
1) The Of?cial Academicians of the Classic Texts........................................................... 95
2) The Of?cial Academia of Classic Texts.................................................................... 96
4. The Fabrication of Ancient Books............................................................................... 97

 
Part Three: The Composition of the Confucianist Classics  ................................................ 102
 
(10) The Spring-Autumn Annals (Ch’un-ch’iu) and its Three
Commentaries....................................................................................................... 102
 
1. The Legendary Author of the Original Text of the Classic................................................... 103
2. The Composition of the Original Text.......................................................................... 105
3. The Meaning of the Basic Text.................................................................................. 106
4. The Moral Exegetic Kung-yang Version......................................................................... 107
5. The Tso-chuan Version and the Ku-liang Version of the Annals............................................. 108
6. The Confucianist Hermeneutic Technique of Historical Writing............................................ 112
1) The Systematic Use of the Titles of the Five Ranks..................................................... 112
2) Omission and Gaps in the Discursive Nexus.............................................................. 112
3) Honest Decriptions of the Breach of Ritual Rules........................................................ 114
4) The Gradation of Evil Conduct.............................................................................. 114
5) Signs of Natural Disasters................................................................................... 114
7. Exegetic Methods.................................................................................................. 116
8. The Style of Original Historiographic Writing: The Ideological
Function of Spatial Description vs. Temporal Narrative......................................................... 119
 
(11) The Book of Changes (I Ching)............................................................................... 122
 
1. The Composition of the Changes................................................................................ 123
2. The Structure of the Changes.................................................................................... 124
1) The Typology of the Yin-Yang Line-Diagrams.............................................................. 125
2) The 450 Basic Situations and Related Verbal Explanations............................................... 126
3) The First Commentaries: T’uan and Hsiang............................................................... 128
4) The Second Commentaries: Wen-yan and Hsi-tz’u........................................................ 129
3. The Functions of the Book of Changes.......................................................................... 131
1) The Combination of Confucianism and Taoism........................................................... 131
2) The Three-fold Transformations: Position, Force and Virtue............................................ 132
3) The Analysis of the Dynamic Relations of Forces......................................................... 132
4) The Transformation of Relations of Good-Evil into that of
Pro?t-Inquiry...................................................................................................... 133
5) Prediction through the Analysis of the Changes.......................................................... 134
6) The Confucianist Focus on Practical Tactics.............................................................. 135
4. Why the Book of Changes is the Leading Classic of Confucianism.......................................... 136
1) The main Features of the Changes in the Han ........................................................... 136
2) The Symbolically Heuristic Mechanism for Grasping and
Organizing the Structural Situations of Elements............................................................ 138
5. The Hermeneutic Mechanism.................................................................................... 140
1) The Basic Signifying Way of the Diagrammatic Unit..................................................... 141
2) The Function of Ideologico-Pragmatic Signi?cation....................................................... 142
3) The Source of the Authority of the Changes with Respect to its 
Interpretative Procedure........................................................................................ 144
 
(12) The Book of the Historical Documents (Shu)   ............................................................ 147
 
1. The Historical Background of the Documents.................................................................. 147
1) Recorded History and the Historical Documents.......................................................... 147
2) The History of the Formation of the Documents.......................................................... 149
2. Historical Content and Historical Authenticity in the Documents............................................ 151
1) Historical Content............................................................................................. 151
2) Historical Authenticity........................................................................................ 151
3. The Truth of Recorded History................................................................................... 153
4. Types of Writing and the Complexity of Narrative Organization............................................. 155
1) Types of Writing.............................................................................................. 155
2) The Complexity of Narrative Organization................................................................. 158
5. The Ideological Role of the Three Main Falsi?ed Texts........................................................ 159
1) The Canon of Yao............................................................................................. 159
2) The Tribute of Yü............................................................................................. 160
3) The Great Plan................................................................................................ 161
6. Ideological Manipulation in the Documents..................................................................... 162
1) The Formation of the Documents........................................................................... 162
2) The Presumed Authorship of the Chou Prince and Confucius............................................ 163
3) The Special Introduction Fabricated for the Documents.................................................. 164
4) The Temporal Order of Historical Powers.................................................................. 164
5) The Historiographical Indication of the National Origin.................................................. 165

 
(13) The Three Books of the Rites (Li) .......................................................................... 166
 
1. li-Practices and Social Reality in the Former Han Period..................................................... 166
2. The I-Li: The Book of Etiquettes and Manners................................................................ 168
3. The Chou Li: The Ritual System of the Chou............................................................... ...170
1) The Content and Character of the Book................................................................... 170
2) The Historical Authenticity and Theoretical Form of the Book......................................... 171
3) The Symbolic Role of the Theoretical Framework........................................................ 175
4. The Li-Chi: The Records and Commentary of Rites.......................................................... 177
5. The Special Status of the Li-Chi................................................................................ 178
1) The-Ta Hsüeh (“Great Learning”)......................................................................... 179
2) The Chung Yung (“The Doctrine of the Mean”).......................................................... 181
3) The Li-Yün (“The Movement of Li”)....................................................................... 182
6. The Typology and Ideological Functions of li-Learning....................................................... 185
1) The Typology of li-Learning................................................................................. 186
2) li-Ideology..................................................................................................... 187
 
(14) The Book of Odes (Shih) .................................................................................... 188
 
1. The Composition of the Odes................................................................................... 188
1) Authors and Compilers...................................................................................... 188
2) Originality of the Poems and the Book of the Odes...................................................... 190
3) The Content and Form of the Odes........................................................................ 191
4) Examination of the Structural Organization.............................................................. 192
2. The Function of Pragmatic and Moral Criticism............................................................... 194
1) The Pragmatic Tradition of the Chou Poems............................................................. 194
2) The Ideological Process of the Historcal Use of the Odes............................................... 195
3. The Functional Mixture in Reading the Odes.................................................................. 198
1) The Aesthetic................................................................................................ 198
2) The Historical................................................................................................ 198
3) The Emotional, Volitional and Performative.............................................................. 198
4) The Morally Signi?cative.................................................................................... 199
4. Confucianist Poetic Exegesis.................................................................................... 199
1) Free Association in Interpretation through Allusive Poetics............................................ 200
2) The Fixation of the Emotional-Volitional Orientation through
the Confucianist Reading...................................................................................... 203
 
Part Four: The Historiographic and Exegetic Patterns of Han Academia   .............................. 204
                                                                                                       
(15) The Stereotype and Function of Exegetic Han Research.................................................. 204
 
1. The Symbolic Ideological Framework.......................................................................... 206
2. The Aim and Objective of Research........................................................................... 207
3. The Rigidity of the Scope of Objects of Research........................................................... 208
4. Methodological Patterns........................................................................................ 209
5. The Modelling of the Personality of the Confucianist Scholar.............................................. 211
1) Volitional Inspiration....................................................................................... 212
2) Training the Personality through Performing Academic Rituals...................................... 213
3) The Technical and Utilitarian Direction of Philosophical
Research....................................................................................................... 214
4) The Composition of the Scholarly Personality.......................................................... 215
 
(16) The History of Han-Confucianist Scholarship   ..................................................... 217
 
1. The Development of Confucianist Scholarship in Later Han............................................. 217
1) The Con?ict between the Old-Script and the Modern-Script
Schools....................................................................................................... 217
2) Superstition and Scholarship in Later Han............................................................ 219
2. Exegetic Scholarship in Later Han.......................................................................... 220
3. The Wei-Chin and the Sung-Ch’i-Liang-Ch’en Period
(the Six Dynasties, 220-581)................................................................................... 223
4. The Sui-T’ang Period (581-907)............................................................................. 225
5. The Sung Period (960-1279)................................................................................. 226
6. The Ch’ing Period (1644-1911)............................................................................. 228
 
(17) The Historiographic Patterns and the Contrast between Classical Texts and Practical Thought
    .................................................................................................................. 230
 
1. The Pre-Ch’in Division between Scholarship and Thought............................................... 230
2. Practical Thought and Classical Learning in the Han..................................................... 232
3. The Synthetic Type of Books of the Chou-Han Period.................................................... 233
1) The Synthetic Mode of Theoretical Writing in the Han.............................................. 234
2) Synthetic Political Discourse at the Han Court........................................................ 235
4. The Chronological Framework and Historical Narratives................................................. 236
1) The Origin of Chinese Historical Writing.............................................................. 236
2) The Pattern of Han Historical Writings................................................................ 237
3) Historical Writings and Historical Truth............................................................... 239
4) The Character of Chinese Historiographical Writings: The
Tension and Balance between the Classical and Historical Texts...................................... 240
5. Historiographic Constructions and Patterns................................................................ 242
1) The Construction of Facts and Events in the Historical
Narrative..................................................................................................... 243
2) The Fiction of Historical Origins....................................................................... 244
3) Morally Determined Historical Causality............................................................... 244
4) The Historiographic Con?rmation of the Lineage of Power.......................................... 245
6. The Interaction of Classical Scholarship and Chinese Thought........................................... 245
1) The Character of Traditional Scholarship............................................................. 245
2) Philological Scholarship without Thought.............................................................. 247
3) Practical Thought without Scienti?c Scholarship....................................................... 248
 

 
Part Five: The Cultural Consequences of Han-Confucianism ............................................. 253
 
(18) The Contrast between Confucian Ethics and Confucianist
Morality.............................................................................................................. 253
 
1. The Pragmatic Use of the Nominal Confusion between the School
as a Social Sect and the School as an Intellectual Inclination................................................ 253
2. The Contrast of and the Tension between Confucian Thought and
the Confucianist System......................................................................................... 254
1) The Ambiguity of the Western Term “Confucianism” and the
Chinese Term “ju”.......................................................................................... 255
2) The Constitutional Contrast of Confucian Thought and
Confucianism................................................................................................ 256
3. The Axiological Contrast between Confucian Ethics and
Confucianist Morality........................................................................................... 257
1) Value and Motive........................................................................................ 258
2) Theoretical Presuppositions............................................................................ 262
 
(19) The Constitution of Intellectual Elements in the Confucian-Confucianist Tension............. 265
                                                                                                                                   
1. The Original Intellectual Elements and Their Regrouping in the
Confucian-Confucianist Tension............................................................................... 265
1) Inclinational Elements in the Confucian, Legalist and Taoist
Schools........................................................................................................ 266
2) Combinations of Inclinational Elements............................................................... 269
3 The Typology of Chinese Literati............................................................................ 270
1) Political Orientation..................................................................................... 271
2) Non-Political or Cultural Orientation................................................................... 272
 
(20) Cultural Aestheticization and Ethical Internalization ............................................. 275
 
1. The Legalist Manipulation of Confucianist Ideology...................................................... 275
2. The Synthetic Confucianist Type of Personality........................................................... 277
3. The Pragmatic Symbolism of the Figurative Sign........................................................ 280
1) Personality as the Convergence of Interactional Elements......................................... 281
2) The Image of Yan Hui as the Symbolic Means of Ethical
Internalization.............................................................................................. 282
3) The Different Uses of the Image Yan Hui............................................................. 285
4. Intellectual Preparation of Ethical Internalization through the Taoist Approach
 ................................................................................................................... 286
5. The Aesthetic Internalization of Confucian Ethics in Sung-Ming
Confucianist Philosophy ........................................................................................ 289
1) Ethical Internalization................................................................................... 289
2) Psychological Aestheticization as an Ethical Technique............................................. 292
3) The Signi?cance of the Confucian Ethical Dimension in
Confucianist History........................................................................................ 295
 
Bibliography   ...................
 
 
 
INTRODUCTION: Ethics and Academic Ideology
 
The present volume addresses the relationship between the Han-academic ideology and the formation of Confucianist scholarship. Traditional Chinese scholarship originated from and promoted by political power. The initial “scholarship” of systematic textual records was related to the manipulation of political power; the written materials were organized by and served those in power. Both ideologically and technically, cultural activities were ?rst guided by political power. The degree of academic control depended on the degree of the totalization of political power.
The two Confucian texts represent the profound wish for spiritual freedom in Chinese intellectual history. Their ahistorical character, however, indicates a curious alienation, displaying principles different from those of real historical forces. The historical alienation of the Confucian texts makes the Confucian doctrine function as an ideal standard rather than as a pragmatic historical guide. Thus, we see a constant contrast between Confucian idealism and Chinese historical development, including academic history.
In our three-part treatment of Confucian ethics and Confucianist ideology, the historical focus has gradually intensi?ed. In the present discussion, the topic mainly concerns the academico-historical realm. In our former discussions about Confucian ethics and its dialogue with other schools, we did not need to appeal to the diachronic dimension. Instead, we offered a synchronic analysis, and in fact we were unable to solve historiographical dif?culties in our ethical discussion. On the basis of the available historical documents, we can hardly organize a precise history of social and intellectual developments preceding the Han. The change of the identity of our object in this volume, however, does not signify the unsuitability of our former strategic arrangement. To make our story complete, we have to handle it in a two-fold fashion, taking into account compositional anatomy and historical encounters. A more pertinent reason for this procedure lies in the fact that this double mode of presentation has existed in Chinese history itself. The chronological three-stage framework which we employ is only a convenient device. We gain access to the three stages of Confucian development through documents ?rst available in the historiographical stage of the Han, that is, since a period of about 2000 years ago, when the Chinese empire was ?rst established. In addition to the available historical material, the historical period also offers a means of access to the scholarly merit of Confucian thought. We could hardly measure its value by dint of a single text. As a purely empirical topic, the Confucian text has to be examined with respect to its historical confrontations.
 
1. The Expanded Scope of Ethics
 
The historical encounter of an ethical system means its confrontation with political power. The related historical process proves that political power is the most important and direct object of an ethical system and its historical practice. The fortune of Confucian ethics in China is one of constant failure in the political arena before its enemy: immoral political power. The expansionism of later periods shows that ethical thought was eventually controlled and enslaved. Ethics was made to serve its opposite and systematically distorted. Concretely, the Legalist enslaved the Confucian through a Legalist-dominated despotic empire. The ethical topic was historically transformed into the ideological. More precisely, there was a two-fold existence of the ethical: ideational in the text and practical in political manipulation. The original ideal existed only in the background, a further proof of its political inef?ciency. As a system of norms implied in the verbal text, however, this explains some new factors in the historical ethical situation. The Chinese case presents a typical example of the inner relation of the ethical to the ideological, understood as the technical dimension of evil power. Evil power and its ideological devices are the main object of ethical operation. The relevance of the technical aspect of power resides in the fact that ethics has to ?x its object and objective more pertinently. Concretely, the ethical agent or subject must recognize its object and objective; otherwise ethical operation will no longer exist. The ideological and technical aspect is a constituent part of the ethical situation.
 
2. The Historical Encounter between Ethics and Ideology
 
The transformation of the ethical into the ideological in the Han period (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.) was a historical process. Transformation here only means the historical appearance of a socio-cultural function of the ethical body. With regard to the Confucian, it does not mean that a positive aspect of Confucian ethical politics in earlier periods later historically became an ideological tool, so that the good Confucian became the bad Confucian. The confrontation between pre-Ch'in Confucian thought and the Han-Confucianist system was not purely historical. Instead, it was a confrontation between the ethics in text and the ideology in society. The earlier Confucian ethics was used by political power as an ideological instrument. The Confucian began to play an ideological role in combination with other related elements, although it indirectly kept its own purely ethical identity and in?uence.
 
3. The Ideological Aspect of Ethics
 
The ideological aspect of the ethical identity inheres in the technical as well as cultural results of the political manipulation which is the object of ethical practice. This basic link makes ideological study an essential part of historical ethics. Evil power uses the ideological mediation in order to dominate and utilize the ethical spirit. The demystifying of ideological devices is accordingly a necessary step in ethical practice. Of course, this mean not that there really is an effective ethical force which can take countermeasures in an historical situation, only that the valid ethical system can provide the analytical means for grasping the structure of the situation. Both ethical and ideological analyses offer us an intellectual instrument to abstract the point of a politico-ethical mechanism. Han history over the course of 400 years provides us with an original type of the politico-ideologico-ethical complex of Confucianism, which applied the name of Confucius, the originator of an ethics, to an ideological construction. Therefore, the original Confucian plays two roles in our present discourse: it refers to ethical norms as such, which are our intellectual instrument of analysis, and the ideologically misused text, which is the object of our analysis.
 
4. Academic Ideology
 
Ideology is culturally fabricated in order to convey false or misleading ideas to the people and so unfairly bene?t the holder of power. The idiosyncracy of Han ideology is a function of its special link to Chinese academic life. It was a systematic reconstruction of a national philosophy on the basis of an historical genealogy. It is a “philosophy” embodied in a “history.” Because historical learning was much valued in ancient China, all of the “philosophical” classics of the Confucianist system resulted of the manipulation of transmitted historical materials. The original Chinese ideological reconstruction was directed towards the establishment of historiographical monument as the textual symbol of a great lineage of power. The historiographically formulated Chinese “Bible” played a leading spiritual role for the people under the control of despotic power. Confucian ethical elements were also collaboratively inserted into the Confucianist system. In our analysis, the Confucian and the Confucianist are theoretically two different things, although they have been historically confused. The main objective of the present study is to separate them once again through the structural analysis of the diachronic and synchronic constitution of the Han-Confucianist movement. Nonetheless, our attempt at separation is also indicates their historical relationship.
 
5. The Archetype of Chinese Society and Culture
 
The conglomeration of Confucian spiritual ethics and Legalist institutional ideology within a totalitarian political system laid the socio-cultural foundation for 2000 years of Chinese history. It also was the framework for Chinese cultural creations of all sorts. Consequently, the study of Han- Confucianist academic scholarship and ideology is not only connected with ethical problems, it is also linked with problems of Chinese cultural and intellectual history replete with ethical and ideological elements. Although the present study does not focus on social and cultural ?elds, it can reveal the structural core for understanding them.
 
6. The Methods and Objects of the Present Study
 
Chinese philosophy properly emerged only after the intrusion of Indian Buddhist philosophy after the end of the Han dynasty. Our object of Han learning is not philosophical, or only pre-philosophical. The historico-ideologico-ethical compound of the Han presents a concretely embodied philosophy showing more concern with human relations and problems. The Han was a time of the reconstruction of historical facts and narratives. When calling Confucianism a philosophy in a functional sense, we actually mean that it is a philosophical alternative embodied in historiographical discourses. The ethical dimension of Han intellectual history co-existed with ideologico-historiographical praxis.
There are two different senses of the historical object: the historiographical reference to the historical process and the historiographical reference to the cultural and academic composition. Ever since the Han, we have had historical documents available, but this does not mean that we have had reliable access to the historical process itself. Because of the unscienti?c quality of primitive historiography and technical defects in preserving written materials, we are still not in a position to know the historical facts except through the unsatisfactorily formed narratives of traditional texts. Han history itself is a ?eld to be reformulated through new historiographical methodology. In light of this, we may someday attain a more effective social history of the Han period.
Concerning intellectual history, the situation is different. This is not only because ancient Chinese thought was directly re?ected or preserved in written texts; it is also because its content, structure and function resides in a stable socio-cultural framework. Thus, we are better able to penetrate the nature of ancient thought through the transmitted materials. On the other hand, however, we meet with another sort of historiographical dif?culty in handling the historical texts. We have to reorganize the available materials in order to rede?ne our objects, making them more genuinely present themselves. For each object of our research, there is a diachronic as well as a synchronic dimension. An historical object has a horizontal composition and a functional role; and it also involves an historically constitutive process. The same name in reference to an object contains different facets playing roles in various historical contexts. Through textual analysis, we can represent these constitutive conditions in order to describe more precisely the content and roles of such terms. This is what we attempting to do in the present work.
We can then understand why the hermeneutico-semiotic approach, taken as both semantic and institutional analysis, is so relevant to our study. The hermeneutico-semiotic approach not only highlights the structural and functional aspects of our object, it also leads to its institutional dimensions. Any historical object occupies a position in a social structure, plays a role in a dynamic process and is manipulated by institutional mechanisms, including the ideological part. Our semiotics of historical texts aims to present a more clearly articulated intellectual conjuncture. The aspects analyzed involve not only the Chinese language, but also Chinese historiographical procedures. Our purpose is to make ambiguously formulated texts more intelligible without distorting their original structures.
There is also the very crucial question of the authenticity of Chinese historical texts. It is notorious that many Han scholars, the originators of Chinese historical texts, were liable to falsify or fabricate the texts for vulgar utilitarian aims. Fortunately, contemporary Chinese historians have made remarkable progress in historiographical interpretation. In our present study, we shall appeal more to their achievements than to modern Chinese philosophers, who have a less critical consciousness of the problems of historiographical authenticity.
 
7. Ethical-Ideological Coordination and the Chinese Literati
 
Concerning the fate of Confucian thought in the Han, there are two main aspects. There is the problem of its utilization by the ideological power; and there is the problem of its independent role in different dimensions of the same socio-cultural process.[1] In a wider view, we can even say that the process was a synthesis of different intellectual tendencies. In order to gain access to this process, we must pay attention to the constituent elements of the historical objects; then we may see the causal relationship among the historical phenomena. This also brings into view the very interesting problem of the character of the Chinese literati, which became stable and stereotyped after the Han. The problem of China is ?rst a problem of intellectuals who are liable to become instruments of power. Their positive and negative reactions towards the holders of power have been the determinative factors shaping Chinese political and cultural history. The formation of the spiritual tendency of Confucianist scholars and literati in the Han provides a convincing example of the archetype of the historical personality of the Chinese literati.
 
8. The General Signi?cance of Han-Confucianist Ideology
 
Han intellectual history is universally instructive because of the following points:
a) The historical formation of spiritual nationalism presents a non-religious type of nationalism based on political despotism and a predominant logic of cultural lineage;
b) The ideological domination of scholarship results in a clearly structured and politically and pragmatically oriented academic world. As a result, historiographically centered Chinese scholarship presents a more secular and an empirically more pragmatic aspect of human cultural history;
c) Han ideological and scholarly history is a typical case of interaction between the ethical ideal and political power as well as between ideology and power in general. Ideology can only refer to the conscious manipulation of power. Without power, there is no ideology. The Han case therefore provides us with an historically con?rmable mechanism of ideological manipulation in the academic world.
d) Han history is an ideal laboratory for examining the human predilection for ambiguous formulations: the mixture of and interaction between axiological and factual language. This is due to a strong consciousness of the dominance of secular power.
e) Han Confucianism remains today the most convenient ideological instrument for various Chinese groups, despite their different political beliefs and systems. In addition to social concerns, there persists a spiritual concern in the face of the intellectual divergence of the world.
f) The study of Han-Confucianism in turn further clari?es the genuine nature of Confucian ethics. The contrast between the historical victor and the spiritual challenger presents an international archetype of a basic split in human existence based not on religious domains but on worldly ones. There is a problem of distinction between the aim and the means in political life. The basic confusion between aim and means remains prevalent today. A secular intellectual history can more clearly disclose the relationship between the ethical and the powerful by dismissing other irrelevant dimensions from its analysis.
g) The establishment of Han Confucianism proves the historical and theoretical failure of orthodox Confucian political philosophy due to its innate limitation. This historical fact, however, does not contradict the inner merit of an ethical ideal which may play a truly historical role under favorable conditions. The historical interaction of Han despotism and Confucian ethics is only one case under certain socio-cultural conditions. It does not exclude other possible historical realizations of the same spiritual strength under different socio-cultural conditions. The salient point lies not in the historical defeat of Confucian political ethics but rather in its spiritual persistence throughout an unfavorable political history. It has been waiting for a more favorable socio-cultural context in order to make its more effective contribution. Concretely speaking, Confucian ethics needs a Western type of instrumental rationality. The Oriental ethical rationality and the Western instrumental rationality might form a politico-ethical union for the sake of the future of mankind.

 
 

 

[1] Despite the alteration of the of?cial rank of the Analects as an authorized classic in the feudal academic hierarchy, the spiritual effect of the book persisted. It was read widely and seriously. The modern Chinese historian Wang Kou-wei points out that the in?uence of the Analects and the Filial Piety Classic in the Han was even wider than that of the Five Classics. (Wang 1983, v. 1, 4/8) Their dissemination was separate from the institutionalization of Confucianist scholarship. The historical separation between the effect on the individual mind and the effect on social utility of the same book is an interessting phenomenon. It is also interesting to note that in the Han, the Analects and the Filial Piety Classics both had a wide circulation. The latter, a book of good manners, is notorious of its authoritarian admonishments for blind obedience to one’s superiors. The coordination of the spiritual training of Confucian ethics and the behavioral training of despotic dogma is characterizes the Han ideological situation
 

 
 
THE CONSTITUTION OF HAN-ACADEMIC IDEOLOGY
 
(3) Towards the Uni?ed Cultural World: The Identity of Pre-Ch’in Schools and the Formation of Han Texts
 
The political uni?cation of the Ch’in-Han period led to Chinese cultural uni?cation. The Chou dynasty laid the foundation of typical Chinese culture. The central Chou kingdom allowed for the development of a uni?ed cultural world. There was continuous cultural communication among various vassal states along with political interaction in such ?elds as language, written systems, poetry, music, dance, architecture, divination, historical records and ritual customs. During the last 400 years of the Spring-Autumn and the Warring-States periods, political and cultural communications became more and more frequent. In the last 200 years before the establishment of the ?rst Ch’in Empire, in the world of uni?ed social organizations and customs in various states, pre-Ch’in thought made great advances. Despite the political segregation of local powers, a uni?ed cultural world containing local focuses and styles was substantially shaped. The ?nal political uni?cation of China carried out by the Ch’in, however, brought together many localities through a series of coercive legal measures such as standardization of the written language and systems of traf?c and measurement, among others. The subsequent Han dynasty continued in this direction. A more comprehensively uni?ed cultural world thus came about on the basis of the uni?ed political world. Through the formation of the Han academic system, people learned more about the culture and thought preceding the Han. Modern readers have to rely on Han literature for their knowledge of the pre-Ch’in cultural and philosophical world. The Han was the period when the world of classical humanities scholarship ?rst appeared in China. The period between the late Chou and the early Han was decisive, for then the fragmentary scholarly records existing in various pre-Ch’in states were collected by the central government. The actual process of the formation of classical Chinese literature, however, has remained far from clear because of several military disasters and the poor preservation of ancient books.
It has been rumoured that the Ch’in emperor implemented a policy of destroying and prohibiting bamboo-tablet books during his short reign, and that later the rebel general Hsiang Yü burned the royal library when he attacked the palace. We cannot judge the seriousness of the results of these two disasters. The fact is that until the middle Han period Chinese written literature remained quite fragmentary and many classical texts existed only in crude material, such as bamboo tablets or silk cloth or in oral form alone. Before paper came into common usage in the late Han period, systematic editing of literature had already begun in the middle Han; and there was substantial progress in bookmaking everywhere in the Former Han, as Chinese society was becoming more stable and peaceful. Using modest instruments of writing and editing, bookmaking was a systematic project at both the local and the central level in the middle Han. The historical authenticity of the edited books or the textual collections of the time, however, cannot be clearly determined, for most of the original texts of the Han disappeared. What remained for future generations were only those manuscripts repeatedly copied over generations. We may now reconsider the problems of the origin and authenticity of the Han texts in addition to related historical descriptions. First, there is the problem of the combination of the pre-Ch’in origin and the rearrangement of the Han works despite the nominal index of the origins of the written and oral texts. Second, the additional dif?culty in judging the historical authenticity of the legendary Han books is due to the unavailability of the original Han texts apart from fragments.
 
1. The General Tendency of Chinese Thought from the Late Chou to the Ch’in-Han Period
 
Ch’in-Han political centralization completely changed the Chinese intellectual context. The interaction between political power and intellectual activity is one of the major considerations of the present discussion. Besides the political impact, there was an independent intellectual trend from the Warring-States period through to the end of the Han involving philosophical, political, social and scholarly aspects. We may call it a post-Confucian socio-cultural trend noted for its superstitious metaphysical tendency. Several of the main schools of thought in pre-Ch’in texts were humanitarian and empirical with little supernatural coloration, such as the Confucian, Taoist and Legalist discussed in our former volume. There is also a more prevalent social trend in connection with both customs and thought which was full of religious and quasi-religious superstition. Of these, the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements were the most in?uential. When the two ideas were brought together into a single theory by the famous scholar Tsou Yen in the Ch’i state, the result was the ?rst Chinese historical cosmology, which presented cosmology, the philosophy of history and politics in a superstitious way. This Warring-States thought laid the foundation for the theoretical framework of Han ideology and politics. We must mention this intellectual background because it comprehensively in?uenced China over ?ve or six hundred years and continued to play an active role in subsequent philosophical, religious and political thought. It composes a crude type of the Chinese historico-philosophical cosmology, presenting concrete means for promoting superstitious political activities. We shall elaborate it in more detail later.
Besides the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements, there were many other forms of superstitious social activities and ideas penetrating all ?elds of Chinese life. Many original natural and supernatural concepts such as Heaven, Earth and the stars became religious objects in essence and function. The point of the superstitious trend lay in the fact that these quasi-religious factors were regarded as agents involved in human affairs. Pre-Ch’in anthropocentric Confucian empiricism was replaced by a Heaven-centered determinism. Human reason was reduced to the fatalistic intellectual attitude of obeying and recognizing the signs of Heaven. The strong self-consciousness of Confucian and Taoist subjectivity was seriously threatened. In Later Han, despite the further development of Chinese humanities, superstition became even stronger, and there were many absurd habits taking the form of searching for heavenly signs in the natural and social world for the sake of solving human problems.
In the late Warring-States and Han times, scholarly thought became more synthetic in comparison with the earlier main schools, which themselves were not really homogeneous. During the great change from the Chou to the Ch’in-Han, newly formed schools such as those represented in the texts of the Hsün-tzu, the Spring-Autumn Annals of Lü Pu-wei and later the Hui-nan Tzu, the thought of many great scholars of the early Han such as Chia I, Lu Chia and others exhibited an obvious synthetic tendency. This tendency was connected with a more pragmatic political wisdom requiring eclectic ideas to form a feasible framework for practical reason. In distinction from those of other more homogeneous schools, the books of the late Chou and early Han synthetic schools were mere collections of articles, most of which were edited according to categories of practical use and subject matter rather than scholarly principles. The general trend of contemporary thought, which combined metaphysical, political, Confucian, Legalist and Taoist elements, was the consequence of the political movement and intellectual development of the late Chou period. This general trend constituted the intellectual condition for the further development of Han thought under new socio-political situations, in?uencing the orientation of the Han thought with its superstitious, eclectic, practicable and ideological traits.[1]
According to the reorganization of historical documents in the middle Han, the ju school was regarded as the leading one of the pre-Ch’in “Hundred Schools.” Confucius was taken as the founding father of the ju-school. In addition to the traditional royal classics, there appeared the separate academic world of the texts of individual authors and intellectual sects. On the whole, an entire world of books was shaped in Former Han.
 
2. The Identity of the Masters and Sects in Pre-Ch’in Learnings and Schools
 
With respect to the primitive academic world, we should rede?ne some traditional terms shared by modern scholars in order to avoid an anachronistic misunderstanding of the composition and function of the related texts. In pre-Ch’in times, there were two different periods of organizing cultural or academic activities: the earlier period by of?cials of the Chou dynasty and the later period by both of?cials and private literati. It has been said that Confucius began the second period when cultural activities such as study, ritual performance and participation in politics were partly undertaken by non-of?cials. The distinction between of?cially promoted and privately promoted cultural activities was crucially signi?cant for the development of Chinese thought and scholarship.
 
1) The Masters of the Pre-Ch’in Schools
 
The group guided by the Master Confucius and his main disciples formed a sect or school for cultural and quasi-political activities. The phenomenon resembled other groups of handworkers centered on masters and transmitting technical knowledge. In the initial stage, the difference of the two kinds of collective activities mainly lay in the content of the activities rather than in their organization. After the death of Confucius the school is supposed to have been divided into eight sects by Han Fei (Chu Tzu Chi Ch’eng, v. 5, 351). Regardless of the exact number of Confucian sects, the new groups must have formed around different individual disciples. One of the original meanings of “ju,[2] which was later used to refer especially to the Confucian school or the school of which Confucius is the generally accepted founder, was the social profession of performing and organizing rites, particularly funeral rites. Confucius himself was noted for his knowledge and art of the funeral rite when he was young. The master is the leader and organizer of the professional group. After the death of Confucius, some of his disciples continued the professional tradition in different places according to their knowledge of the original Confucian teaching about traditional culture. Despite the separate origins of “ju” as an ancient professional tendency and Confucian groups as historical collectives, the traditional ju groups commonly accepted Confucius as the founding father of their professional movement, just as the later Taoist religion accepted the legendary ?gure Lao Tzu as its founding father despite the obvious divergence between the thought of Lao Tzu and the content of the religious doctrine. Against this historical background, we can say that the organizational aspect of the original Confucian group as a sect was determined more by practical aspects of the tradition of a professional group than by ?xed doctrine. At that time, the content of the activities of a professional sect was more synthetic, including both intellectual and practical matters, but still lacking a scholarly program based on coherent principles.
As regards the activities of the Confucian group, according to legend, the six arts were the common subjects of teaching among the aristocracy. Poetry and historical records were collected by of?cers as material for general cultivation. Furthermore, rites and political activities were part of the tradition. In general, the content taught by Confucius was the cultural heritage traditionally existing in the community. Characteristic of Confucian teaching are its ethical principles and related attitudinal system in connection with these traditional contents. Thus, we can distinguish two separate aspects of the Confucian school: the cultural teaching, which was part of the common tradition, and the ethical doctrine, which contained the teaching of Confucius himself. How much the later Confucian sects insisted on clinging to the special ethical teaching is a different issue. During the Warring-States period, many ju-sects with Confucius as the common father continued their “professions” with varying focuses; the state of Lu, the homeland of Confucius, and the state of Ch’i were the centers for advanced cultural subjects. There were several different lineages of the Confucian professional tradition in various geographical sects. In any case, various sects shared a common cultural content. There is a distinction, however, between the original group and the later groups or social movements sharing the same legendary founder.
 
2) The Content of the Teaching Activity
 
In light of the above, we should once again make a distinction between the name of a sect, the name of its master, the practical content of its social activity and its legendary intellectual content. Because we can hardly make a real distinction between the actual and the legendary, we should avoid historiographical re?ection on the composition of the pre-Ch’in schools. As a rule, many later scholarly creations made use of earlier historical groups and the historical images, particularly those of the Han period, when the time was ripe for large-scale cultural activity.
Therefore, it is advisable to make a basic division between (A) the transmitted intellectual content and (B) historical sects as social and professional groups. We can trace back their respective lineages and the historical connection of A and B and discover a process of multiple fabrication. In any case, what we ?nd since the Han are by no means con?rmable historical facts. If so, a pre-Ch’in school, particularly the ju-school, should not be taken as a homogeneous entirety containing intellectual and historical aspects. The historically different compositions of the school should be constantly taken into account. Therefore, the individual story, the intellectual tendency, the nominally related written text and the organizational activities should be separately treated regardless of the descriptions originating in the Han dynasty.
 
3) The Composition of Pre-Ch’in Schools
 
According to the of?cial history book of Later Han organized by Pan Ku, a more reliable description holds that there were nine major intellectual “families” or schools in the Warring-States period. (Pan Ku 1962, 1728-1742) Besides the Confucian, Taoist, Mohist and Legalist, there were the Yin-Yang, the Name-Logic, the Military Tactical and the so-called synthetic. Pan Ku said that all schools came from the original of?ces of the Chou dynasty called “the royal of?ces” when the Chou became disorganized. Each school stressed its own speciality and appealed to the favor of the local rulers. (ibid, 1746) Many modern scholars tend to assume that the pre-Ch’in schools did not come from the Chou of?ces and did not have any of?cial lineage, as Han scholars supposed; instead, they had independent sources in Chinese intellectual life. Because the Han’s descriptions of the functions of of?cial Chou hierarchies were mostly the products of imagination, the authenticity of Pan’s descriptions about the link between the schools and royal of?ces is doubtful. On the other hand, modern scienti?c doubt about the link, which is more historiographical than semantic, could be an expression of confusion about the composition of the pre-Ch’in schools, regarding them as modern academic groups. If so, the criticism should be readjusted; and Pan’s description could are taken as partly correct. If the pre-Ch’in schools are more connected with professional and practical aspects, it can be seen that they had origins in the of?cial tradition. In the early Chou, most social and cultural activities, including rites, the collection of poems, historical record keeping, musical performance and dance, divination, political decisions, hunting and military activities, were conducted by of?cials in charge of these various functions. Later on, following the great social change of the late Chou, the thought which originated from these of?cial “?elds” could be conveyed to private persons. The thought, practical activities, performing groups, professional motives in a social ?eld could be gathered into a social compound called a “family,” a sect or school. What was passed on to subsequent generations should be separated from earlier compounds, which were more homogeneous in intellectual content.
The true historical formation of a school can be grasped through a hermeneutico-semiotic approach which contains two aspects. First, historically speaking, a cultural phenomenon (B) through a later stage is the synthetic result of several socio-cultural elements (A) from earlier stages. Second, the content of the former (B) can also be the speculative invention (C) of a later stage. In the present case, “C” is what the Han scholars thought about a pre-Ch’in school; B was an unknown historical analogue of C; and A was the assumed historical cause of B. In modern times, we are inclined to imagine A, B, C in terms of a similar modern concept D, such as “scholarly school.” In discussing historical topics through reference to historiographical texts, we must pay close attention to the possible distinctions between A, B, C and D.
For this reason, we shall differentiate between the transmitted intellectual contents and their substantial embodiment in historical activities. The former involves those gradually accepted, revised and rearranged in the course of time with its reconstruction of the intellectual process leading to an historical accumulation. The latter is another kind of social evolution containing various practical components. Despite links between the two processes, their typology is very changeable and complex. In addition, because of professional competition, various schools in later stages tended to fabricate their intellectual and social lineage in order to promote their historical and social privileges. This makes it dif?cult for modern scholars to discover the historical truth. The fabrications include the identities of the masters and disciples, their heritage, their intellectual and social compositions, their in?uences and their texts. The historical constitution of the texts and related historical ?gures are the dif?cult issue to be solved. Conscious and unconscious fabrication hamper the clear understanding of the identity of pre-Ch’in thought and its historical background.
The substantial existence of pre-Ch’in schools is also tied to the material form of intellectual communication. Owing to technical and economic dif?culties in employing written materials, the dissemination of thought largely occurred through oral and face-to-face contact. A master was not only the possessor of knowledge but also the keeper of written material. It was highly probable that most knowledge mainly existed in the master’s mind rather than in the written texts. This fact made the students’ reliance on the master practically necessary, just as apprentice artisans must rely on the oral and physical teaching of the master. This special form of master-disciple relationship practically determined the identity of a sect. In addition to motives of professional competition, the existence of an intellectual sect was also connected with the image of its lineage. The genuinely intellectual part of a sect was more limited than people imagine. In light of the above explanation, we should understand that the pre-Ch’in schools or families described by Pan Ku had different historical compositions and functions. The two largest schools—the Confucian and the Mohist—were comparable with each other with respect to their intellectual and social in?uence during the Warring-States period, although the latter lasted for a much shorter time despite its stricter organization.
On the whole, the composition of pre-Ch’in schools as a historical “whole” includes a variety of parameters such as the names of the school, its master and its famous disciples, professional activities, the legendary texts which were the classics of school doctrine and social and intellectual in?uences. A school or sect could be equivalent to an institutional school or the local ground for academic activities, such as the Lu school and the Ch’i school (chi-hsia). The former was the source of the Confucian school characteristic of its tradition about learning, music and ritual; the latter was organized and encouraged by the Ch’i king and gained a good reputation through promoting scholarly dialogue. The so-called Chi-hsia Academy of the Ch’i state was the most energetic scholarly center of that time. Late Chou academic history indicates the compositional heterogeneity of pre-Ch’in schools, including the various dimensions of social activity, cultural style and intellectual tendency.
 
4) The Interpenetration of the Pre-Ch’in Schools
 
The historical truth of a school is related to all of its possible parameters. The Confucian has the most complicated composition. Even its name is debatable, because the equation of the Confucian and the traditional profession called “ju” was made only in the latter Chou; while the ambiguous link was further upheld in the Han. The so-called “hundred” schools of the Warring-States period did not actually exist. Several “schools” widely overlapped in their intellectual content and social practice. For this reason, Hsiao Kung-ch’uan asserts, “the political thought of the different pre-Ch’in scholars mutually penetrated and hardly differed from each other.” (Hsiao 1965, 194). The indistinct identity of the schools and their interpenetration led to the synthetic tendency of thought in the late Chou and early Han times.[3] The situation was more obvious in political thought. Late Chou thought advocated a more synthetic strategy including both utilitarian (Legalist) and educational (Confucian) focuses, in addition to many other intellectual inclinations. Thus, there appeared much commonalty among various political thinkers. As Lü Ssu-mien points out, “the strengthening of the legal system and the promoting of education had been general opinions since the late Chou” (Lü, 1983, 100). Some content emphasized by earlier individual “schools” became generally accepted knowledge. The eclectic thought of the Han was also directly connected with the Ch’in’s local academic stress upon modern practical learning over against the “old” six arts of the early Chou. (Ch’ien Mu, in Ku (ed.) 1963, v. 5, 250) The latter were more symbolic than politically practical. Its short reign did not give the ?rst Ch’in empire the chance to carry out cultural reconstructions as in the second Han empire.
 
3. Early Period of Bookmaking in China
 
The identity of books in the Chou-Han period is connected with our understanding of the real situations of ancient learning, schools, and scholarly lineage. The poor conditions of the inscriptions, recordings and collections until the Sung, however, makes this understanding dif?cult. The identity of ancient books is closely tied to the conditions of writing system, writing instruments and paper equivalents. All related physical factors were linked with the original shape and function of the written texts. In general, pen and knife were commonly used, but it cannot be ascertained which form of writing was more popular as late as the Han (Cf. Wang Kuo-wei 1983, v. 9, 7) Bamboo slips and silk paper were also popular material for inscriptions, indeed, bamboo or wood slips were much more frequently used than silk paper. According to Wang, most books edited by the general editor of the royal academy, Liu Hsiang, were made with bamboo slips. (Wang 1983, v. 9, 10)[4]
Another problem involves the identity of the ancient texts. We should make a distinction between a text and a book. The latter is a long text made of several pieces of inscribed material. The difference in the number of the pieces of written material is connected with the function of the related text. One piece of writing material is called a “chien” (a slip of bamboo) and several chien form a “ts’e” (a bundle of bamboo slips). Later, a book was also simply called a “chien-ts’e,” just as a writing tool was called a “tao-pi” (“knife-pen” and writing material “chu-po” (“bamboo-silk-cloth.”) Originally, a text had many different practical roles other than the “scholarly.” It could be made of different materials and shapes, such as tortoise shell, animal bone, metal utensils, stone, wood and bamboo. Besides the common usage for recording, the of?cial communication of messages and orders were more important. We shall show later how texts as the mode of of?cial communication and texts as scholarly books largely overlapped in ancient times. Just as in the very beginning of Chinese civilization, there were writings recording events for practical purposes and writings for routine communication. The two functions long existed side by side. Then historical texts as the record of royal events and declarations or orders in political texts came about. When the accumulated texts were classi?ed for easier reading and reference, there arose the form of “books.”[5]
Despite the early origin of groups of written sentences in China, most of them were short and did not express a complete topic as a genuine functional text. The more intellectual use of longer texts or organized topics mainly existed in oral form, such as long declarations and poems, despite the fact that they also occurred in inscriptions. An interesting historical fact is that the intellectually expressed texts (such as poems) more existed in mind, while texts recorded for practical uses more existed in written form in the early Chou, when more elaborate Chinese culture began to emerge. In the later Chou, the number of written texts increased, but they were still largely of?cially produced and preserved because of technical conditions. Intellectual activity still did not rely on written texts conveying coherent thought.
 
4. The Semantic Composition of the Character “ju” Used in Han-Confucianism
 
Let us further examine the meaning of the pre-Ch’in Confucian school in more detail in order to emphasize the constitutive ambiguity of the crucial heading “ju.” Western readers meet with dif?culty in the original translation of the Chinese term “ju-hsüeh” (“the learning of the ju school”) by the term “Confucianism.” In the Chinese texts, these are two different expressions: Confucius’ or Confucian doctrine and the ju-Doctrine. The Western term “Confucianism” combines them according to a new interpretation ?xed in the Han which made all the doctrine and practice of the ju families equivalent to those of the Confucian tradition, regarding the legendary as the historical fact. Literally, only the expressions “ju-earning or doctrine” and “Confucius’ or Confucian Doctrine” occur in Chinese. Since the late Chou, ju has been bound up with Confucius or, more precisely, Confucius has been regarded as the father of the ju -school. Accordingly, the Western term “Confucianism” is a combination of two Han legends.
The discussion of the historical and etymological evolution of the character “ju” belongs to the study of the Chinese terms signifying historical entities such as groups, academic or intellectual movements and institutions. Because of a lack of necessary documents, it is almost impossible to recover the original traces of the cultural evolutions of these Chinese terms, including “ju.” We can and must, however, point out several different meanings of the term in its ancient uses. Traditionally, the term was ambiguously applied. Therefore, the etymological origin of the term is of little help. According to an ancient dictionary, ju primarily means “softness.” (Hsü Shen, 1986, 366). As we explained in the ?rst volume, a single character can refer to an abstract sense, a kind of people or a school in various contexts. In most cases, ju refers to persons engaged in different tasks in different periods.[6] According to The History of Han, ju originated in the royal of?ce of the early Chou of “helping the king in harmonizing the Yin-Yang movement and promoting cultivation.” (Pan Ku, 1962, 1728) According to Hu Shih, the character “ju” came from another character, “hsü”, which is part of the structure of the character ju. “hsü” means “having to wait.” It refers to those people who face dangerous situations and are courageous enough to withstand them. After a long endurance, they ?nally meet with the chance to improve their fate. (Hu Shih, 1935 v. 4, 22) The original ju-people were the descendants of priests of the earlier Shang Dynasty which was later replaced by the Chou. They were specialized in religion, culture, rites and education. (ibid.) As we explained earlier in this chapter, however, the historical elements related to the character are only part of the composition of ju as a name of a pre-Ch’in school. In pre-Ch’in literature, ju frequently means simply a kind of job and the kind of people engaged in it. Originally, it had nothing to do with Confucius or Confucian ethics. We may summarize the possible content of ju in the Chou period in the following points:
 
a)   private teachers of traditional cultural practices in the form of family heritage;
b)   professionals assisting in the performance of various rites;
c)   private teachers of traditional cultural doctrines;
d)   literati;
e)   professional Yin-Yang players;
f)    literati in the Lu state specialized in performing rites;
g)   political thinkers advocating the signi?cance of rites and education for political stability;
h)   ?nally, those following and disseminating Confucian doctrines.
 
The term became popular only in the Warring-State period. Before gaining its regular use in the middle Han, it could refer to any member of the above list. The truth is that professional teachers and ritual performers were part of the Chinese cultural tradition beginning much earlier than the Confucian and continuing after the appearance of original Confucian doctrine. Later, because of Confucian cultural achievements in the Lu and Ch’i areas, Confucian followers became to a certain extent the main representatives of the traditional professionals. In some cases, ju kept its habitual reference to those people engaged in the these activities; in some cases, it especially refers to the literati clinging to Confucian thought. In the early Han, most literati could be called ju who were not necessarily genuinely Confucian followers. For example, many famous ju literati such as Lu Chia resembled more the pragmatic political debaters of the Warring-State. The modern historian Fu Ssu-nian emphasizes the professional nature of the ju, asserting that pre-Ch’in teachers with different intellectual inclinations could all be called ju-agents. (Cf. Fu Ssu-nien 1980, v. 1, 131) In general, the special and general reference of the word “ju “ is alternatively used depending on the context. As a matter of fact, the ambiguous use of the term continues to the middle Han, when Confucius was regarded as the authoritative father of the tradition. Nevertheless, Confucius only participated in the traditional profession of teaching, which itself has a much earlier origin. The point is that the essence of Confucian doctrine is not necessarily implied in this professional aspect. On the other hand, when professional factors were used for political purposes, the name of the great thinker Confucius was used in the same way. As synthetic conglomerations of the original Confucian texts and the pre-Ch’in pseudo-Confucian texts, the Han-Confucianist texts cover various ?elds such as self-training, teaching, the li system and li-performance, the family system, the art of governing, political wisdom, philosophy of life and cosmological divination. The transformation from one variant to another with the name of Confucius as the common originator re?ects the inclusion of several elements of the original texts in a new, historically shaped academic compound.
Therefore, it is advisable to keep these distinctions in mind during the following discussion of the formation of Han Confucianism:
 
• the historical identity of Confucius as a legendary ?gure;
• the teacher of the Analects;
• the text of the Analects;
• the historical identity of the legendary disciples of Confucius;
• other texts historically connected with Confucius;
• the cultural tradition of pre-Ch’in China;
• the historical professions concerning contemporary cultural activities;
• pre-Ch’in literati in traditional texts;
• pre-Ch’in literati in Confucian moral teaching.
 
All of these elements could be historically separated or combined in different contexts, although they have been extensively blended in Chinese historical descriptions.

[1] The post-Confucian thought of the Ch’in-Han period exhibits a developing consciousness of more pragmatic social aspects. Its increased practicability is partly based on a stronger intellectual habit of classi?cation. At the practical level, we ?nd a more utilitarian wisdom of arranging political and intellectual activities. In the purely intellectual realm, the classi?cation of subject matter is made more reasonable in texts compiling various sources. The books made in or traceable to this period were arranged according to the themes indicated in the chapter titles. In former times, the parts of a textual system were divided at random without any classi?catory arrangement. It is evident, however, that classi?cation was made on the basis of practical expediency. In general, the texts collected display a regard for realistic observations on social reality.
[2] The historical change in the meaning of the character “ju” is a controversial problem. In general, ju can refer to different objects in antiquity, including a profession, learned people and even the moral personality. It is important to point out that there are only two occurrences of the character in the two original Confucian texts. In the Analects, ju simply means “the learned people or the literati” (6:11); and in the Mencius there is only one appearance of the term (7B, 26, Legge v. 2, 491) referring to something similar to a “school” in contrast to the Yang-chu school which advocated social egoism. We can hardly conclude merely from a single sentence that Mencius uses it to refer to a Confucian school,” as Legge supposes. (ibid.)
[3] Chien Mu remarks that “it was only before the pre-Ch’in period that the distinction between ju, Taoism, Legalism, Mohism and others could be roughly made. After the Ch’in-Han period, those schools coalesced with each other, so that the strict distinction between them became impossible.” (Ch’ien Mu 1957, 103)
[4] Wang wrote a wonderful article about the constitution of ancient Chinese books on the basis of his close study of ancient texts and inscriptions. Some of his conclusions are based on the Classic Chou li, which itself is a text made in the Han and therefore cannot be used as reliable evidence. For example, he said, according to the Chou li, “the records of the use of silk paper date from the same time as those of the use of bamboo slips” (ibid.) Concerning the examination of early books, the problem is that we have no access to the original copies because of the poor technical conditions of writing, editing and publishing before the Sung. The archaeologist Li Chi asserts, “the transmission of the old books occurred by hand. Over more than one thousand years between the Chou and the Northern Sung, earlier hand-copied books were copied many times. There must be a great number of errors because of the change in character-sounds and false character-shapes.” (Li Chi (ed.) 1968, iii)
[5] The written text in the form of short prose came about quite late. Few records of its existence date from before the early Chou—if sentences on tortoise shells do not count as a “text.” A complete text should cover at least several sentences expressing a single “theme.” The ?rst con?rmable texts appear on inscriptions on unearthed utensils of the Western Chou.
[6] The character “ju,” like many other pre-Ch’in names, received its de?nite denotations only in the Han. In tracing back their semantic changes through the available historical literature, we meet with dif?culties because of insuf?cient documents. In addition, because of the changeable meaning of characters, it is precarious to try to de?ne an “original” or “central” meaning of a pre-Ch’in name, as many modern historians attempt.
 
 
3) Towards the Uni?ed Cultural World: The Identity of Pre-Ch’in Schools and the Formation of Han Texts
 
The political uni?cation of the Ch’in-Han period led to Chinese cultural uni?cation. The Chou dynasty laid the foundation of typical Chinese culture. The central Chou kingdom allowed for the development of a uni?ed cultural world. There was continuous cultural communication among various vassal states along with political interaction in such ?elds as language, written systems, poetry, music, dance, architecture, divination, historical records and ritual customs. During the last 400 years of the Spring-Autumn and the Warring-States periods, political and cultural communications became more and more frequent. In the last 200 years before the establishment of the ?rst Ch’in Empire, in the world of uni?ed social organizations and customs in various states, pre-Ch’in thought made great advances. Despite the political segregation of local powers, a uni?ed cultural world containing local focuses and styles was substantially shaped. The ?nal political uni?cation of China carried out by the Ch’in, however, brought together many localities through a series of coercive legal measures such as standardization of the written language and systems of traf?c and measurement, among others. The subsequent Han dynasty continued in this direction. A more comprehensively uni?ed cultural world thus came about on the basis of the uni?ed political world. Through the formation of the Han academic system, people learned more about the culture and thought preceding the Han. Modern readers have to rely on Han literature for their knowledge of the pre-Ch’in cultural and philosophical world. The Han was the period when the world of classical humanities scholarship ?rst appeared in China. The period between the late Chou and the early Han was decisive, for then the fragmentary scholarly records existing in various pre-Ch’in states were collected by the central government. The actual process of the formation of classical Chinese literature, however, has remained far from clear because of several military disasters and the poor preservation of ancient books.
It has been rumoured that the Ch’in emperor implemented a policy of destroying and prohibiting bamboo-tablet books during his short reign, and that later the rebel general Hsiang Yü burned the royal library when he attacked the palace. We cannot judge the seriousness of the results of these two disasters. The fact is that until the middle Han period Chinese written literature remained quite fragmentary and many classical texts existed only in crude material, such as bamboo tablets or silk cloth or in oral form alone. Before paper came into common usage in the late Han period, systematic editing of literature had already begun in the middle Han; and there was substantial progress in bookmaking everywhere in the Former Han, as Chinese society was becoming more stable and peaceful. Using modest instruments of writing and editing, bookmaking was a systematic project at both the local and the central level in the middle Han. The historical authenticity of the edited books or the textual collections of the time, however, cannot be clearly determined, for most of the original texts of the Han disappeared. What remained for future generations were only those manuscripts repeatedly copied over generations. We may now reconsider the problems of the origin and authenticity of the Han texts in addition to related historical descriptions. First, there is the problem of the combination of the pre-Ch’in origin and the rearrangement of the Han works despite the nominal index of the origins of the written and oral texts. Second, the additional dif?culty in judging the historical authenticity of the legendary Han books is due to the unavailability of the original Han texts apart from fragments.
 
1. The General Tendency of Chinese Thought from the Late Chou to the Ch’in-Han Period
 
Ch’in-Han political centralization completely changed the Chinese intellectual context. The interaction between political power and intellectual activity is one of the major considerations of the present discussion. Besides the political impact, there was an independent intellectual trend from the Warring-States period through to the end of the Han involving philosophical, political, social and scholarly aspects. We may call it a post-Confucian socio-cultural trend noted for its superstitious metaphysical tendency. Several of the main schools of thought in pre-Ch’in texts were humanitarian and empirical with little supernatural coloration, such as the Confucian, Taoist and Legalist discussed in our former volume. There is also a more prevalent social trend in connection with both customs and thought which was full of religious and quasi-religious superstition. Of these, the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements were the most in?uential. When the two ideas were brought together into a single theory by the famous scholar Tsou Yen in the Ch’i state, the result was the ?rst Chinese historical cosmology, which presented cosmology, the philosophy of history and politics in a superstitious way. This Warring-States thought laid the foundation for the theoretical framework of Han ideology and politics. We must mention this intellectual background because it comprehensively in?uenced China over ?ve or six hundred years and continued to play an active role in subsequent philosophical, religious and political thought. It composes a crude type of the Chinese historico-philosophical cosmology, presenting concrete means for promoting superstitious political activities. We shall elaborate it in more detail later.
Besides the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements, there were many other forms of superstitious social activities and ideas penetrating all ?elds of Chinese life. Many original natural and supernatural concepts such as Heaven, Earth and the stars became religious objects in essence and function. The point of the superstitious trend lay in the fact that these quasi-religious factors were regarded as agents involved in human affairs. Pre-Ch’in anthropocentric Confucian empiricism was replaced by a Heaven-centered determinism. Human reason was reduced to the fatalistic intellectual attitude of obeying and recognizing the signs of Heaven. The strong self-consciousness of Confucian and Taoist subjectivity was seriously threatened. In Later Han, despite the further development of Chinese humanities, superstition became even stronger, and there were many absurd habits taking the form of searching for heavenly signs in the natural and social world for the sake of solving human problems.
In the late Warring-States and Han times, scholarly thought became more synthetic in comparison with the earlier main schools, which themselves were not really homogeneous. During the great change from the Chou to the Ch’in-Han, newly formed schools such as those represented in the texts of the Hsün-tzu, the Spring-Autumn Annals of Lü Pu-wei and later the Hui-nan Tzu, the thought of many great scholars of the early Han such as Chia I, Lu Chia and others exhibited an obvious synthetic tendency. This tendency was connected with a more pragmatic political wisdom requiring eclectic ideas to form a feasible framework for practical reason. In distinction from those of other more homogeneous schools, the books of the late Chou and early Han synthetic schools were mere collections of articles, most of which were edited according to categories of practical use and subject matter rather than scholarly principles. The general trend of contemporary thought, which combined metaphysical, political, Confucian, Legalist and Taoist elements, was the consequence of the political movement and intellectual development of the late Chou period. This general trend constituted the intellectual condition for the further development of Han thought under new socio-political situations, in?uencing the orientation of the Han thought with its superstitious, eclectic, practicable and ideological traits.[1]
According to the reorganization of historical documents in the middle Han, the ju school was regarded as the leading one of the pre-Ch’in “Hundred Schools.” Confucius was taken as the founding father of the ju-school. In addition to the traditional royal classics, there appeared the separate academic world of the texts of individual authors and intellectual sects. On the whole, an entire world of books was shaped in Former Han.
 
2. The Identity of the Masters and Sects in Pre-Ch’in Learnings and Schools
 
With respect to the primitive academic world, we should rede?ne some traditional terms shared by modern scholars in order to avoid an anachronistic misunderstanding of the composition and function of the related texts. In pre-Ch’in times, there were two different periods of organizing cultural or academic activities: the earlier period by of?cials of the Chou dynasty and the later period by both of?cials and private literati. It has been said that Confucius began the second period when cultural activities such as study, ritual performance and participation in politics were partly undertaken by non-of?cials. The distinction between of?cially promoted and privately promoted cultural activities was crucially signi?cant for the development of Chinese thought and scholarship.
 
1) The Masters of the Pre-Ch’in Schools
 
The group guided by the Master Confucius and his main disciples formed a sect or school for cultural and quasi-political activities. The phenomenon resembled other groups of handworkers centered on masters and transmitting technical knowledge. In the initial stage, the difference of the two kinds of collective activities mainly lay in the content of the activities rather than in their organization. After the death of Confucius the school is supposed to have been divided into eight sects by Han Fei (Chu Tzu Chi Ch’eng, v. 5, 351). Regardless of the exact number of Confucian sects, the new groups must have formed around different individual disciples. One of the original meanings of “ju,[2] which was later used to refer especially to the Confucian school or the school of which Confucius is the generally accepted founder, was the social profession of performing and organizing rites, particularly funeral rites. Confucius himself was noted for his knowledge and art of the funeral rite when he was young. The master is the leader and organizer of the professional group. After the death of Confucius, some of his disciples continued the professional tradition in different places according to their knowledge of the original Confucian teaching about traditional culture. Despite the separate origins of “ju” as an ancient professional tendency and Confucian groups as historical collectives, the traditional ju groups commonly accepted Confucius as the founding father of their professional movement, just as the later Taoist religion accepted the legendary ?gure Lao Tzu as its founding father despite the obvious divergence between the thought of Lao Tzu and the content of the religious doctrine. Against this historical background, we can say that the organizational aspect of the original Confucian group as a sect was determined more by practical aspects of the tradition of a professional group than by ?xed doctrine. At that time, the content of the activities of a professional sect was more synthetic, including both intellectual and practical matters, but still lacking a scholarly program based on coherent principles.
As regards the activities of the Confucian group, according to legend, the six arts were the common subjects of teaching among the aristocracy. Poetry and historical records were collected by of?cers as material for general cultivation. Furthermore, rites and political activities were part of the tradition. In general, the content taught by Confucius was the cultural heritage traditionally existing in the community. Characteristic of Confucian teaching are its ethical principles and related attitudinal system in connection with these traditional contents. Thus, we can distinguish two separate aspects of the Confucian school: the cultural teaching, which was part of the common tradition, and the ethical doctrine, which contained the teaching of Confucius himself. How much the later Confucian sects insisted on clinging to the special ethical teaching is a different issue. During the Warring-States period, many ju-sects with Confucius as the common father continued their “professions” with varying focuses; the state of Lu, the homeland of Confucius, and the state of Ch’i were the centers for advanced cultural subjects. There were several different lineages of the Confucian professional tradition in various geographical sects. In any case, various sects shared a common cultural content. There is a distinction, however, between the original group and the later groups or social movements sharing the same legendary founder.
 
2) The Content of the Teaching Activity
 
In light of the above, we should once again make a distinction between the name of a sect, the name of its master, the practical content of its social activity and its legendary intellectual content. Because we can hardly make a real distinction between the actual and the legendary, we should avoid historiographical re?ection on the composition of the pre-Ch’in schools. As a rule, many later scholarly creations made use of earlier historical groups and the historical images, particularly those of the Han period, when the time was ripe for large-scale cultural activity.
Therefore, it is advisable to make a basic division between (A) the transmitted intellectual content and (B) historical sects as social and professional groups. We can trace back their respective lineages and the historical connection of A and B and discover a process of multiple fabrication. In any case, what we ?nd since the Han are by no means con?rmable historical facts. If so, a pre-Ch’in school, particularly the ju-school, should not be taken as a homogeneous entirety containing intellectual and historical aspects. The historically different compositions of the school should be constantly taken into account. Therefore, the individual story, the intellectual tendency, the nominally related written text and the organizational activities should be separately treated regardless of the descriptions originating in the Han dynasty.
 
3) The Composition of Pre-Ch’in Schools
 
According to the of?cial history book of Later Han organized by Pan Ku, a more reliable description holds that there were nine major intellectual “families” or schools in the Warring-States period. (Pan Ku 1962, 1728-1742) Besides the Confucian, Taoist, Mohist and Legalist, there were the Yin-Yang, the Name-Logic, the Military Tactical and the so-called synthetic. Pan Ku said that all schools came from the original of?ces of the Chou dynasty called “the royal of?ces” when the Chou became disorganized. Each school stressed its own speciality and appealed to the favor of the local rulers. (ibid, 1746) Many modern scholars tend to assume that the pre-Ch’in schools did not come from the Chou of?ces and did not have any of?cial lineage, as Han scholars supposed; instead, they had independent sources in Chinese intellectual life. Because the Han’s descriptions of the functions of of?cial Chou hierarchies were mostly the products of imagination, the authenticity of Pan’s descriptions about the link between the schools and royal of?ces is doubtful. On the other hand, modern scienti?c doubt about the link, which is more historiographical than semantic, could be an expression of confusion about the composition of the pre-Ch’in schools, regarding them as modern academic groups. If so, the criticism should be readjusted; and Pan’s description could are taken as partly correct. If the pre-Ch’in schools are more connected with professional and practical aspects, it can be seen that they had origins in the of?cial tradition. In the early Chou, most social and cultural activities, including rites, the collection of poems, historical record keeping, musical performance and dance, divination, political decisions, hunting and military activities, were conducted by of?cials in charge of these various functions. Later on, following the great social change of the late Chou, the thought which originated from these of?cial “?elds” could be conveyed to private persons. The thought, practical activities, performing groups, professional motives in a social ?eld could be gathered into a social compound called a “family,” a sect or school. What was passed on to subsequent generations should be separated from earlier compounds, which were more homogeneous in intellectual content.
The true historical formation of a school can be grasped through a hermeneutico-semiotic approach which contains two aspects. First, historically speaking, a cultural phenomenon (B) through a later stage is the synthetic result of several socio-cultural elements (A) from earlier stages. Second, the content of the former (B) can also be the speculative invention (C) of a later stage. In the present case, “C” is what the Han scholars thought about a pre-Ch’in school; B was an unknown historical analogue of C; and A was the assumed historical cause of B. In modern times, we are inclined to imagine A, B, C in terms of a similar modern concept D, such as “scholarly school.” In discussing historical topics through reference to historiographical texts, we must pay close attention to the possible distinctions between A, B, C and D.
For this reason, we shall differentiate between the transmitted intellectual contents and their substantial embodiment in historical activities. The former involves those gradually accepted, revised and rearranged in the course of time with its reconstruction of the intellectual process leading to an historical accumulation. The latter is another kind of social evolution containing various practical components. Despite links between the two processes, their typology is very changeable and complex. In addition, because of professional competition, various schools in later stages tended to fabricate their intellectual and social lineage in order to promote their historical and social privileges. This makes it dif?cult for modern scholars to discover the historical truth. The fabrications include the identities of the masters and disciples, their heritage, their intellectual and social compositions, their in?uences and their texts. The historical constitution of the texts and related historical ?gures are the dif?cult issue to be solved. Conscious and unconscious fabrication hamper the clear understanding of the identity of pre-Ch’in thought and its historical background.
The substantial existence of pre-Ch’in schools is also tied to the material form of intellectual communication. Owing to technical and economic dif?culties in employing written materials, the dissemination of thought largely occurred through oral and face-to-face contact. A master was not only the possessor of knowledge but also the keeper of written material. It was highly probable that most knowledge mainly existed in the master’s mind rather than in the written texts. This fact made the students’ reliance on the master practically necessary, just as apprentice artisans must rely on the oral and physical teaching of the master. This special form of master-disciple relationship practically determined the identity of a sect. In addition to motives of professional competition, the existence of an intellectual sect was also connected with the image of its lineage. The genuinely intellectual part of a sect was more limited than people imagine. In light of the above explanation, we should understand that the pre-Ch’in schools or families described by Pan Ku had different historical compositions and functions. The two largest schools—the Confucian and the Mohist—were comparable with each other with respect to their intellectual and social in?uence during the Warring-States period, although the latter lasted for a much shorter time despite its stricter organization.
On the whole, the composition of pre-Ch’in schools as a historical “whole” includes a variety of parameters such as the names of the school, its master and its famous disciples, professional activities, the legendary texts which were the classics of school doctrine and social and intellectual in?uences. A school or sect could be equivalent to an institutional school or the local ground for academic activities, such as the Lu school and the Ch’i school (chi-hsia). The former was the source of the Confucian school characteristic of its tradition about learning, music and ritual; the latter was organized and encouraged by the Ch’i king and gained a good reputation through promoting scholarly dialogue. The so-called Chi-hsia Academy of the Ch’i state was the most energetic scholarly center of that time. Late Chou academic history indicates the compositional heterogeneity of pre-Ch’in schools, including the various dimensions of social activity, cultural style and intellectual tendency.
 
4) The Interpenetration of the Pre-Ch’in Schools
 
The historical truth of a school is related to all of its possible parameters. The Confucian has the most complicated composition. Even its name is debatable, because the equation of the Confucian and the traditional profession called “ju” was made only in the latter Chou; while the ambiguous link was further upheld in the Han. The so-called “hundred” schools of the Warring-States period did not actually exist. Several “schools” widely overlapped in their intellectual content and social practice. For this reason, Hsiao Kung-ch’uan asserts, “the political thought of the different pre-Ch’in scholars mutually penetrated and hardly differed from each other.” (Hsiao 1965, 194). The indistinct identity of the schools and their interpenetration led to the synthetic tendency of thought in the late Chou and early Han times.[3] The situation was more obvious in political thought. Late Chou thought advocated a more synthetic strategy including both utilitarian (Legalist) and educational (Confucian) focuses, in addition to many other intellectual inclinations. Thus, there appeared much commonalty among various political thinkers. As Lü Ssu-mien points out, “the strengthening of the legal system and the promoting of education had been general opinions since the late Chou” (Lü, 1983, 100). Some content emphasized by earlier individual “schools” became generally accepted knowledge. The eclectic thought of the Han was also directly connected with the Ch’in’s local academic stress upon modern practical learning over against the “old” six arts of the early Chou. (Ch’ien Mu, in Ku (ed.) 1963, v. 5, 250) The latter were more symbolic than politically practical. Its short reign did not give the ?rst Ch’in empire the chance to carry out cultural reconstructions as in the second Han empire.
 
3. Early Period of Bookmaking in China
 
The identity of books in the Chou-Han period is connected with our understanding of the real situations of ancient learning, schools, and scholarly lineage. The poor conditions of the inscriptions, recordings and collections until the Sung, however, makes this understanding dif?cult. The identity of ancient books is closely tied to the conditions of writing system, writing instruments and paper equivalents. All related physical factors were linked with the original shape and function of the written texts. In general, pen and knife were commonly used, but it cannot be ascertained which form of writing was more popular as late as the Han (Cf. Wang Kuo-wei 1983, v. 9, 7) Bamboo slips and silk paper were also popular material for inscriptions, indeed, bamboo or wood slips were much more frequently used than silk paper. According to Wang, most books edited by the general editor of the royal academy, Liu Hsiang, were made with bamboo slips. (Wang 1983, v. 9, 10)[4]
Another problem involves the identity of the ancient texts. We should make a distinction between a text and a book. The latter is a long text made of several pieces of inscribed material. The difference in the number of the pieces of written material is connected with the function of the related text. One piece of writing material is called a “chien” (a slip of bamboo) and several chien form a “ts’e” (a bundle of bamboo slips). Later, a book was also simply called a “chien-ts’e,” just as a writing tool was called a “tao-pi” (“knife-pen” and writing material “chu-po” (“bamboo-silk-cloth.”) Originally, a text had many different practical roles other than the “scholarly.” It could be made of different materials and shapes, such as tortoise shell, animal bone, metal utensils, stone, wood and bamboo. Besides the common usage for recording, the of?cial communication of messages and orders were more important. We shall show later how texts as the mode of of?cial communication and texts as scholarly books largely overlapped in ancient times. Just as in the very beginning of Chinese civilization, there were writings recording events for practical purposes and writings for routine communication. The two functions long existed side by side. Then historical texts as the record of royal events and declarations or orders in political texts came about. When the accumulated texts were classi?ed for easier reading and reference, there arose the form of “books.”[5]
Despite the early origin of groups of written sentences in China, most of them were short and did not express a complete topic as a genuine functional text. The more intellectual use of longer texts or organized topics mainly existed in oral form, such as long declarations and poems, despite the fact that they also occurred in inscriptions. An interesting historical fact is that the intellectually expressed texts (such as poems) more existed in mind, while texts recorded for practical uses more existed in written form in the early Chou, when more elaborate Chinese culture began to emerge. In the later Chou, the number of written texts increased, but they were still largely of?cially produced and preserved because of technical conditions. Intellectual activity still did not rely on written texts conveying coherent thought.
 
4. The Semantic Composition of the Character “ju” Used in Han-Confucianism
 
Let us further examine the meaning of the pre-Ch’in Confucian school in more detail in order to emphasize the constitutive ambiguity of the crucial heading “ju.” Western readers meet with dif?culty in the original translation of the Chinese term “ju-hsüeh” (“the learning of the ju school”) by the term “Confucianism.” In the Chinese texts, these are two different expressions: Confucius’ or Confucian doctrine and the ju-Doctrine. The Western term “Confucianism” combines them according to a new interpretation ?xed in the Han which made all the doctrine and practice of the ju families equivalent to those of the Confucian tradition, regarding the legendary as the historical fact. Literally, only the expressions “ju-earning or doctrine” and “Confucius’ or Confucian Doctrine” occur in Chinese. Since the late Chou, ju has been bound up with Confucius or, more precisely, Confucius has been regarded as the father of the ju -school. Accordingly, the Western term “Confucianism” is a combination of two Han legends.
The discussion of the historical and etymological evolution of the character “ju” belongs to the study of the Chinese terms signifying historical entities such as groups, academic or intellectual movements and institutions. Because of a lack of necessary documents, it is almost impossible to recover the original traces of the cultural evolutions of these Chinese terms, including “ju.” We can and must, however, point out several different meanings of the term in its ancient uses. Traditionally, the term was ambiguously applied. Therefore, the etymological origin of the term is of little help. According to an ancient dictionary, ju primarily means “softness.” (Hsü Shen, 1986, 366). As we explained in the ?rst volume, a single character can refer to an abstract sense, a kind of people or a school in various contexts. In most cases, ju refers to persons engaged in different tasks in different periods.[6] According to The History of Han, ju originated in the royal of?ce of the early Chou of “helping the king in harmonizing the Yin-Yang movement and promoting cultivation.” (Pan Ku, 1962, 1728) According to Hu Shih, the character “ju” came from another character, “hsü”, which is part of the structure of the character ju. “hsü” means “having to wait.” It refers to those people who face dangerous situations and are courageous enough to withstand them. After a long endurance, they ?nally meet with the chance to improve their fate. (Hu Shih, 1935 v. 4, 22) The original ju-people were the descendants of priests of the earlier Shang Dynasty which was later replaced by the Chou. They were specialized in religion, culture, rites and education. (ibid.) As we explained earlier in this chapter, however, the historical elements related to the character are only part of the composition of ju as a name of a pre-Ch’in school. In pre-Ch’in literature, ju frequently means simply a kind of job and the kind of people engaged in it. Originally, it had nothing to do with Confucius or Confucian ethics. We may summarize the possible content of ju in the Chou period in the following points:
 
a)   private teachers of traditional cultural practices in the form of family heritage;
b)   professionals assisting in the performance of various rites;
c)   private teachers of traditional cultural doctrines;
d)   literati;
e)   professional Yin-Yang players;
f)    literati in the Lu state specialized in performing rites;
g)   political thinkers advocating the signi?cance of rites and education for political stability;
h)   ?nally, those following and disseminating Confucian doctrines.
 
The term became popular only in the Warring-State period. Before gaining its regular use in the middle Han, it could refer to any member of the above list. The truth is that professional teachers and ritual performers were part of the Chinese cultural tradition beginning much earlier than the Confucian and continuing after the appearance of original Confucian doctrine. Later, because of Confucian cultural achievements in the Lu and Ch’i areas, Confucian followers became to a certain extent the main representatives of the traditional professionals. In some cases, ju kept its habitual reference to those people engaged in the these activities; in some cases, it especially refers to the literati clinging to Confucian thought. In the early Han, most literati could be called ju who were not necessarily genuinely Confucian followers. For example, many famous ju literati such as Lu Chia resembled more the pragmatic political debaters of the Warring-State. The modern historian Fu Ssu-nian emphasizes the professional nature of the ju, asserting that pre-Ch’in teachers with different intellectual inclinations could all be called ju-agents. (Cf. Fu Ssu-nien 1980, v. 1, 131) In general, the special and general reference of the word “ju “ is alternatively used depending on the context. As a matter of fact, the ambiguous use of the term continues to the middle Han, when Confucius was regarded as the authoritative father of the tradition. Nevertheless, Confucius only participated in the traditional profession of teaching, which itself has a much earlier origin. The point is that the essence of Confucian doctrine is not necessarily implied in this professional aspect. On the other hand, when professional factors were used for political purposes, the name of the great thinker Confucius was used in the same way. As synthetic conglomerations of the original Confucian texts and the pre-Ch’in pseudo-Confucian texts, the Han-Confucianist texts cover various ?elds such as self-training, teaching, the li system and li-performance, the family system, the art of governing, political wisdom, philosophy of life and cosmological divination. The transformation from one variant to another with the name of Confucius as the common originator re?ects the inclusion of several elements of the original texts in a new, historically shaped academic compound.
Therefore, it is advisable to keep these distinctions in mind during the following discussion of the formation of Han Confucianism:
 
• the historical identity of Confucius as a legendary ?gure;
• the teacher of the Analects;
• the text of the Analects;
• the historical identity of the legendary disciples of Confucius;
• other texts historically connected with Confucius;
• the cultural tradition of pre-Ch’in China;
• the historical professions concerning contemporary cultural activities;
• pre-Ch’in literati in traditional texts;
• pre-Ch’in literati in Confucian moral teaching.
 
All of these elements could be historically separated or combined in different contexts, although they have been extensively blended in Chinese historical descriptions.

 
 

 

[1] The post-Confucian thought of the Ch’in-Han period exhibits a developing consciousness of more pragmatic social aspects. Its increased practicability is partly based on a stronger intellectual habit of classi?cation. At the practical level, we ?nd a more utilitarian wisdom of arranging political and intellectual activities. In the purely intellectual realm, the classi?cation of subject matter is made more reasonable in texts compiling various sources. The books made in or traceable to this period were arranged according to the themes indicated in the chapter titles. In former times, the parts of a textual system were divided at random without any classi?catory arrangement. It is evident, however, that classi?cation was made on the basis of practical expediency. In general, the texts collected display a regard for realistic observations on social reality.
[2] The historical change in the meaning of the character “ju” is a controversial problem. In general, ju can refer to different objects in antiquity, including a profession, learned people and even the moral personality. It is important to point out that there are only two occurrences of the character in the two original Confucian texts. In the Analects, ju simply means “the learned people or the literati” (6:11); and in the Mencius there is only one appearance of the term (7B, 26, Legge v. 2, 491) referring to something similar to a “school” in contrast to the Yang-chu school which advocated social egoism. We can hardly conclude merely from a single sentence that Mencius uses it to refer to a Confucian school,” as Legge supposes. (ibid.)
[3] Chien Mu remarks that “it was only before the pre-Ch’in period that the distinction between ju, Taoism, Legalism, Mohism and others could be roughly made. After the Ch’in-Han period, those schools coalesced with each other, so that the strict distinction between them became impossible.” (Ch’ien Mu 1957, 103)
[4] Wang wrote a wonderful article about the constitution of ancient Chinese books on the basis of his close study of ancient texts and inscriptions. Some of his conclusions are based on the Classic Chou li, which itself is a text made in the Han and therefore cannot be used as reliable evidence. For example, he said, according to the Chou li, “the records of the use of silk paper date from the same time as those of the use of bamboo slips” (ibid.) Concerning the examination of early books, the problem is that we have no access to the original copies because of the poor technical conditions of writing, editing and publishing before the Sung. The archaeologist Li Chi asserts, “the transmission of the old books occurred by hand. Over more than one thousand years between the Chou and the Northern Sung, earlier hand-copied books were copied many times. There must be a great number of errors because of the change in character-sounds and false character-shapes.” (Li Chi (ed.) 1968, iii)
[5] The written text in the form of short prose came about quite late. Few records of its existence date from before the early Chou—if sentences on tortoise shells do not count as a “text.” A complete text should cover at least several sentences expressing a single “theme.” The ?rst con?rmable texts appear on inscriptions on unearthed utensils of the Western Chou.
[6] The character “ju,” like many other pre-Ch’in names, received its de?nite denotations only in the Han. In tracing back their semantic changes through the available historical literature, we meet with dif?culties because of insuf?cient documents. In addition, because of the changeable meaning of characters, it is precarious to try to de?ne an “original” or “central” meaning of a pre-Ch’in name, as many modern historians attempt.
 
 
 
4) Superstitious Traditions: Heaven-Man Communication
 
In describing the composition of Han-Confucianist ideology, we should note its several intellectual sources. Besides the traditional academic constellation of the sacred classics: the words of the original kings, and the individual trends of pre-Ch’in thought, there existed a parallel stream of thought noted for its vulgar metaphysical traits. This theoretically shallow but pragmatically effective quasi-metaphysics linked to various superstitions contrasts with the reasonable empirical thought of the three main pre-Ch’in doctrines. In ancient Chinese culture, there are three different intellectual worlds: the historiographical culture of the written records of the imperial tradition; pre-Ch’in philosophical thought; and superstitions. The last has played a signi?cant role in Chinese political history. The superstitious tradition in China has two main sources: quasi-religious fashions and quasi-metaphysical thought. Both are connected with the ancient Chinese concern with supernatural forces.
 
1. Heaven and the Superstitious Tradition
 
At many points of our discussion, we have had to deal with the term “Heaven.” This imagistic operator plays various roles in different contexts. We must grasp it in view of its intellectual and historical function than its assumed philosophical implications.
 
1) Heaven as Supernatural Will
 
Since the remote past, the character “tien” (“Heaven”) has been representative of transcendent force controlling human fortune. In the course of history, its meaning changed with differing natural, religious and metaphysical focuses. The Shang imagined their actions and fortunes to be in?uenced by a supernatural force existing in the spatial zenith of Heaven. The constitution and nature of Heaven were not so important to them; they were only concerned with the empirical effects of the supernatural force on human affairs without regard for its religious or cosmological details. This original notion of Heaven as a quasi-religious superpower was prevalent in Chinese history, although Confucian thought adopted a more reasonable usage of the term.
 
2). The Typology of Chinese Superstition
 
Spiritually non-religious China has a rich tradition of superstition. The late Chou-Han period is especially noted for the close connection between superstitious practices and political behavior. After the Han, the superstitious elements in politics and academic thought decreased and the superstitious customs gradually shifted to secondary social realms, especially in folk religion. The late Chou-Han period is characterized by its rich superstitious faith and customs.
 
a) The typology of superstition
 
We can brie?y divide all superstitious activities and ideas in ancient China into the following four categories of social function:
 
i)      perceiving the opinions and intentions of Heaven as personal will or that of other supernatural forces in connection with human interests (decoding the heavenly message);
ii)     enabling decision-making through performing the chosen procedures (reaching a decision);
iii)     expressing wishes and complaints to Heaven, gods or ghosts in anticipation of supernatural bliss (praying for supernatural help);
iv)    theoretically constructing supernatural laws (following heavenly law).
 
All of these purposes of superstitious activity can be reduced to a general model of communication between the supernatural and the human realms with the aim of promoting the success of human beings in this world.
 

 
b) Heaven-Man Interaction
 
As we pointed out before, the focus of ancient Chinese superstitious imagination was directed towards this world rather than the beyond. Being concerned with the empirical effects of supernatural forces, the ancient Chinese mentality was active in imagining corresponding patterns between human wishes and conduct and heavenly intentions and forces. The reasonable development of the traditional superstition lay in the increased consciousness of the connection between wishes (for pleasure and against pain) and external determinative forces considered as supernatural, cosmological or metaphysical elements. The remarkable development of late-Chou superstition is expressed in category iv). It is primitively metaphysical because the cosmological and metaphysical systems of the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements were invented in order to underpin historical and political developments. Although in such theories the quasi-religious names have disappeared, the cosmological and metaphysical aspects are no less involved. The supernatural force of gods and spirits is replaced by the supernatural force of cosmological laws invented by the speculative imagination rather than deduced from positive observation. The originally religious term Heaven came to refer to the more reasonable Confucian Heaven; and the more superstitious theories of the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements in the late Chou-Han period were set in the more philosophical framework of the Sung. Nevertheless, what distinguishes the quasi-religious from the quasi-metaphysical is only the form of superstition: one is based on imaginary beings, the other on abstract laws. The latter is just as unfounded as the former despite its apparently logical formulation.
 
2. The Cosmological and Metaphysical Systems of the Late Chou-Han Period
 
Despite the paucity of original historical literature, this period is regarded as an era when a new superstitious culture evolved, with the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements as its theoretical framework. In fact, the two theoretical systems became the kernel of subsequent Chinese intellectual life, even after the ebb of Han superstition. During the period from the third century B.C. to the third century A.D., the two systems excercised a strong in?uence on political thought. They made an active the theoretical contribution to reconstructing Chinese political ideology. Before its further politicization in the late Chou, crude metaphysical thought prevailed ?rst in the Ch’i-state; the legendary founder of the theory was Tsou Yan.
 
1) Yin-Yang Thought
 
The original meanings of the characters Yin (“female” and “moon”) and Yang (“male” and “sun”) in pre-Ch’in historical literature were quite plain, having no supernatural implications. Later, they were put into mythical pairs in a system of correlating mankind and Heaven, providing a heuristic framework for cosmology and history. As opposite factors, they stand in complementary and contradictory relations, Yang being active and Yin being passive. Paralleling the two basic factors, a larger set of pairs was invented to describe the changing relations of binary oppositions. Natural and social movement are re?ected in the constant interplay of the two opposite forces. The principle soon became a part of the traditional I-ching system and the Five Elements theory. A more complicated theoretical system of cosmology and historical philosophy was also established. (Cf. Fung Yu-lan 1970, 499-504)
 
2) The Five Elements System
 
A more feasible theoretical system invented by Tsou Yan was based on the traditional metaphysical idea of the ?ve constitutive elements of the world: metal, wood, water, ?re and earth. The ?ve material elements became the basis of many other sets of ?ve elements, including the spiritual and ethical. The ?ve elements compose a dynamic system in which the elements exist in a sequence of superiority or circulation. Each element is overcome by the succeeding one in the circular sequence. The material elements are only symbols of the ?ve dynamic positions. The point of the system lies in the changing relations between the elements. Why there are only ?ve basic elements? The question may be answered with reference to the habitual mode of Chinese mentality than primitive physical observations. The ancient Chinese was inclined to use sketchy and intuitive modes of enumeration rather than logical categorization and classi?cation. Any number under 10 could be used to express a classi?catory framework. The number “?ve” was a rhetorical favorite. There are several elements which can be used to model natural and social phenomena. A system of multiple causes was created as a framework for the interpretation of cosmological and historical causality. The decision-making procedure could be modelled after this causal system.[1]
 
3) The Pattern of Historical Circulation
 
Among the many parallel systems of the Five Elements, the most important one is that of the Five Virtues. The ?ve elements and the ?ve virtues work at the same basic level. Tsou Yan’s theory is a type of historical philosophy; his Five Virtue doctrine explains the rule of political circulation on the basis of cosmological circulation. Virtue here designates not merely a human quality, but moreover cosmological parameters functioning in historical regularity. An element or a virtue has a position in a sequence or logic of succession. The historical succession of dynasties was described in a simple sequence model. The reason for the succession of dynasties lies in the cosmological and metaphysical order represented by the ?ve elements in combination with other symbolic systems, such as color, lineage, rites and costumes. When all the related systems of ?ve items are laid out and a diagram of the changing order formed, the historical dynasties are put into the cosmological and metaphysical model. The model itself was fabricated at random, while the cyclical history is based on pure fantasy. Non-existent dynasties and emperors were invented to ?ll out the model. Fascinated by the mythical number 5, the ancients created parallel systems and used alternative signifying systems to enrich their notion of historical change following cosmological law. Political power was ascribed through symbolic attributes of various kinds. The quasi-metaphysical symbolism was the theoretical framework justifying or undermining political regimes and their tools. Political power thus objecti?ed itself. Accordingly, the believers in or practitioners of such theory thought to know how to make better choices following objective law and heavenly intention. According to Ku Chieh-kang’s analysis, there are two main aims in Chou Yan’s historical theory. First, whoever has no fortune in the Five Virtues system can never become emperor; this maxim is directed towards the common people. Second, because of the regular rise and fall of the elements of virtue, the ruling family will change from time to time; this is directed towards the rulers. (Ku 1963, v. 5, 465) It is generally accepted that the theory itself intended to help stabilize the country from the perspective of both the ruler and the ruled; however, the theoretical tool was historically interpreted and employed at random in order to favor ambitious politicians. As a result, it became a deceptive means for political struggle. Unfortunately, the predominance of superstitious theory played a determinative ideological role in the formation of the ?rst empires. Applied to the historical ?eld, the theory of the Five Elements became a coarse, childish fantasy revealing the lack of socio-scienti?c observations in the ancient Chinese mentality. Its purely speculative character sharply contrasts with the empirical rationality of earlier Confucian thought. The ideological system of the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements and Legalist strategy are the two major reasons for the success of Chinese imperial expansionism. They delicately interacted during the historical formation of the Ch’in-Han empires.
 
4) The Development of Han Superstition
 
A typology of superstition in the Han reveals the following aspects:
 
– an increase in the number of the objects of sacri?cial offerings and worship, including objects of imperial and cosmological dei?cation and historical lineages and geographical symbols;
– the systematic fabrication of stories about the remote ancient rulers and cultural leaders;
– the development of witchcraft and sorcery;
– the development of augury: astrology, interpretation of dreams, watching the sky, reading physiognomy, reading tortoise shells and magical calculation;
– divination of natural calamities, a kind of prediction to be especially emphasized because of its role in the Han, for while apocryphal texts were doubted already by a few sober literati in the Han, reading the signs of calamities and strange phenomena played an important role until recently; (Cf. Li Han 1967, 147)[2]
– prediction through oracles and Confucianist apocrypha. Natural calamities were regarded as signs sent by Heaven referring to general human affairs, but ch’an-oracles were sent by Heaven for a special reason. They were more easily disputed by contrary facts. Apocrypha were unfounded expositions of classical texts for predicting socio-political events. Both styles are characterized by their concrete prediction of coming events. Although ch’an-oracles had a long pre-history, they became popular in the later Former Han. In the early Latter Han, ch’an-oracles, together with the interpretation of classical texts, were used to make political decisions. (Cf. Lü Ssu-mien 1983, 819-821) Ch’an-oracles and Wei-decoding were media for the direct communication between the human and the divine.[3]
 

 
3. The Utilitarian Background of the Communication between Heaven and Earth
 
Logically speaking, there are three positions in the Heaven-Man correspondence: the holder of power; the challenger; and the critic. It is widely recognized that Tsou Yan created the doctrine with the intention of restraining the kings or emperors, who would think their power to be controlled and supervised by Heaven. The power-holders were supposed to obey the moral order of Heaven, which presents itself to human beings through both general objective law and particular signi?ed intentions.
 
1) Restricting the Rulers
 
During the Han period, a strong faith existed in doctrines of the Five Virtues and Heaven-Man interactions. Almost every emperor of the Han was superstitious, having an awful respect for the heavenly restraints symbolized in the doctrine of disasters and the doctrine of bliss. These presented the positive or negative opinions of Heaven with respect to human power-holders. In reality, only weak-minded emperors were restricted by the unfounded symbolism. Stronger rulers such as the ?rst Ch’in emperor and the Han-Wu emperor carried out their brutalities without any hesitation in the face of possible heavenly punishment. Signs of natural disasters and bliss were interpreted at random and used to serve many purposes. Moral and tactical suggestions with respect to the signs of Heaven were raised arbitrarily as well. Thus, a number of absurd and superstitious debates prevailed in the Han courts with reference to the Heaven-Man correlation.
 
2) The Tool Used by the Rulers
 
The ruler’s belief in and respect for Heaven’s intentions did not guarantee better political behavior. It seems that fear of heavenly punishment was more relevant than belief in political morality. Actions were directly connected with the signs of Heaven rather than with political and social effects. Without heavenly signs or warnings, political wrongs could be disregarded. Because of illogically associated interpretations, con?rmation of the heavenly signs largely meant fabrication. This weakened the effects of moral warning. On the other hand, the power-holders made use of superstitious heuristics to bene?t themselves. Standing on the side of power, they were naturally inclined to believe and make others believe that they enjoyed a favorite position in the Five-Virtue system and therefore had the support of Heaven. To this end, they found useful signs and favorably interpreted them. In addition, they created many ideological works to enrich their interpretative technique, including changing the established systems of symbols in order to meet the logical demands of Heaven: e.g., the main color of the dynasty, the system of costumes, the calendar system and sacri?cial rites for ancestors. The rearrangement of symbolic systems was intended to foster respect for authority among the people. The direct effect of the doctrine was to strengthen the belief of the people in the regime. The doctrine of the Heaven-Human correlation supported the regime more than undermined it. Because of the inner weakness of logical reasoning in the doctrine, symbolic means could be manipulated to serve the aims of the power-holders.
 
3) The Tool Used by the Challengers
 
For rebels, the doctrine offered another use. The theory of historical circulation could be interpreted against the present rulers. For example, some signs could be read in favor of the rebellious side. Every victor could say that victory resulted from Heaven or its law in addition to moral criticism of the defeated rulers. A double strategy was used: Heaven’s new intention based on objective law and moral standards. The latter could be easily enumerated by anyone in a traditional society. Of course, the true causes of political victory lay in the clever use of Legalist tactics. The new rulers still required cosmological and ideological reasons in order to secure the people’s con?dence. Victory was supposed to occur in both the physical and mental worlds. A challenger tended to ?nd favorable signs for his side and unfavorable signs for his enemy.
 

 
4) Belief, Self-deception and Deception in the Doctrine of the Heaven-Man Correspondence
 
In the ancient Chinese pragmatic rationality, belief, deceit and self-deception were mixed together with separate functions in the same political practice. The three kinds of political function are required in order to handle different problems. Therefore, we can understand why a superstitious doctrine like that of the Heaven-Man correspondence could play such a lasting role in Chinese history. Belief is something which can support con?dence in one’s moral and factual superiority. It can easily be mixed with self-deception because weak reasoning and strong desire can make the false look like the true. Belief is only a mental state which can be formed in many ways. The quality of belief can only be de?ned by the degree of its intensity and ef?cacy. It has nothing to do with its scienti?c status. The difference between belief and deceit is determined by the degree of self-consciousness. It is a pragmatically oriented psychological state. In ancient times, it was often confused with self-deception and deceit. The confusion was mostly brought about through the strength of desires and ambitious impulses; customary patterns were habitually capable of transforming self-deception and deceit into self-con?dence. The doctrine of the Heaven-Man correspondence was one of the patterns used to form the necessary subjective states in political situations. When this doctrine was unmasked as a superstitious falsi?cation, another kind of deception was invented to play the same role.
 
5) The Relationship of Power to Superstition
 
The character of Chinese superstition is different from that of intellectual religion because of their different objectives. One is for the sake of humans, the other for the sake of God, although both are engaged in supernatural and super-empirical processes. Both are similar in their non-scienti?c tendencies, but differ in their concern with this life. In this sense, the Chinese mind has been called non-religious, its superstitious customs having been transmitted to modern times. The same functions of some superstitions have continued across the ages with content more consistent with empirical rationality, although the functions themselves remain super-empirical. Examples include invoking supernatural entities for gaining bene?ts and modern superstitious predictions.
Similarly, superstitions played a positive role in human empirical practice in connection with both the objective and subjective realms. In the Han, superstitions played both positive and negative roles in reference to the politico-ideological goals of the empire. The general pattern of Heaven-Man interaction has persisted until today, but the image and content of “Heaven” in this pattern has constantly changed. It includes the cosmos, the gods, universal truth or law and unknown force in general. All of them are supernatural forces in?uencing human political and individual fortune. The patterns of superstition and other processes have been closely connected with Chinese socio-political situations. The relationship between political power and superstitious patterns remains highly relevant to our understanding of the manipulation of superstition by power. The essence of Chinese superstition should be ?rst grasped at the strategical level of the operation of political power.
The superstitious trend of the late Chou and the Ch’in-Han periods formed the intellectual background of the imperial political machinery and its academic mechanisms.
The three-fold interaction between superstition, power and academic ideology is crucial for our present discussion.

 
 

 

[1] It is anthropologically interesting to compare the number-5 system and the number-6 system in the ancient Chinese mentality. Although the former predominated over the span of two thousand years, the latter was more popular in the pre-Ch’in period, especially in the Chou-Ch’in area. The predominance of the number-5 system is evidently linked with the general theory of the Five Elements. As graded frameworks of classi?cation, however, both systems carry out the same functions of generalizing, categorizing, classifying, sequencing, ordering, enumerating, centralizing and interconnecting.
[2] Most interpretations of politically signi?cant calamities were monotonously the same. The highly ?exible interpretations of the favorable or unfavorable attitude of Heaven towards human behavior offered psychological solace not easily disrupted by factual developments. In general, the policy-making of the Han was based on the interaction between Heaven and human being.
[3] The most in?uential function of ch’an-oracles was to decode who would become emperor. In divining Heaven’s intention about the candidate for emperor, there was a development from the decoding of the natural symbol carrying the message in the early Ch’in-Han to the decoding of the de?nite sign of concrete projects. “In the court of the Latter Han almost everything was decided through the arti?ce of ch’an-oracles.” (Cf. Lü Ssu-mien 1983, 823) Nevertheless, there remains the important, unsolved sociological question of the interaction between the empirical political tactics and the political superstition in the Han period.
 
 
 
5) Genealogical Fabrications and the Dei?cation of Lineages in the Late Chou-Han Period: The Establishment of Multi-Lineage Frameworks
 
In light of our discussions in the last chapter, we can say that the Chinese superstitious traditions have been secularly directed and even politically oriented. Superstitious practices and theories were closely linked to political manoeuvres of various kinds. Therefore, the function of Chinese superstition is far from being culturally insigni?cant. It played a substantial role in shaping the great despotic empires and their ideological systems.
The original belief in supernatural signs and oracles and the later elaborate idea of Heaven were due to the same practical need for solving problems in the face of an unknown force in decision-making. The leading question was how to more reasonably and successfully predict the future. This issue is closely tied with socio-political programs initiated in the Warring-States period. When political ambitions became greater in the late Chou and early Ch’in-Han periods, besides the Legalist empirical utilitarianism with its concrete political techniques, political power felt a need for a historical metaphysics providing expansionist programs with a spiritual support. Both the primitive practices for prediction and the scheme of historical evolution served the same need for improving the self-con?dence of political agents. Yin-Yang metaphysics and the historical Five-Elements philosophy collaborated with contemporary political expansionism. Ku Chieh-kang offers a marvelous analysis of these relations. (Cf. Ku 1930 v. 5, 405-552)
The essence of all political superstition lies in creating self-con?dence through securing a powerful objective authority. While in former times people relied more on the grace of a single supernatural power (Heaven) whose intention could only be approximated, now they envisioned a changeless pattern of political affairs. The crucial point in the theoretical fabrication is that people must believe someone or some family to be the chosen agent of the objective authority. The rest lies in inventing devices to accomplish the aim. Various superstitions were employed for political deception; supernatural power was represented by objective schemes. The individual will was replaced by an abstract scheme. The psychological effect of shaping and strengthening political power substantially enhanced Chinese political activity. As one of the largest expansionist movements in the world, Ch’in-Han imperialist process was linked to an effective ideological construction based on a quasi-metaphysical faith. Among all ideological efforts at shaping super-empirical, powerful and objective authoritative sources, the heavenly authorized lineage of political power was the most important and fundamental.
It is widely recognized that since the middle of the Warring-States period, political expansionism at both the intellectual and the social level was pervasive in China. For the ?rst time in its history, the notion of “greater China” (ta-chung-kuo) as a uni?ed state appeared. In feudal Chou times, with only a nominal central court existing, China was never uni?ed. There were only hundreds of “states” resembling tribal systems. When local political powers emerged in the late Spring-Autumn period, political, military and intellectual expansionism accelerated. The next historical period made unlimited expansion more feasible because of both historical and intellectual developments. In the Warring-States period, Chinese rulers were ?rst able to imagine the possibility of annexing other states and uniting the country. Tsou Yan’s theory came forth at that time, providing a theoretical foundation for political expansionism. The notion of the “Nine Great Divisions” of China was likewise fabricated on the basis of the old legend. (Cf. Ku Chieh-kang 1990, v. 1, 551; v. 2, 810-811) Under these circumstances, multiple genealogical origins of social and intellectual systems were formed and became the basis of Chinese ideological mentality and practice. The remote origins of the social and intellectual systems were glori?ed. The temporal origin became the most sacred notion and the temporal succession of heritage was traced out in order to de?ne the nation’s historical and geographical identity. Human beings were ideologically ?xed in the network of multiple lineages.
 
1. The Lineage of Blood-Ties or the Family
 
The feudal Chou system consisted of a hierarchy of clans with strict guidelines for the succession of the ruler. The network of clans or families at various hierarchical levels formed a patriarchal system. Local political zones were governed by relatives of the Chou emperors. Political connections all over the country were augmented through a network of blood relationship. The stability of the ruling system was further secured by a clearly de?ned procedure for the succession of patriarchal heads. The most important one was the priority of the eldest son determining succession at various family levels. The political lineage was ?rmly based on family lineage.
Although the patriarchal clan system at the political level gradually weakened after the Middle Chou it still existed at the family level. The family as the basic social unit was the elementary form embodying the tradition of blood lineage. A person existed in both horizontal and vertical systems of blood lineage and was politically and ideologically controlled by them. The vertical blood lineage was the imaginary reverse extension of family history. The individual existed in a system of blood lineage. Ancestors were elements of familial power and sacri?cial rites the symbolic means for enhancing the recognition and respect of familial lineage. Moreover, a temporal vertical system based on blood ties served social relationships. The system of ?lial piety was also based on blood lineage. Blood lineage as a biological model became the physical archetype of other ideological lineages. The imperial lineage was a combination of biological lineage and that of the transition of power.
 
2. Political Genealogy: The Imperial Lineage
 
1) The Genealogical Ideology of the Imperial Lineage during the Pre-Ch’in Imperialist Movement
 
It is perhaps due to the weakness of the early mythical imagination that there were not many historical signs of a long or uni?ed lineage in antiquity. The length and uni?cation of the Chinese imperial lineage was fabricated much later in the Warring-States period. Spatial expansionism occurred at the same time as an imaginary temporal expansionism. Geographically, political power attempted to spread as far as possible; historically, it searched for the same unlimited extension. Thus, Ku Chieh-Kang asserts, “the later the history, the earlier its historical origins were set.” (Ku 1988 v. 1, 102 ) Only after the actual political expansionism was the expansionist imagination actively stimulated at both the temporal and the spatial axis. More and more remote kings were invented, such as the “three kings” and the “?ve emperors” held to be the original rulers of the Chinese nation. These so-called original rulers, who have been shown by modern scholars to be historical ?ctions, were widely taken as historically existent. [1] With their free imagination, the Chou-Han people were inclined to invent historical ?gures to augment the historical picture of China. When the Five-Virtue doctrine appeared, the legendary rulers were placed in an order of succession used as the system of rites by contemporary rulers. Both ancient legendary and actual contemporary rulers were organized into a uni?ed cosmological and metaphysical scheme for the succession of political power. There then emerged a notion of the orthodox justi?cation of Chinese rulers.
It is interesting to note that, despite political vicissitudes, the orthodox lineage of Chinese political powers has been directly or indirectly accepted by the Chinese people until today. Political power has come to exist in an “authoritatively” established temporal sequence composing the essence or soul of a nation. China as a nation is embodied in its succession of power. The authority and authenticity of the political lineage constitute the theoretical basis of the transmission of power. The temporal dimension and the orderly succession of power have been generally accepted and respected. Thus, the Chinese consciousness of power has assumed a genealogical mode, and Chinese historical rulers have inclined to believe in and advocate it. For this reason, the pragmatic Chinese ideology could make a new dynasty accept a double standard, according to which the immediately preceding dynasty was its moral enemy as well as its authoritative predecessor. The absurd two-fold (both negative and positive) relationship of the new ruler to the old one was an effectively secured political continuity. Because there were no concrete rules for judging the legality of succession, however, anyone could make his own choices following any motive. There were many cases of individual rulers being killed in Chinese history, but the historical lineage remained unchanged. On the whole, in China there has existed a universally accepted orthodox lineage of the transmission of power, although the individual carriers of the lineage or occupants of posts could be replaced. The sel?sh ambitions of rebellious subjects could be ful?lled through the same historico-ideological model.[2]
 
2) Rules for the Transition of Power
 
Among several systems of sacred lineages, the imperial one is the most important, for it was the locus of political power and its justi?cation. It is clear that stories about the original Chinese rulers or kings were later fabrications. Although the names “huang” or “ti” (emperor) may have appeared in earlier legends, they initially had merely mythical senses. (Cf. T’ung Shu-yie, in: Ku 1963 v. 7, 2) Ku adds, “Because of the lack of historiographical consciousness in antiquity, the available historical materials are too limited.” (ibid., 3) The historical inclination of the Chinese mentality in creating political lineages led to the constant invention of the imperial origin in primitive religious terms.
Following the Lao Tzu and the Book of Changes, a quasi-metaphysical construction was frequently undertaken. The Chinese mentality employed a formalist rationality in its cosmological and social schemes. There was a vertical hierarchy of notions based on the Yin-Yang system, the highest of which is called the “one” or the “extreme.” The system of the Changes gave the thought clear expression through organized diagrams. In this dynamic scheme, however, no logical connections exist between elements. There is only an arti?cial genealogical relation. The apparently rational hierarchy resembles a genealogical system which functions like other lineage systems. Thus, an abstract lineage of notions was taken as the source of other lineages.
In view of the above, we shall stress the point that scheme of the transition of power was highly pragmatic utility and could be employed by any candidate for power, especially when the notion was mixed with nationalism. The genealogical scheme composed the physical substratum of national identity. Although the concrete scheme of Tsou Yan was abandoned soon after the Han because of its obvious absurdity, it helped strengthen the pragmatic utility of the orthodox lineage.
 
3. The Cultural and Spiritual Tradition: The Lineage of Indoctrination
 
In combination with the construction of the lineage of power, there was a constant attempt to devise other schemes of the transition of the national spirit and its cultural manifestations. In Chinese history, power and culture have always formed a dynamic unity. Regarding the identity of the cultural and spiritual lineage, there was a distinction between their creation and their transmission. While the former is more legendary, the latter is more factual and can be a representative of the former. The lineage of teaching is the concrete carrier of the spiritual and cultural lineage. Learning and teaching are related to the origin of the lineage of the power-holders. In China, learning and teaching are especially linked to the system of power. There is the Tao of learning and the Tao of teaching.
Ku Chieh-kang says, “The Tao-lineage is an ethical idol. Because of the theory of the Tao-lineage, many famous ancient ?gures seem to have come out of the same model, becoming one group and supporting each other. They think ‘Heaven is unchanged, so Tao is unchanged.’ Any sage from the group can obtain the entire truth of the unchanged Tao.” (Ku 1963, v. 4, 9) Again, he says that “…they make the disciples believe that the old sages shared the same thought, an unchanged doctrine which is absolutely not allowed to be doubted—otherwise, they must be suppressed.” (ibid., 10)
The lineages of virtue, the Tao and moral teaching are the same thing. The content and objective of traditional teaching were mainly about imperial virtues and the moral Tao; and the lineage of teachers overlapped with that of the moral Tao. The importance of moral teaching lay in the systematic dissemination of moral knowledge: the lineage of teaching promoted morality. Parallel to the lineage of political power-holders was that of moral or spiritual power-holders. On the whole, there was a two-fold system of lineage: the substantial and the spiritual, or the lineage of politics and that of the Tao. Both material and spiritual powers have parallel transitional lines which converged in the foundation of traditional Chinese ideology.
The glori?cation of moral teachers was a function of despotic ideology. According to the despotic ideology of the Han, the pedagogical lineage paralleled the imperial one; both were worldly embodiments of Heaven-Tao. Tao as a cyclical genealogy and a linear descent was represented in various ways, particularly in the imperial system and its spiritual foundation. The teacher or the Confucianist teacher was a technician responsible for conveying knowledge of and enabling faith in the Heaven-Man Tao. The emphasis on the spiritual foundation of the despotic regime meant that the teacher was highly valued. The lineage of the teachers over generations also corresponded to the general Tao-lineage, for the ?rst task of the teacher was to teach people to believe in the Tao-lineage.
 
4. The Genealogical Logic: The Lineage of the Chinese Tao and the Dei?cation of the Temporal Hierarchy of Power
 
The cosmological genealogy is the objective and theoretical foundation of all Chinese lineages. It provided Chinese politics and scholarship with a quasi-metaphysical basis. The ancient Chinese metaphysical imagination focused on practical aspects: political power and the scholarship supporting the power. The original attempt to reconstruct imperial origins was further systematized though the historical scheme of the circulation of the Five Virtues, as we pointed out in the last chapter. The historical doctrine was an effective manifestation of the ideology of power in the late-Chou imperialist movement and it played a substantial role in the establishment of the ?rst empires.
The ancient Chinese mentality required a diachronical sequence to augment the signi?cance of the objects worshipped. The temporal connection was originally derived from the sacri?ce to the ancestors who were dei?ed and taken as resources for the living. Power is dei?ed by putting it into a sacred diachronic sequence and ?xing its hierarchical position. According to Thou Yan’s theory, the human world unfolds in the spatial cosmos, which follows a circular genealogy. By contrast, there is a linear evolution along the temporal pole of history. Thus, there are two logics of evolution: the circular genealogy and the linear sequence. Both logics are objective and supernatural. In view of this ideological tradition, we can understand why historical determinism or fatalism was always accepted in Chinese history.
The national consciousness of multiple lineages is connected with the pattern of Heaven-Man correspondence, indicating a longing for objective authority. The true purpose of the ideology of lineage is to increase the logical authority of the present power. The historical lineages were regarded as the diachronic projections of the metaphysical Tao in later Chinese philosophy. The theories of the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements were used to form the framework of a universal Tao or law for human life concretely realized and represented in the network of lineages. The Chinese ideology of multiple lineages is the basis of Chinese nationalism. The essential point of a lineage is to indicate the logically authoritative sequence of its members. Recognition of lineage is also a logical precondition for the authoritative guarantee of a member’s status in its historical existence. There is ?rst a general scheme and second the question of how to enter this scheme. Both occupy different pragmatic levels.
The above descriptions of the Chinese ideology of multiple lineages are closely tied to our understanding of the socio-cultural background of Han-Confucianist ideology, which was centered on national academic reconstruction. Han academic ideology resulted from the pragmatic interaction of the imperial cultural tradition, the late Chou ideological movement, the pre-Ch’in Legalist political tradition and pre-Ch’in ethical thought. Ideological manipulation interweaves the structure of cultural and academic life with that of the dynamics of power.

 
 

 

[1] The images of the original ancestors are linked to the reconstruction of the historical mechanism of power. There are images of the temporal system of power.
[2] Despite their once inimical relations, different dynasties liked to share the same orthodox lineage. In his criticism of the political orthodoxy, Liang Ch’i-ch’ao points out that in Chinese history there were six criteria for determining the orthodox identity of political regimes: the size of the annexed land (the larger, the more orthodox); the length of occupying the throne (the longer, the more othodox); blood connections (the ruler of the later dynasty belonged to the clan of the former dynasty); the occupation of the same capital city; the successive connection between the former and later dynasties; and the ruler’s belonging to the Chinese nation. He adds that these criteria are evidently contradictory in the historical documents. (Liang 1984, 27)
 
 
 
5) Genealogical Fabrications and the Dei?cation of Lineages in the Late Chou-Han Period: The Establishment of Multi-Lineage Frameworks
 
In light of our discussions in the last chapter, we can say that the Chinese superstitious traditions have been secularly directed and even politically oriented. Superstitious practices and theories were closely linked to political manoeuvres of various kinds. Therefore, the function of Chinese superstition is far from being culturally insigni?cant. It played a substantial role in shaping the great despotic empires and their ideological systems.
The original belief in supernatural signs and oracles and the later elaborate idea of Heaven were due to the same practical need for solving problems in the face of an unknown force in decision-making. The leading question was how to more reasonably and successfully predict the future. This issue is closely tied with socio-political programs initiated in the Warring-States period. When political ambitions became greater in the late Chou and early Ch’in-Han periods, besides the Legalist empirical utilitarianism with its concrete political techniques, political power felt a need for a historical metaphysics providing expansionist programs with a spiritual support. Both the primitive practices for prediction and the scheme of historical evolution served the same need for improving the self-con?dence of political agents. Yin-Yang metaphysics and the historical Five-Elements philosophy collaborated with contemporary political expansionism. Ku Chieh-kang offers a marvelous analysis of these relations. (Cf. Ku 1930 v. 5, 405-552)
The essence of all political superstition lies in creating self-con?dence through securing a powerful objective authority. While in former times people relied more on the grace of a single supernatural power (Heaven) whose intention could only be approximated, now they envisioned a changeless pattern of political affairs. The crucial point in the theoretical fabrication is that people must believe someone or some family to be the chosen agent of the objective authority. The rest lies in inventing devices to accomplish the aim. Various superstitions were employed for political deception; supernatural power was represented by objective schemes. The individual will was replaced by an abstract scheme. The psychological effect of shaping and strengthening political power substantially enhanced Chinese political activity. As one of the largest expansionist movements in the world, Ch’in-Han imperialist process was linked to an effective ideological construction based on a quasi-metaphysical faith. Among all ideological efforts at shaping super-empirical, powerful and objective authoritative sources, the heavenly authorized lineage of political power was the most important and fundamental.
It is widely recognized that since the middle of the Warring-States period, political expansionism at both the intellectual and the social level was pervasive in China. For the ?rst time in its history, the notion of “greater China” (ta-chung-kuo) as a uni?ed state appeared. In feudal Chou times, with only a nominal central court existing, China was never uni?ed. There were only hundreds of “states” resembling tribal systems. When local political powers emerged in the late Spring-Autumn period, political, military and intellectual expansionism accelerated. The next historical period made unlimited expansion more feasible because of both historical and intellectual developments. In the Warring-States period, Chinese rulers were ?rst able to imagine the possibility of annexing other states and uniting the country. Tsou Yan’s theory came forth at that time, providing a theoretical foundation for political expansionism. The notion of the “Nine Great Divisions” of China was likewise fabricated on the basis of the old legend. (Cf. Ku Chieh-kang 1990, v. 1, 551; v. 2, 810-811) Under these circumstances, multiple genealogical origins of social and intellectual systems were formed and became the basis of Chinese ideological mentality and practice. The remote origins of the social and intellectual systems were glori?ed. The temporal origin became the most sacred notion and the temporal succession of heritage was traced out in order to de?ne the nation’s historical and geographical identity. Human beings were ideologically ?xed in the network of multiple lineages.
 
1. The Lineage of Blood-Ties or the Family
 
The feudal Chou system consisted of a hierarchy of clans with strict guidelines for the succession of the ruler. The network of clans or families at various hierarchical levels formed a patriarchal system. Local political zones were governed by relatives of the Chou emperors. Political connections all over the country were augmented through a network of blood relationship. The stability of the ruling system was further secured by a clearly de?ned procedure for the succession of patriarchal heads. The most important one was the priority of the eldest son determining succession at various family levels. The political lineage was ?rmly based on family lineage.
Although the patriarchal clan system at the political level gradually weakened after the Middle Chou it still existed at the family level. The family as the basic social unit was the elementary form embodying the tradition of blood lineage. A person existed in both horizontal and vertical systems of blood lineage and was politically and ideologically controlled by them. The vertical blood lineage was the imaginary reverse extension of family history. The individual existed in a system of blood lineage. Ancestors were elements of familial power and sacri?cial rites the symbolic means for enhancing the recognition and respect of familial lineage. Moreover, a temporal vertical system based on blood ties served social relationships. The system of ?lial piety was also based on blood lineage. Blood lineage as a biological model became the physical archetype of other ideological lineages. The imperial lineage was a combination of biological lineage and that of the transition of power.
 
2. Political Genealogy: The Imperial Lineage
 
1) The Genealogical Ideology of the Imperial Lineage during the Pre-Ch’in Imperialist Movement
 
It is perhaps due to the weakness of the early mythical imagination that there were not many historical signs of a long or uni?ed lineage in antiquity. The length and uni?cation of the Chinese imperial lineage was fabricated much later in the Warring-States period. Spatial expansionism occurred at the same time as an imaginary temporal expansionism. Geographically, political power attempted to spread as far as possible; historically, it searched for the same unlimited extension. Thus, Ku Chieh-Kang asserts, “the later the history, the earlier its historical origins were set.” (Ku 1988 v. 1, 102 ) Only after the actual political expansionism was the expansionist imagination actively stimulated at both the temporal and the spatial axis. More and more remote kings were invented, such as the “three kings” and the “?ve emperors” held to be the original rulers of the Chinese nation. These so-called original rulers, who have been shown by modern scholars to be historical ?ctions, were widely taken as historically existent. [1] With their free imagination, the Chou-Han people were inclined to invent historical ?gures to augment the historical picture of China. When the Five-Virtue doctrine appeared, the legendary rulers were placed in an order of succession used as the system of rites by contemporary rulers. Both ancient legendary and actual contemporary rulers were organized into a uni?ed cosmological and metaphysical scheme for the succession of political power. There then emerged a notion of the orthodox justi?cation of Chinese rulers.
It is interesting to note that, despite political vicissitudes, the orthodox lineage of Chinese political powers has been directly or indirectly accepted by the Chinese people until today. Political power has come to exist in an “authoritatively” established temporal sequence composing the essence or soul of a nation. China as a nation is embodied in its succession of power. The authority and authenticity of the political lineage constitute the theoretical basis of the transmission of power. The temporal dimension and the orderly succession of power have been generally accepted and respected. Thus, the Chinese consciousness of power has assumed a genealogical mode, and Chinese historical rulers have inclined to believe in and advocate it. For this reason, the pragmatic Chinese ideology could make a new dynasty accept a double standard, according to which the immediately preceding dynasty was its moral enemy as well as its authoritative predecessor. The absurd two-fold (both negative and positive) relationship of the new ruler to the old one was an effectively secured political continuity. Because there were no concrete rules for judging the legality of succession, however, anyone could make his own choices following any motive. There were many cases of individual rulers being killed in Chinese history, but the historical lineage remained unchanged. On the whole, in China there has existed a universally accepted orthodox lineage of the transmission of power, although the individual carriers of the lineage or occupants of posts could be replaced. The sel?sh ambitions of rebellious subjects could be ful?lled through the same historico-ideological model.[2]
 
2) Rules for the Transition of Power
 
Among several systems of sacred lineages, the imperial one is the most important, for it was the locus of political power and its justi?cation. It is clear that stories about the original Chinese rulers or kings were later fabrications. Although the names “huang” or “ti” (emperor) may have appeared in earlier legends, they initially had merely mythical senses. (Cf. T’ung Shu-yie, in: Ku 1963 v. 7, 2) Ku adds, “Because of the lack of historiographical consciousness in antiquity, the available historical materials are too limited.” (ibid., 3) The historical inclination of the Chinese mentality in creating political lineages led to the constant invention of the imperial origin in primitive religious terms.
Following the Lao Tzu and the Book of Changes, a quasi-metaphysical construction was frequently undertaken. The Chinese mentality employed a formalist rationality in its cosmological and social schemes. There was a vertical hierarchy of notions based on the Yin-Yang system, the highest of which is called the “one” or the “extreme.” The system of the Changes gave the thought clear expression through organized diagrams. In this dynamic scheme, however, no logical connections exist between elements. There is only an arti?cial genealogical relation. The apparently rational hierarchy resembles a genealogical system which functions like other lineage systems. Thus, an abstract lineage of notions was taken as the source of other lineages.
In view of the above, we shall stress the point that scheme of the transition of power was highly pragmatic utility and could be employed by any candidate for power, especially when the notion was mixed with nationalism. The genealogical scheme composed the physical substratum of national identity. Although the concrete scheme of Tsou Yan was abandoned soon after the Han because of its obvious absurdity, it helped strengthen the pragmatic utility of the orthodox lineage.
 
3. The Cultural and Spiritual Tradition: The Lineage of Indoctrination
 
In combination with the construction of the lineage of power, there was a constant attempt to devise other schemes of the transition of the national spirit and its cultural manifestations. In Chinese history, power and culture have always formed a dynamic unity. Regarding the identity of the cultural and spiritual lineage, there was a distinction between their creation and their transmission. While the former is more legendary, the latter is more factual and can be a representative of the former. The lineage of teaching is the concrete carrier of the spiritual and cultural lineage. Learning and teaching are related to the origin of the lineage of the power-holders. In China, learning and teaching are especially linked to the system of power. There is the Tao of learning and the Tao of teaching.
Ku Chieh-kang says, “The Tao-lineage is an ethical idol. Because of the theory of the Tao-lineage, many famous ancient ?gures seem to have come out of the same model, becoming one group and supporting each other. They think ‘Heaven is unchanged, so Tao is unchanged.’ Any sage from the group can obtain the entire truth of the unchanged Tao.” (Ku 1963, v. 4, 9) Again, he says that “…they make the disciples believe that the old sages shared the same thought, an unchanged doctrine which is absolutely not allowed to be doubted—otherwise, they must be suppressed.” (ibid., 10)
The lineages of virtue, the Tao and moral teaching are the same thing. The content and objective of traditional teaching were mainly about imperial virtues and the moral Tao; and the lineage of teachers overlapped with that of the moral Tao. The importance of moral teaching lay in the systematic dissemination of moral knowledge: the lineage of teaching promoted morality. Parallel to the lineage of political power-holders was that of moral or spiritual power-holders. On the whole, there was a two-fold system of lineage: the substantial and the spiritual, or the lineage of politics and that of the Tao. Both material and spiritual powers have parallel transitional lines which converged in the foundation of traditional Chinese ideology.
The glori?cation of moral teachers was a function of despotic ideology. According to the despotic ideology of the Han, the pedagogical lineage paralleled the imperial one; both were worldly embodiments of Heaven-Tao. Tao as a cyclical genealogy and a linear descent was represented in various ways, particularly in the imperial system and its spiritual foundation. The teacher or the Confucianist teacher was a technician responsible for conveying knowledge of and enabling faith in the Heaven-Man Tao. The emphasis on the spiritual foundation of the despotic regime meant that the teacher was highly valued. The lineage of the teachers over generations also corresponded to the general Tao-lineage, for the ?rst task of the teacher was to teach people to believe in the Tao-lineage.
 
4. The Genealogical Logic: The Lineage of the Chinese Tao and the Dei?cation of the Temporal Hierarchy of Power
 
The cosmological genealogy is the objective and theoretical foundation of all Chinese lineages. It provided Chinese politics and scholarship with a quasi-metaphysical basis. The ancient Chinese metaphysical imagination focused on practical aspects: political power and the scholarship supporting the power. The original attempt to reconstruct imperial origins was further systematized though the historical scheme of the circulation of the Five Virtues, as we pointed out in the last chapter. The historical doctrine was an effective manifestation of the ideology of power in the late-Chou imperialist movement and it played a substantial role in the establishment of the ?rst empires.
The ancient Chinese mentality required a diachronical sequence to augment the signi?cance of the objects worshipped. The temporal connection was originally derived from the sacri?ce to the ancestors who were dei?ed and taken as resources for the living. Power is dei?ed by putting it into a sacred diachronic sequence and ?xing its hierarchical position. According to Thou Yan’s theory, the human world unfolds in the spatial cosmos, which follows a circular genealogy. By contrast, there is a linear evolution along the temporal pole of history. Thus, there are two logics of evolution: the circular genealogy and the linear sequence. Both logics are objective and supernatural. In view of this ideological tradition, we can understand why historical determinism or fatalism was always accepted in Chinese history.
The national consciousness of multiple lineages is connected with the pattern of Heaven-Man correspondence, indicating a longing for objective authority. The true purpose of the ideology of lineage is to increase the logical authority of the present power. The historical lineages were regarded as the diachronic projections of the metaphysical Tao in later Chinese philosophy. The theories of the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements were used to form the framework of a universal Tao or law for human life concretely realized and represented in the network of lineages. The Chinese ideology of multiple lineages is the basis of Chinese nationalism. The essential point of a lineage is to indicate the logically authoritative sequence of its members. Recognition of lineage is also a logical precondition for the authoritative guarantee of a member’s status in its historical existence. There is ?rst a general scheme and second the question of how to enter this scheme. Both occupy different pragmatic levels.
The above descriptions of the Chinese ideology of multiple lineages are closely tied to our understanding of the socio-cultural background of Han-Confucianist ideology, which was centered on national academic reconstruction. Han academic ideology resulted from the pragmatic interaction of the imperial cultural tradition, the late Chou ideological movement, the pre-Ch’in Legalist political tradition and pre-Ch’in ethical thought. Ideological manipulation interweaves the structure of cultural and academic life with that of the dynamics of power.

 
 

 

[1] The images of the original ancestors are linked to the reconstruction of the historical mechanism of power. There are images of the temporal system of power.
[2] Despite their once inimical relations, different dynasties liked to share the same orthodox lineage. In his criticism of the political orthodoxy, Liang Ch’i-ch’ao points out that in Chinese history there were six criteria for determining the orthodox identity of political regimes: the size of the annexed land (the larger, the more orthodox); the length of occupying the throne (the longer, the more othodox); blood connections (the ruler of the later dynasty belonged to the clan of the former dynasty); the occupation of the same capital city; the successive connection between the former and later dynasties; and the ruler’s belonging to the Chinese nation. He adds that these criteria are evidently contradictory in the historical documents. (Liang 1984, 27)
 
 
(7) The Establishment of Han-Confucianism
 
In distinction from Confucian thought and the ju school, Confucianism or Han-Confucianism or the Han-ju system is a socio-cultural compound. As Michael Loewe points out, “Under the general term Confucianism, it is necessary to distinguish at least two basic types of thought. First there were the precepts of Confucius and his immediate followers….In the second place, some Han thinkers developed a more comprehensive system of philosophy which embraced cosmological ideas along with the ethics of Confucius, and provided a place for the exercise of imperial sovereignty. This is sometimes known as ‘Han Confucianism’.” (Denis Twitchett and John Fairbank (ed.) v. 1, 652) This is an important and correct observation. Many modern Chinese scholars pay similar attention to the distinction between pre-Ch’in Confucian thought and Han-Confucianism. In our present analysis, we shall describe the transformation of the pre-Ch’in Confucian or ju-school into Han Confucianism. Besides the distinction between two different intellectual tendencies, there is also a distinction in the compositional identities of the two historico-cultural phenomena. In contrast to Confucian ethical thought and the Confucian school as a socio-cultural trend, Han-Confucianism was a synthetic conglomeration containing several systematically organized socio-cultural dimensions. The distinction and the link between the three historical phenomena sharing the name of Confucius should be pointed out before we explicate the establishment of Han-Confucianism.
 
1. The Strategy in Analyzing the Han-Confucianist Movement
 
Regarding the establishment of Confucianism in the Han dynasty, besides the historical background and the four levels of Confucianist operation described in the last chapter, there are three other aspects to be distinguished in the process; 1) immediate socio-political factors and causes of the movement; 2) the ideological conditions of the movement and 3) the academic result of the movement. These three aspects with their different causal nets were sociologically mixed in the same historical process. The constitutional heterogeneity of the movement meant that they were connected with political policies, the ideological utility of the classical texts and their scholarly accumulations. All such aspects are contained in the same formative process of Han “ju-learning” (ju-hsüeh). The Han-Confucianist movement includes political strategy, the institutionalization of classical learning and scholarly techniques, each of which has different dynamic and historical consequence. Concretely, the establishment of Confucianism involved decisive court meetings, the creation of academic institutions, systematic editing in the royal archives, the promotion of public and private teaching organizations, political events and research techniques.
A uni?ed social-academic-historical movement consists of three separate but interactive processes: the political, the academico-institutional and scholarly technique. Each process has its own historical events and particular items. While related events in different processes overlap each other, we can distinguish their “Confucianist items,” such as 1) the promotion of rites and education, opposition to war, love of the people and other proposals based on the moral politics of different court debates—all such measures and proposals belonging to the general politico-cultural tradition of Confucian “jen-governing”; 2) the establishment of various systems for the gradation of the classics, the promotion of academic of?cials, pedagogical procedures and bookmaking archives, which were initiated in various court meetings and carried out by administrative measures controlled by the court; 3) the formation of stereotypical research. The subjects or agents of all three processes were politicians, emperors and scholars. All of them were centered on “ju-learning” or “ju-teaching.” More precisely, they were centered on the Confucianist texts which were the main object of the ideological manipulation of Han power. Our direct object is then not the classical texts themselves but their manipulation. Among the three processes in the formation of Han-Confucianism, the second was the most determinative. The nature and direction of socio-cultural phenomena depends on the operative will and tactics of the power-holder. In the present chapter, we shall present a brief outline of the development of the Confucianist movement without separately treating its constituent aspects. The description of each historical stage, however, contains the above-mentioned items. The discussion at each level contains mixture of those items and events. The items at levels b) and c) also appear at either of the four levels of Confucianist operation. Those at level a) especially belong to historical processes.
 
2. The Pre-Confucianist Period: Legalist-Taoist (Huang-Lao) Politics and Classical Learning
 
At the end of the reign of the ?rst Han emperor, Liu Pang, the Han had enjoyed about 70 years of peaceful recovery. The two subsequent emperors, Wen-ti and Ching-ti, adopted the political philosophy of “Wu-wei” (no-action). Because they launched no nation-wide military and squandering activities, the economic life of the country was gradually refreshed. Earlier harsh rules were relaxed, but cultural activities were not yet promoted. Because of its lack of military expansionism (which belongs to the Legalist line) and the systematic promotion of ritual and cultural activities (which belongs to the ju or Confucian line), this period was characterized by a middle way. Nevertheless, the Huang-Lao political line of the earlier Han, for example, was mainly determined by objective political and economic conditions and by the personalities of the emperors Wen and Ching. Meanwhile, the pre-Han cultural traditions continued in the early Han period.
 
3. The Beginning of Han-Confucianism: The Legalist Han Emperor Wu-ti and the ju-Scholar Tung Chung-shu
 
It is ironic that Han-Confucianism was started by the Legalist emperor Wu-ti (156-87 B.C.), who was even more cruel than the Ch’in emperor in his coercive policies. After ?ve decades of military action, he is said to have repented and accepted the proposal of the Confucian and Yin-Yang scholar Tung Chung-shu for promoting the learning and thought of the ju-Confucian school and excluding all other schools. When the proposal was accepted by Wu-ti, the program for promoting the ju-school formally began and the Han-Confucianist movement was launched. Its ?rst stage saw the de?nition of the Five-Classes system, the system of of?cial academicians and students, the system of examination, the codi?cation of rites and the proposal of Confucianist political philosophy based on the doctrines of the Yin-Yang and the Heaven-Man correspondence. Wu-ti himself did not complete the establishment of Han-Confucianism, but he certainly laid its foundation.

 
1) The Originator of the Confucianist Movement: The Han Emperor Wu-ti
 
Confucianism in its entirety is different from its constituent elements. Its essence subsists in the institutionalization and utilization of traditional materials. The true originator of the movement could only have been a ruler who was mighty and ambitious enough and who enjoyed favorable conditions. The traditional elements were only the material he employed in playing the designed roles along the chosen direction. In this sense, the movement was de?nitely promoted by the Han rulers and Wu-ti was the ?rst and most potent among them. The immediate purpose of the movement was connected with policies and measures for strengthening the political order, namely, events at level a). From the very beginning, the factors at level a) were mixed with those at level b), namely, the academic arrangements.
As Hsiao Kung-ch’uan says, there was no essential difference between the Ch’in emperor’s politics and Wu-ti’s politics. Even the Ch’in emperor knew that it was pro?table to use everything associated with Confucius. The difference between their two politics lay only in an order of priorities allotted to the ju-school and Legalist policies. Both knew that an imperial ideology could be very useful for the expanded despotic system. “On one hand, the ju-doctrine can be used to beautify ruthless politics; on the other hand, the of?cial manipulation of cultural learning could prohibit and exclude private learning.” (Hsiao 1965, 287) The aims of the movement included many utilitarian aspects such as the control of the literati and the strengthening of political ideology and the social order. The most important was the treatment of the classical texts which, apart from practical motives, led to the social realization of Chinese intellectual practice. The combination of benevolent policy and ju-academics lasted throughout the entire movement.
 
2) The Confucianist Thinker: Tung Chung-shu
 
The initial motive of the rulers responsible for the long-term Confucianist program re?ected the utilitarian balance between the ju-schools and Legalist measures. As Lü Hsi-mien points out, the dismissal of the “Hundred Schools,” which had been ?rst recommended by the premier Wei Huan before Tung Chung-shu, was a separate process from that of the establishment of Confucianist academic posts, indicating an earlier effort along the same line. In addition to the moral and practical reasons mentioned above, the Confucianist system was recognized by Han scholars as being driven by the inclination of the literati for pro?t. (Cf. Er-shih-wu-shih, v.1, 1986, 700) As Lü Ssu-mien says, “The road to pro?t was the true reason for the development of Confucianism.” (Lü 1983, 97) The background was of course much more complicated; and the designer and organizer of the Confucianist system made good use of the interaction of the ju-school and Legalism at the political, scholarly and intellectual levels along with different combinations of their elements. The Han literati had the same mixed inclinations as did those of the Late Chou period. Chia I (200-168), the ?rst great political thinker in the early Han, represents this synthetic type of literati, having mastered the thought of several “schools.”[1]
The advocacy of jen-politics was customary in political debate, having no special implications. The ju-scholar Tung, who paid attention to the level of intellectual indoctrination, rearranged the system of classical texts in such a manner that social and cultural conditions underwent a far-reaching change.
 
a) Tung Chung-shu’s thought and work
 
As the ?rst important ju-scholar in Former Han, Tung was a Yin-Yang necromancer. Metaphysically operating with an historical classic, he addressed problems of the philosophy of history and political policy. [2]
It is a pity that apart from a book title no original writings of Tung were left for later generations. The existent text “Luxuriant Dew of the Spring and Autumn Annals” listing him as author was only later compiled. That such an in?uential book was not annotated by the scholars of the Han or following periods (Cf. Tung 1990, 1,) casts doubt on its actual existence in the Han. (ibid, 2-3) Nevertheless, the content of the book can be taken as similar to the original thought of Tung, which accords with our knowledge of the intellectual context of the Han. The Ch’ing critic Yao Chi-heng points out that less than half of the book is connected with the Spring-Autumn Annals; most of it involves general talks based on Yin-Yang doctrine. (Yao 1937, 66) This fact suggests that it is not completely original. Tung as a historical ?gure and his legendary book can play a role in representing the intellectual atmosphere at the beginning of the Confucianist movement. This situation prepared the intellectual conditions for launching the movement. There is a more reliable record of Tung’s court-proposals in the Han Record, a useful document of the theoretical origins of the Confucianist movement.
 
b) The main points in the establishment of Confucianism in Tung’s thought
 
i) The Confucian moral principles of jen and i as well as the li-system are based on the Yin-Yang cosmological laws and the Five Elements. Individual and political morality is based on the instructions of Heaven. (Tung, 64-72) The ruler maintains the administrative system, imitating the system of Heaven. (44) The supernatural Heaven became the theoretical basis of human moral life.
ii) The social purpose of the Heaven-Tao lies in maintaining the hierarchical system. Certain rules embodied in the li system constrained everyone, including the emperor. In a crude analogy, Tung compares proper human nature and improper human emotion to the Yang and the Yin of Heaven. (61) The pedagogical work of sacred men is required for making people kinder. (62)
iii) As a conjuror, like many Han of?cials and scholars, Tung believed in natural signs. They all thought that the relationship between Heaven and man could be seen in natural phenomena and strange omens. Whether the ruler and his assistants behaved according to Heaven’s rules and instructions was supposed to be known by reading the omens of nature.
iv) Tung was ?rst noted for his learning of the classic the Spring-Autumn Annals, which was based on the Kung-yang commentary. A great number of records of omens and special methods of writing are recorded for exegetic moral purposes. According to Tung, the text was compiled by Confucius according to the principles of Heaven for the sake of establishing proper human relations. (51) The major theme of the book is the maintenance the social hierarchy, especially the relationships among the emperors, kings and ministers.
v) As a Confucianist, Tung advocates the traditional Confucian emphasis on the li-system rather than on severe punishment and military activity. jen politics is supposed to replace coercive and brutal government with benevolence.
The story of Tung offers a standard explanation for the intellectual context of the establishment of Confucianism or the ju-system. It portrays the surface level of the process. We must, however, distinguish between the historical description and the true causation. The former are most related to phenomena at level a).
 
4. The Complete Establishment of Confucianist System in Former Han
 
The Confucianist activities at levels a) and b) were strengthened after Wu-ti’s reign. This fact indicates that the movement accorded with the general interest of the dynasty and the wish of the literati. It was by no means an event caused by just a few literati. The promotion of ju-learning provided a chance to enrich the ancient cultural activities appreciated by the literati. The common view of the competition among the intellectual schools is not correct. The so-called “Hundred Schools” were not prohibited at all, only the instigation of rebellion. (Cf. Fu Ssu-nien 1980, v. 1, 65) The disappearance of pre-Ch’in Mohism and nominalism had little to do with political decisions. (Cf. Lü Ssu-mien 1983, 762) [3]
In our analysis, the establishment of Confucianism is far from being merely an issue of intellectual competition. The more substantial progress of the movement was made during the Hsüan-Ch’eng period (73-7 B.C.). Compared with the former Han emperors, they were more educated and more open to the cultural direction of social life. The promotion of learning was linked to criticism of military projects. Before this, the emperor Chao-ti (87-74 B.C.) criticized Wu-ti’s extremely aggressive Legalist policies in a court meeting called “debates concering the production of salt and iron.” The advocates of Legalism and the ju-schools debated about the social and political consequences of Wu-ti’s military expansionism. The institutionalization of Confucianism was gradually completed through the system of the classics and the codi?cation of the ritual system under the guidance of the emperor himself. In the Hsüan reign, Confucianism was systematically institutionalized. In a famous court-meeting, “the Pavilion of the Stone Canal” (51 B.C.), many in?uential political and academic decisions were made. Afterwards, the editing of classical texts became more systematic and energetic. Special bureaus for collecting and editing books were established for the work of Liu Hsiang. Cultural constructions with their related ideological implications were more consciously made. This fact led to an important scholarly achievement, for Chinese academic life was thereby concretely established. In his book the Intellectual history of the Han, Chin Ch’un-feng says, “After this meeting, the Han emperor became the top authority in both politics and academics; politics and academics were uni?ed….As a result, the social position of Confucianist academics was enormously advanced and the control of Confucianist ritual system over society was greatly strengthened.” (Chin 1987, 330)
At this new stage, the ju-school include political and educational policies, the promotion of Confucianist learning and the implement of the pedagogical system. More substantial steps for strengthening the Confucianist movement were made by increasing of?cial posts for academicians and the number of their of?cial students. Under Wu-ti, there were only ?ve of?cial posts for academicians. Under Hsüan-ti (74-49, B.C.), the total number of academicians was 14. Under Ping-ti (1 B.C. - 6 A.D.), the number was 21. From Wu-ti to Ping-ti, because of the establishment of of?cial academic posts, the literati were incited to improve their study and have make their private learnings of the ?ve classics of?cially recognized. The category of the classics also included important commentaries. The further development of the Han-Confucianist movement after the Wu reign was also due to the fact that more emperors and ministers were instructed in the Confucianist classics. There was certainly a cultural factor alongside the utilitarian motives in the movements, although the latter are determinative.
 
5. The Utility of the Classical Texts in Political Ideology: The Usurpation of Wang Mang
 
The relation of Confucianist scholarship to the political program of the Confucianist dogmatist Wang Mang provides an important example of terminological confusion in describing this dramatic event of the middle Han. Without treating the history itself here, we shall only discuss how the academic arrangement was linked to the political plot. By the end of Former Han and around the turn of Later Han, Confucianist activities centered around the confrontation between the so-called Old-Script school and the so-called Modern-Script school. Many absurd and shameless manoeuvres were employed to win the competition at the court between the two academic factions. Against the new script school ?rst represented by Tung Chung-shu there appeared an edition of a set of books belonging to the old-script system. The rumor was that they were recovered from the walls of Confucius’ old house or from the rocks in the mountains.[4] Liu Hsin (Liu Hsiang’s son), the director of the archives and the prime minister of Wang Mang’s reign, arranged for the old-script texts to be taken up by the royal academy. The old-script classic books were used to justify Wang’s usurpation of Han power. The reorganizing of the system of Confucianist classics was closely combined with other superstitions, including the Yin-Yang scheme and celestial omens. The most important classic of the old-script school is the Chou-Li, which concerns the constitution of the Confucianist type of government. Kang Yu-wei and many other modern followers says that the book was the blueprint of Wang’s revolutionary government.
Wang Mang’s story explains the historical interaction between Confucianist scholarship and the despotic regime. The classical texts with their fabrications were used as tools for political deception and propaganda in combination with terror. We can see the intriguing political symbolism employed by the ruthless tyrant Wang Mang, who was a great political interpreter of Confucianism.[5] In general, there were four modes of rearrangement in his radical reforms: political measures leading to his accession to the throne; the ideological system based on the Yin-Yang and the Five-Elements theory; societal and cultural changes in the economy and rituals (particularly those dealing with temples, which were related to the proper sequence of regimes, institutions and ritual symbolism); and ?nally, textual fabrications and arbitrary interpretations favorable to his own political program. In addition, he and his closest ministers appealed to auspicious omens, as was the current fashion. His new scheme of historical philosophy based on the circulation of the ?ve virtues favorably placed his reign in the consistently structured lineage of 13 rulers or dynasties dating back to the remote past. (Cf. Ku Chieh-kang v. 5, 583-5)[6] This scheme made Wang’s authority more secure. His political fortune and mission belonged to a “historical logic.”
The short reign of Wang Mang (9-23 A.D.) subsequent to the Former Han Empire can be compared to the instructive example of the Ch’in Empire, which had the same length (221-207 B.C.), for the sake of understanding the relationship between power and scholarly ideology. As an extremely brutal ruler, Wang employed academic tools, in addition to superstition, to realize his plan to seize and solidify his hold on power. Under his reign, the general editor Liu Hsin of the royal library and archive of the Han was promoted to State-Teacher. Liu was active in organizing academic materials to “prove” the historical logic of Wang’s new regime. Wang was one of those Chinese rulers who were passionate in creating and organizing ideological symbolism for convincing people of the justi?cation of his political usurpation and intimidation. This story, with its more reliable historical details, presents a typical case of the manipulation of various cultural elements: we ?nd here Legalist tactics, the Confucian faith, the Confucianist academic system, superstitious symbolism and coercive force. All political plots and academic falsi?cations were directed by a single dictator inclined to a totalitarian program, including dogmatic economic nationalization and a strengthened ideological control in addition to military expansionism. Compared with the Ch’in emperor who relied more on Legalist military strategy, Wang turned more to ideological manipulation due to different political conditions.
Wang’s political and ideological terror has been criticized widely throughout history for its brutality and absurdity. This extreme case, however, highlights the inner structure of the political and cultural Confucianist system common to all Chinese dynasties, which employ the academic in the political ?eld.
 
6. The Pragmatization of Han-Confucianism: The Establishment of Political Dogma in Reign of Chang-ti (75-88 A.D.)
 
After the of?cial ascent of the old-script school and further developments in the practice of prediction through oracles (ch’an-wei), three kinds of learning were synthesized in the important court meeting of the White Tiger Hall (79 A.D.). A strictly codi?ed Confucianist social dogmatics was formed which maintained its socio-political domination over the subsequent two thousand years. The two Confucianist factions were reconciled with each other and an interpretative consistency of Confucianist terms was arranged in order to advance the ef?cacy of Confucianist indoctrination. The despotic system gained a formal metaphysical foundation based on principles of the Yin-Yang and the Five-Elements. The result was the prescription of the three ties of superiority between the emperor and the minister, the father and the son and the husband and the wife. A three-fold system of domination and subjugation became the guiding code for the proper conduct of every social member. The system of ?lial piety was further rigidi?ed, becoming the basic procedure for training obedience to superiors in different social domains. The Han system of ?lial piety was politically organized and societally enhanced the stability of the political hierarchy. Paradoxically, it was this typical program of the despotic Han ideology which replaced the superstitious and absurd “ch’an-wei” (prognosti­ca­tive and apocryphal texts) fashion with more reasonable arguments and explanations. Confucius was described as a man rather than a god. This scholarly conference accomplished two separate goals. First, the ideological function of the hierarchy of the despotic system was more empirically and rationally treated. Second, political, intellectual and social aspects were more organically united, which led to historical consequences.
 
7. The Establishment of Han-Confucianist Scholarship: The Transition from the Ideological to the Scholarly Role in the Late Later Han.
 
Despite their multiple interactions, different socio-cultural levels in the Confucianist movement developed separately. Politics, ideology and scholarship, which belong to processes a), b) and c) in our heuristic frame, had mutually divergent and convergent effects in the Han period. The scholarly dimension of c) developed steadily during the entire movement, although it constantly overlapped with the other two processes. A purely scholarly level, however, emerged in the ?nal stage of the movement before the end of the Han dynasty. Then we see a separate Confucianist scholarship, determining the orientation of Chinese intellectual life.
The long-standing uni?ed Han empire promoted higher cultural and academic developments. The earlier utilitarian tendency of scholarship was gradually replaced by a more scholarly tendency. Several important scholars laid the foundation for the scholarship of Confucianist classics, leading to the ?rst Chinese learning characterized by special philological methods. The objects of scholarship, however, remained the same authoritatively chosen Confucianist texts with their intellectual framework. Intellectual freedom became technical in nature. Confucianist scholarship of Later Han became the archetype of Chinese Confucianist scholarship, just as Han despotism became the archetype of Chinese political systems.
In a strict sense, Confucianist scholarship was actually established in Later Han. After the systematic editing done by the Liu family and another great scholarly promotion under the Kuang-Wu-ti (5 B.C. - 57 A.D., who defeated Wang Mang’s regime, the academic seriousness of Confucianist scholarship increased with the work of several important scholars, especially Cheng Hsüan (127-200 A.D.), who was widely recognized as the greatest scholar devoid of all political motives. He completed the exegetic synthesis of all the existent classical texts and created the initial model for Chinese scholarship or Confucianist exegesis. In conclusion, the Confucianist movement had three consequences which varied in their interaction in different historical contexts. Due to their despotic socio-political common framework, the three dimensions of the Confucianist system are closely related to the structure of the classical texts as such.
 

 

[1] Fu Hsi-nien calls Chia the greatest scholar of the early Han. Chia absorbed various types of traditional knowledge of the Late Chou in his learning, such as the ju-school and Legalist, Tactical, Taoist and poetic thought. (Fu 1980, v. 1, 124)
[2] Fu Hsi-nien asserts that the dismissal of the Hundred Schools and the promotion of Confucianism led to the unifying of all other thought in Yin-Yang learning. (Fu 1980, v.1, 131) “Uni?cation” in this context only refer to the practical level.
[3] As regards this problem, Ku Chieh-kang considers the promotion of the ju-school to underlie the various intellectual schools. (Ku & 1963, v. 4, 16) He recognizes that “unique respect for the ju-school” did not exist, for its “opposite school,” Legalism, “was tacitly used by every feudal ruler.” (ibid., 769)
[4] After Confucius was dei?ed as the father of the ju-school as early as the late Chou, legendary stories about him spread; the localities linked with his birth and life were well known. The related historical documents were not scienti?cally collected until recently. Therefore the historian Fu Ssu-nien contends, “By no means can we be certain about the personal background of Confucius.” (Fu 1980, v. 2, 107)
[5] Ch’en Ch’i-yün states that “Wang Mang (a Confucian sage) ful?lled the Confucian dream of a sage ascending the throne and replacing a failing dynasty. He went on to decree many grandiose but impractical reforms derived from the Confucian canon. The founding of Wang Mang’s dynasty marked the climax of Han-Confucian idealism.” (Cf. D. Twitchett & M-Loewe 1986, 773) The terms used in his text, such as “Confucian sage,” “Confucian canon,” and “Confucian idealism” re?ect the traditional confusion between Confucian ethics and Confucianist ideology.
[6] Ku’s long article “Politics and History in the Doctrine of the Cycle of the Five Virtues” (1930) remains unequalled in modern studies of the relation between ideology and politics in the Han. His profound insight into history and detailed analyses of historical texts make him uniquely critical in comparison with other contemporary Chinese historians and philosophers.
 
 
 
(8) The Social Conditions of Confucianist Ideological Operations: Obedience to Power according to the Doctrine of Filial Piety
 
The family system composes the necessary social condition of the Confucianist program at its initial stage. The family is not only the origin of Confucianist study, it also composes the ideal hierarchical circumstances of Han-ju-ideological training. In a word, the family is the locality in which the Confucianist ideological system is socially realized. There is a special doctrine of familial relationship: hsiao (?lial piety), which plays an independent role in training the personality and stabilizing the social order in the Han dynasty.
Filial piety exists at the biological, societal, moral and ideological level. The family is the stable social organization forming the constituent unit of Chinese feudal society. The family system exists in two dimensions: the vertical and the horizontal. The latter is the network of interpersonal relations between the living members of the family-clan. The former is the diachronic lineage of the present and the past. The essence of the Chinese family system is the hierarchy of the rank and status of its members and interpersonal affection. The biological, psychological and societal dimensions are united in a single system. The family is the unit of social existence, the ground of human breeding and the place of Confucianist ideological indoctrination. The ancient Chinese family is a system of micro-power ?rst expressed in the dominant relation of father and son. The system of familial order is united with or included in the larger systems of community and state as the macro-power.
 
1. The Ideological Utility of the Family System in the Han
 
The family is the embryonic form of interpersonal dominance. The proportion of the natural and social elements of parental dominance changes with time. Along with this, an affectional relationship also exists. The natural (biological and economical), social (hierarchical) and human (affectional) compound formed in the family offers a natural connection with the Han-Confucinianist construction. Of course, the family system and the notion of ?lial piety were a tradition like others manipulated by the Han Confucianist. Under the new arrangements, however, the family system was more strictly organized and used as part of Confucianist ideology. In ideological operations, all of the above elements were manipulated together. The crucial nature of the traditional family system lies in its rules of succession, especially primogeniture. The relation of succession in connection with wealth and rank was used in an ideological way in the Han. The absolutism of the Han ideology of ?lial piety appears in its being de?ned as “the classic of Heaven and righteousness of Earth.” (Juan Yüan 1982, 2549)
 
2. Traditional Elements Ideologically Employed
 
It is customary for the ideological construction to make good use of the elements available.
 
1) From the Biological to the Social
 
The absolutist idea of Han parental prestige holds that according to the Classic of Filial Piety, children physically belong to their parents: they may not even hurt themselves without parental permission. This indicates the absolute possession of children by their parents. (ibid., 2545) The biological link between parents and children is the reason for this. Hu Shih points out that the Classic of Filial piety has the aim of comparing the father to Heaven. (Hu Shih, 1930, 285) The metaphor of the “skin and muscle” of children belonging to the parents rather than to the children themselves indicates that a human being belongs not to himself but instead to another human being who occupies a higher position in the hierarchy. The point is not the prestige per se of the parents or the father but rather the status of human beings in the parent-child relation. The parent or father is a tool or means to model absolute inferiority. Biological parenthood is used to orient people along this direction.
 
2) From the Naturally Affectional to the Socially Deferential
 
Another natural element in the family relation is the affection between family members, especially that between parents and children. This natural link is used to induce deference to the superior. The obedience of the familial inferior to the familial superior is emotionally strengthened. The consciousness of interpersonal allegiance turns out to be a behavioral inclination which has an affectional origin. Confucian graded love based on the degree of jen becomes a graded deferential love based on social superiority. Similarly, ?lial love can be shaped into reverence of the familial superior. The point is that the natural and the social are ideologically mixed, the former making up the natural basis of ideological relations. Natural familial affection is fashioned in a fabric of strict social superiority which is convincing primarily because of its natural substratum. Strictly organized interpersonal relationships can in turn strengthen the natural affection between family members. The enriched familial affection can help solidify emotional and volitional allegiance to superiors. “Treating the superior with reverence brings about obedience.” (ibid. 2548)
 
3) From Traditional Familial Succession to Absolute Domination
 
The natural order of familial succession composes a basis for absolute authority at this level of micro-power. It functions at the natural utilitarian level of the power-lineage. Filial obedience is further secured by the material foundation of family heritage. The father’s authority is materially supported by his traditional social and economic power. Material power can be used to form the ideological power of parental dominance.
 
3. The Extension and Transformation of Filial piety into Political Allegiance
 
The natural morality shaped in the family and its political use were purposefully confused. The essence of the system of ?lial piety is political. A despotic political system uni?es lower and higher social levels. The hsiao-system in the Han was clearly the product of the imperial reign. hsiao-virtue even became a criterion for selecting local of?cials (hsiao-lian) in the Han; and the Han dynasty used the character “hsiao” as an element of posthumous imperial titles. This indicates how much the Han dynasty stressed the signi?cance of the system and its ideological function.
Natural familial affection can change to reverence to the familial superior; it can also become allegiance to the rulers and the emperor. The natural elements are used at higher social levels. The central aim of the Han system of ?lial piety lies in its eventual political effect. “Filial piety starts from serving parents, is transformed into serving the emperor and ends with establishing oneself.” (ibid., 2545) The popular Confucianist slogan is “shifting ?lial piety into political allegiance.” The more signi?cant meaning of the system of ?lial piety lies in the moral quali?cation of imperial servants. The reason is that “when the superiority of parents over children is in order, the superiority of the emperor over his subjects must be in order, too.” (ibid.,2558) This system formed the basic training ground of the Confucianist personality.[1]
 
1) Absolute Obedience
 
The ?rst requirement of the literati both in the family and in of?ce was absolute obedience to superiors. Contrary to the Confucian policy of independent individual choice, free choice was not permitted for Confucianist of?cials. Their motto was “No words of one’s own mouth, no actions of one’s own body.” (ibid., 2547) The norms set by the ancient kings were not suf?cient for guiding political conduct. A Confucianist agent is a loyal follower and not an independent decision-maker. The inclination to obey was trained ?rst in the framework of the family. As the Taiwanese scholar Hsü Ching points out, “absolute obedience to parents can be extended to absolute obedience to every kind of authority.” (Cf. Li I-Yüan, ed. 1991, 213) The double foundation in biology and lineage of the ideology of ?lial piety was the most effective means for making people obey authority. It is an instrument for transforming the individual mind into the property of supra-individual power.
 

 
2) The Consciousness of Belonging to the Superior
 
The destruction of the independent mind was the direct aim of ?lial and of?cial obedience. One could not even kill oneself for one’s own sake—only for that of absolute authority. In both cases, one’s body did not belong to oneself. The authority of the father was maintained for underlining this purpose. The father functioned as trainer and supervisor the quality of absolute obedience. Thus, he helped to train a quali?ed member of the empire. Hsiung Shih-li recognizes that the “three main duties and ?ve constant virtues” (san-kang-wu-ch’ang) which unite ?lial piety and political loyalty, made sons and ministers the slaves of the father and the emperor, resulting in a “slave morality.” (Cf. Hsiung 1949, 134.) This relation of belonging was structural in nature: one’s consciousness of domination and family situation was tied with one’s hierarchical position, which has nothing to do with personal disposition.
The relation of obedience was logically extended to all levels, including that of the emperor, who was bound by two superior orders: the traditional force of family lineage and religious belief in Heaven. This system was essentially different from others because of its relative lack of political constraints. The system of imperial obedience to both dominant orders formed the upperboundary of despotic power. The main role of the system of ?lial piety unfolded at the social level below the emperor. The so-called “Three Main Duties” (san-kang) of interpersonal dominance (prince-minister; father-son; and husband-wife) as the principle and norm of human behavior was pointedly regulated in the Classic of Po Hu T’ung of Later Han. The book provided comprehensive social regulations and cosmological principles for the Han world. As Hsü Fu-kuan says, the signi?cance of this text is comparable to that of the Classic of Filial piety in Former Han. Both books are manuals of behavior. (Hsü 1974, 192) In any case, familial affection was only material used to form a politico-ideological system. As Wittfolgel said, “The authority of the Chinese pater familias was much stronger than intrafamilial leadership required; and he owned his extraordinary power essentially to the backing of the despotic state. Disobedience to his orders was punished by the government.” (Wittfogel 1978, 116) “And there is nobody who, while averse to opposing his superiors, is inclined to rebel.” (ibid., 152)
 
4. Belonging to the Objective Order of Domination
 
Principles of the ?lial piety include the following: “Filial piety is the origin of all other virtues” (ibid., 2545); “The greatest achievement among a man’s efforts is his completion of ?lial piety” (ibid., 2553); and “the most serious crime is the lack of ?lial piety” (ibid., 2556). The unparalleled prestige of the system of ?lial piety was due to its ef?ciency in subjugating individuality. Obedience was only an effect of subjugation. One’s superiority is multiply structured in the three-fold hierarchy of metaphysics, the royalty and the family. The last hierarchy itself is multiple. A person is subject to a set of superior forces, even as he stands above others. In the context of the entire power-system, most persons were only beings to be dominated. A man’s self was his consciousness of belonging to external forces, even if he was a ruler. This split between personality and role was the product of the Confucianist apparatus.
 
1) The Funeral of the Father
 
The death of the father marked the end of one’s actually belonging to one’s immediate superior in the hierarchy of domination. Among hundreds of rituals, the funeral and the sacri?ce were the most important. The Confucian principle of jen-love is based on ?lial and parental affection. The end of life is naturally a moment of sorrow due to the loss of the beloved, but it is also the end of the actual bondage of the child. The deceased father moves into another world. All ancestors are part of the familial lineage. Death extends the lineage and adds a new node to the family hierarchy. It is also the moment in which the old family power-holder is replaced by the new one. Ritual activities refresh the consciousness of one’s lineage.
 
2) Sacri?ce to Ancestors
 
Sacri?ce is an occasion for strengthening the consciousness of one’s lineage. While the funeral rite is linked with actual affection, the sacri?cial rite is socially involved in the function of the feudal hierarchy. It solidi?es the blood network and the consciousness of belonging to it. Sacri?cial gestures connect one with past authorities and therewith the temporal objective hierarchy which is the source of one’s existence. Confucius used the occasion as a means to enhanced the affectional connection with one’s ancestors and deepen humanitarian feeling. Confucianist sacri?cial rites are also human-centered. The spirits are taken more as reminders of the family tree than as supernatural beings. The difference between the two lies in the fact that the former stresses the affectional tie between members of a clan and the latter the consciousness of superiority. The main effect of sacri?cial activities is not religious or superstitious belief, but the consciousness of the family as an objective power over the individual members. Both funeral and sacri?cial rites function in a human fashion. Entry into the family temple means entry into the world of the super-ego. Far from being independent, a man is bound up with his entire network of relations.
 
5. hsiao as Ideological Training for Supporting Despotic Politics
 
“The wise king will maintain the order of the world with hsiao.” (Juan Yüan 1982, 2552) hsiao is not only the way to organize family life, but also the way to maintain social peace and political order. For both Confucius and Mencius, hsiao belongs to the central li-doctrine which sustains the jen-personality and jen politics. hsiao is an effective way to form interpersonal love, the substantial basis of moral practice. Both ?lial and political obedience are based on jen-principles of mutual love. The Han hsiao-system reversed the order and declared love to be the cause of obedience, which is taken as the aim. Mutual love and obedience to superiors are part of both Confucian and Confucianist hsiao ethics, but the sequence of the two elements is contrary. For the Han hsiao, the eventual objective is absolute allegiance to the ruler; obedience is made equal to jen. This is a serious distortion of Confucian morality. In the Han-Confucianist programs, the original Confucian elements are used for different purposes. The essence of Confucianism appears not in the Confucian elements which it employs but in its entire structure containing the used Confucian elements. On the other hand, because of its institutionalization in the Han – or, concretely, because of of?cial supervision and competition –, the hsiao-system effectively produced the required conduct, which was often dishonestly motivated.
The hsiao-system was successfully transmitted to the present because of its multiple natural, social, humanist, ideological and political functions. It is far from being a consistent set of principles to maintain benevolent family life; it can be used to serve different aims, including political goals. In view of this mixture of hsiao-elements, we can understand the ideological implications of the Confucian principle which calls for distinguishing red from purple, for the two colors look alike. An ideological trick is to confuse people through false similarities. Ideological manoeuvres are different from mere deceptions mainly because of the mixture of the true and the false. In the Han hsiao-system, the ideological fabrication lies in changing the priority of the li-elements. Humanist factors, just because of their instinctive strength, are employed for non-humanist objectives. The crucial point is that the strengthening of the system in the Han naturally led to the strengthening of affection between family members. The affectional factor became the instrument for producing the ideological effect. Habitually strengthened familial affection augmented both psychological and behavioral inclinations. The natural origin of affection in the system justi?es it in other social circumstances as well. On the other hand, because of the longstanding historical link between natural affection (A) and the ideological project (B), the empirical justi?cation of A can be used to justify B because of the historical or habitual link between A and B.


 

[1] Hsü Fu-kuan, a modern critic of Han despotism is confused about the real function of the system of ?lial piety. On one hand, he thinks the autonomous system of ?lial piety “segregated despotic evil, becoming the binding force of the Chinese nation. It will illuminate the world today with a new road toward rational democracy.” (Hsü 1974, 168) On the other hand, he recognizes that Han despotism mingled ?lial piety with political loyalty. (ibid., 176) In addition to his inattentive interpretation of the system of ?lial piety, he lacks a historiographical conception of the possible distinction between pre-Ch’in and Han ?lial piety. He does not see the tie between basic social autonomy, the family and ancient Chinese politics.
 
 
 
(9) The Organization of the Classical Texts
 
Han-academic ideology is centered on its classical texts. The present chapter treats the identity, sources and social conditions of these texts.
 
1. The Identity of the Confucianist Classics
 
Several ancient texts were called classics (ching) due to complex reasons. Literally, “ching” means the rope linking the bamboos-writing; it therefore refers to the “book.” The sacred aspect of the meaning of ching re?ects the fact that the ancient texts were taken as expressions of the thought, words and actions of the original kings and their ministers. The texts were noted down and compiled mainly by of?cials in ancient courts. There was no private writing practice until the Analects appeared. The “creators” of classical texts included: designers and establishers of social systems and institutions of cultural and academic life; of?cial advocates of political morality; of?cial agents of political events; of?cial scribes; and compilers, annotators and interpreters of the texts. All of them played different roles according to their respective contributions to the constitution of the texts. The most determinative were the establishers of the academic institutions orienting the ?nal compilation and use of the texts. This was especially the case in the original situation. Hence, Chang Hsüeh-Ch’eng, the historian of the Ch’ing, claims, “The six classics are the records of the institutions and rules of the original kings” (Chang 1985, 110). The classics should not be regarded as private but rather as of?cial products.
 
1) The Gradation of the Texts
 
Following the distinction between the creator and the compiler of the classical texts, there is also a distinction between the original compilers and subsequent scholars. There were two categories of historical and cultural phenomena in ancient China: institutions and texts, both of which were ?elds in which the ancients functioned as producers or players. In the Han dynasty, the sacredness of the classical texts can be de?ned in two degrees: royal originality and of?cial glori?cation. The historical texts of non-imperial origin were promoted to the of?cial position of the classics because of their special contribution to the clari?cation of the imperial texts. There were still two of?cial grades for them. The texts of the ?rst grade were considered equal to the original royal texts. They were also called “ching.” The texts of the second grade called “chuan” were taken as complementary or auxiliary to the ching. The of?cial grade of the auxiliary texts, however, was changed according to differing valuations of their merits. For example, Confucius’ text and Mencius’ text twice underwent promotion in history: once from the non-of?cial to the secondary of?cial grade and then to the ?rst of?cial grade. The same can be said about the texts of the Glossary and the Filial piety because of their social and cultural utility. On the whole, the historical texts available in the Han were arranged in a hierarchy consisting of the genuine, unchangeable royal texts and the variable auxiliary texts. Alongside the political hierarchy, there was a written symbolic hierarchy.
 
2) The Number of the Basic Classic Texts
 
The typical set of Confucianist classics comprises ?ve books: the Poetry or Odes (shih, the Historical Documents (shu), the Rites (li), the Changes (i) and the Spring-Autumn Annals (ch’un-ch’iu). The system of ?ve classics was formally de?ned in Wu-ti’s reign, although they were widely recognized before then. The number “?ve” in the system evidently accords with the symbolic number 5 popularly accepted in the fashion of the Five-Elements of the Chou-Han period. Among many ancient books, these gained a special status, being called ching or sacred classics.
In the Chinese language, the “set phrase” plays an independent role of signi?cation in cultural life. The signi?er and the signi?ed of set phrases, however, could be separated in linguistic practice. This means that the concrete content of the set phrase could be changed in different contexts. While the name “Five Classics” was established because of the number “?ve,” there was also another similarly popular set phrase, the “Six Classics.” Before the Ch’in-Han, there spread another set of cultural arts called the “Six Arts” which had been popular in the Chou. For the sake of equating the Six Arts to the Han classics and so maintaining the ancient association, the Han also referred to the Five Classics through the title the Six Classics. In Confucianist history, the two titles were alternatively employed. Because the concrete content of the two groups of books is actually the same, the so-called sixth classical text about music (one item in the “Six Arts”) is evidently a fabrication. There was never a written text about music during the Chou.
There is not much similarity between the Six Classics and the Six Arts, which originally in the Chou were only six kinds of cultural learning and teaching. Furthermore, the title “Six Arts” can refer to two different sets of cultural items: the alternative name of the set of Confucianist classics and the conventional group of six ancient cultural practices, as described above.[1]
When Chang Hsüeh-ch’eng refers to the Six Confucianist Classics as the “Six Arts,” he means the ?rst set of cultural items. (Chang 1985, 93) The main part of the Six Classics is more related to practical or cultual items such as poetical and historiographical recitation, ritual ceremonies, divination and music.
The group of the poems in the folk and court songs of the Chou existed in the form of oral recitation which was different from the compilations in the Han. The historical records of the Chou were more fragmentary and local in comparison with the book compiled in the Han. The system of rites in the Chou dynasty included only practical customs and institutions, most of which were not textually recorded until the late Chou. Particularly in Confucius’ time, li (rites) only means the performance of the rites which were memorized and practised.
The insistence of Chang Hsüeh-ch’eng on using the number 6 and the word “i” (art or technique) has a different background. He distinguishes between the political practices of the remote ancient kings recorded in the historical documents called “classics” and other Confucianist texts, including those of Confucius himself. (Cf. Chang 1985, 93-110) Here the word “art” denotes the original political technique taken as the norm for the nation. When the six classics are understood as the six arts, the non-verbal text of the Classic of music can be properly included.[2]
Because of the ?exibility and mobility of the content of the sacred classics, the number of classics chosen in the system was changeable. Thus, the selection of classical texts of different grades expanded gradually until the “Thirteen classics” of the Tang dynasty. All selections, however, had to include the basic ?ve items representative of the most ancient elements.
 
2. The Source and Origin of the Classic Texts
 
The classic texts are the records of the words and deeds of the ancient rulers. Besides the lineage of the kings, there is also the lineage of intellectual activities with its the sacred background. Besides the originators of these records, there are also the lineage of their guards, teachers and transmitters.
Some of the major representatives of the cultural lineage of Chinese history are Chou Wen King, Chou-prince Tan and Confucius. The former two were the legendary creators of all important Chinese social and cultural traditions condensed in the written records. The classic texts are the products of the organization of historical material created by the ancient kings. The organizer of the traditional materials became their creator in a concrete sense. Confucius was generally accepted as the re-organizer of Chinese cultural traditions, the results of his work being the compilation of the classic texts. Because the organizer was also the teacher of the traditional heritage, Confucius was regarded as the ?rst teacher.
 
1) The Lineage of the Teaching of Individual Texts
 
In ancient times there were two conceptions of teaching; one involved the teaching tradition as a whole, the other that of an individual discipline or a single classical book.
More tangible sources of texts were the teachers of the texts. The teaching lineage was easily arranged because its existence was based on weak material conditions. Because of dif?culty in acquiring books, teaching was oral. Later Confucianist activists prolonged the lineage of the masters for each classic text in order to exhibit the remote source of its teaching. In Former Han, the legends about the transmission of the classics were still intelligible. In Later Han, the lineage of teaching and transmitting was systematically fabricated. Confucianist tactics for political plots had been further employed in the Wang Mang regime. (Cf. “Biography of Wang Mang,” in Er-shih-wu-shih v. 1, 738-752)
 
2) The Lineage of the Teaching of All Classic Texts
 
As we pointed out above, Confucius as the original compiler of the classic texts was also regarded as the ?rst teacher of these texts. In the Confucian text, nothing is mentioned about “Six Classics” or “Six Arts,” apart from the character “i” (change or Changes) which is judged by modern scholars to have been inserted later. There are also the characters “shih” (poem) and “shu” (book), which are ambiguous in referring either to the related cultural practice or to certain books. If they refer to the latter, there is still the problem of their relation to the Han books with the same name. A character can change its meaning over time. For example, in the Chou, the character “shu” (book, writing, document), even when referring to an individual text, can mean historical records of any kind not necessarily connected with the book called “Historical Documents” in the Han. According to the modern radical critic Ch’ien Hsuen-t’ung, the four quoted sentences referring to “Shu” in the Analects are not contained in the Han book “Shu Ching” (the Historical Documents). (In: Ku Chieh-kang 1988, 116) The single character “shih” can mean any poetical piece. Later, it especially referred to the single book containing 305 poems which was available in the Han. Thus, Ch’ien concludes that, “The six classics have nothing to do with Confucius.” (ibid., 117-8)
From the above explanations, we can conclude that the available Confucianist classics, including both ching and chuan, were recompiled by of?cials of the Han according to ideological guidelines and contain both pre and post-Ch’in materials. Of course, the processes concerned can no longer be ascertained. The ambiguity concerning the origin and authorship of the classic books is partly due to their intentional rearrangement and partly to uncertainty about the semantic and technical processes.[3]
The modern analysis of the identity of the Confucianist classics is therefore connected with two aspects: the technical ones of their formation and their ideological manipulation. Both processes are involved in the problem of the authenticity of the texts.
 
3) The Special Position of the Confucian Texts
 
The special connection to the classic texts and their innate value allowed the Confucian and Mencian texts to enjoy the privilege of dissemination in the Han period. The genuine Confucian classics, the Analects and the Mencius, remained in the second rank at the moment of the establishment of Confucianism, but they were widely read and appreciated.[4] These phenomena exercised both complementary and contrary in?uences upon the Confucianist system. Of course, within the multiple Confucianist systems, the genuine Confucian principles did not become the guiding ones. The Confucian texts existed only as they were framed within an academic ideological system.

 
3. The Establishment of the Institutional Hierarchy of Learning and Teaching
 
The identity of the classic texts is partly de?ned by their pragmatic background. The sacredness of the texts was a function of both the historical tradition and their current promotion.
 
1) The Of?cial Academicians of the Classic Texts
 
As regards the nature of the classic texts, besides their historical sources there is also the aspect of their use in the Han period. They were made sacred through institutional arrangement. The ideological use of the texts manifested itself in the texts as such and in their scholars. The holders of the posts of the authoritative classics were of?cials called “classic-academicians” (po-shih). An educational system was founded with the central academy forming the national center of Confucianist scholarship. The academic of?cials were appointed on the basis of teaching lineages. The lineages of teaching re?ect competitive requirements. The personal way of teaching the classics kept its technical uniqueness as a competitive privilege. For this reason, “no single word of the master’s teaching was allowed to be changed.” (Pi Hsi-rui 1961, 77) The situation resembled the handicraft lineage. The educational system was also a system of of?cial promotion. The study of the classics was tied with of?cial careers. Confucian learning was institutionalized in a pro?table utilitarian system.
The process of the political bureaucratization of academic posts is also interesting from a pragmatic semantic point of view. “Po-shih” (doctor) as a title for the of?cial of Confucianist learning had different meanings in different periods and situations. It was said by the literary critic, Shen Yüe (441-513), that the post “po-shih” (academician) was established as early as the pre-Ch’in, but Wang Kuo-wei commented that the pre-Ch’in “po-shih” was not yet a formal of?cial post; it might only mean “ju-sheng” (scholar). (Wang 1983 v. 1(4), 5) In the Ch’in Empire “po-shih” was con?rmed as an academic of?cial. There were said to be 70 of them, but the existence of only seven can be con?rmed. They had no special duty except occasional consultation. The same system, together with many other Ch’in systems, was accepted by the early Han. The literati belonging to the Ch’in-Han “po-shih” system had special focuses. (ibid., 6) Initially, neither the political function nor the intellectual content of the post “po-shih” was ?xed. The de?nition of the post itself became increasingly clear after the early Han. (In the Han-Wen-ti reign a “po-shih” had to be specialized in one classic text) After the Confucianist movement launched by Han-Wu-ti, the post “po-shih” was more politically and academically determined. The history of the use of the title “po-shih” possesses intellectual, academic, political and ideological aspects. The clari?cation of the political function of the title was also a function of the academic and scholarly structure and its of?cial authorisation. The content and method of Confucianist studies and thought were solidi?ed within an of?cially regulated framework. The of?cial promotion of the classics and classic scholarship is the most determinative factor in the Confucianist movement. It brought with it the dignity and recognition of scholarship at court and in the country. Concretely, it also promoted the development of schools in the royal academy and in society. The master and his disciples formed a faction of?cially secured through recognizing their scholarship of a classic text.
 
2) The Of?cial Academia of Classical Texts
 
The central university or academy was established according to this system of of?cial academia. The number of its students ranged from 50 (under the Wu-ti reign) to 3000 (under the Cheng-ti reign). (Pan Ku 1962, 3594-96) Most ministers were of?cial scholars. The classic texts gained a special meaning. In distinction from private groups searching for common intellectual and practical interests in the Warring-States period, the Han schools were the of?cially recognized lineages of the teaching of the sacred texts. School members were of?cials or candidates for of?ce. The solidarity of the schools made masters and disciples closely united and pedagogically and professionally reliant on one another.
 

 
4. The Fabrication of Ancient Books
 
The Han-Confucianist system is based on classic texts, the falsi?cation of which became an important aspect in the constitution of Confucianist scholarship. Falsi?cation was in part occasioned by rulers, but mostly due to scholars pursuing different utilitarian ends. On the other hand, the falsi?cation of the texts were also caused by historical factors. All kinds of textual falsi?cation involve the nature and function of classical and auxiliary texts. The issue of fabricated historical books is highly signi?cant for modern judges of the potential of Chinese historical literature. The most important part of Chinese literature is its historical aspect, whose scholarly worth is connected to its authenticity. We shall treat this problem in the ?nal section of this chapter.
First of all, we should note that any historical text can contain “falsi?cations,” namely, parts which are legendary or unfounded. Second, there is always the problem of the temporal gap between the stages of editing, appearance (publication) and subsequent in?uence. Wrong information can lead to calling a work a falsi?cation. China is famous for its accumulation of written literature. Because printing techniques were only developed in the Sung dynasty, most previous books had been only crudely recorded and transmitted. As a result, few original ancient texts have been preserved. A related problem is how to determine the historical authenticity of the alleged ancient books transmitted through copies. The technical problem in determining the authenticity of historical books is directly connected with that of the identi?cation of ancient scholarship. Consequently, the problem of the falsi?cation of books is one of the most important phenomena in Chinese academic history. Liang Ch’i-ch’ao even asserts that “the earlier the authors, the more false their books.” He talks about trends of fabrication in the Chou-Han, around the turn of the later Han, and in the period of the Wei-Chin (220-420 A.D.). (Liang 1984, 131-132). It is true that most pre-Ch’in texts contain many “false” parts because they ?rst “appeared” (and became historiographically con?rmable) in the Han period. They contain many legendary parts distinguishable by their stylistic inconsistency. For this reason, we maintain that the Analects, the Mencius and the Lao-Tzu are “true” historical texts, for they display a rare consistency of substantial and stylistic expression.[5]
In addition, we hold that there are several different kinds of “false” books in the general debate about the falsi?cation of the ancient books.
 
a) The confusion of book titles with authors’ names
 
According to the ancient habit of writing, most scribes were of?cials who did not give names to what they “wrote” (noted down). When private writing ?rst arose in the Warring-States period, fragmentary texts written by different people on the different occasions were gradually collected and classi?ed, becoming the books of bamboo tablets and silk cloth. These books were often named after accepted or assumed masters who were surely not the genuine authors, although the books with their names may have partly re?ected their intellectual originality. The ascription of authorship was only subsequently made by those who were inclined to take the names of the books as the names of their authors. Mistakes of this kind were due not to intentional fabrication but rather to the misunderstanding or misuse of the book titles.
 
b) The mistaken identity of authorship
 
Due to the errant identi?cation of the transmitted book titles with the names of their authors, the latter’s identity was fabricated through legendary clues or even pure imagination. Han scholars made up biographical details of the assumed authors. These fabricated details of led to the incorrect interpretation of the related texts and historical events.
 
c) Mistakes in the process of compiling the books
 
Despite the assembly of the books as late as the Han, there are many historical and legendary indications of the earlier existence of their material. The people of the Han liked to imagine the concrete ?gures as transmitters or compilers of earlier versions of the books. Stories of the compiling processes are mostly unfounded.
 
d) The fabrication of compilation
 
In the Han, when Confucianism was of?cially insitutionalized, the study of the classics was closely tied to the utilitarian motives of scholars who were the candidates for of?ce or who had strong political ambitions. For the sake of having their own text and scholarship promoted, some scholars invented the names of the authors of the books. The names were either fabricated or had nothing to do with the classic text. The conscious fabrication of the books in the Han, because of the existence of more readily available historical material, is easily unmasked by modern scholars.
 
e) The systematic fabrication of historical texts
 
More serious was the misrepresentation of the origin of the allegedly ancient books discovered in the late Former Han. It has been surmised that there was systematic fabrication in the of?cial archives directed by the Liu family (100 B.C.- 23.A.D.). There were two famous rumours about the discovery of the hidden Confucian classics during the reign of Wu-ti. This discovery led to the appearance of a set of “old” classics during the period between Former and Later Han. Several Ch’ing scholars and most modern scholars have proved that the stories were fabricated due to utilitarian or political competition. The ?nding of the old books was suspect even in the Han, when it was supposed to have occurred. The identity of the so-called old versions of the classics has nothing to do with their scholarly quality.
 

 
f) Debates between the modern and ancient versions of the classics
 
The Ch’in emperor established the of?cial academy which included the new learning of the Warring-State period with its eclectic and utilitarian nature. These were “academicians of the pre-Ch’in hundred schools” (Chien Mu, 1958, 250). The of?cial scholarship in the local states was based on the traditional Six Arts. There was a divergence of scholarly directions and content before the Han dynasty. In the early Han period, the academicians were only of?cials taking care of common cultural business which had not yet been institutionalized. During the reign of Wu-ti, the old academic tradition, which had originally been put under the cultural title of the “Six Arts,” resumed in the form of the Five Classics; and the Ch’in system based on the “Hundred Schools” was cancelled again. (ibid., 251) As we pointed out above, however, the establishment of the Five Classics was ideologically motivated. As far as their substance is concerned, the Five Classics or Six Arts belong to the ?eld of “general cultural cultivation.” Forbidding private learning in the country, the Ch’in rulers maintained the of?cial libraries and archives with a focus on the new learning, which was more politically practical. They did not think about the systematic utility of traditional cultivation. The establishment of the traditional classics in the reign of Wu-ti was a great ideological use of the old written literature.
The classic texts available in the Former Han were historically called the “Modern Text” or “New Text” advocated by Tung Chung-shu and his colleagues, who belonged to the new tradition transmitted from the Ch’in. By contrast, the later “discovered” classical texts with the same titles were called the “Ancient Texts” or “Old Text” advocated by Liu Hsin and his colleagues. The two academic factions with their scholars, texts, of?cial af?liations and historical legends combated each other, claiming the texts of the other faction to be false. According to the old-text or old-script school, their genuine texts originated in the early Chou or Confucius’ time, while the new texts were made by the later schools of the Ch’in-Han period. The new-text school declared that the old texts were fabricated solely in order to win of?cial recognition. Once again, we should make a distinction between the historical authenticity of the texts, their genuine authors, the substantial difference between two sets of books with the same title and the different academic and historical merits of each book, regardless of its authenticity.
 
g) Adulteration of the ancient texts
 
Most cases of textual fabrication were due to the continuous adulteration of sentences and paragraphs in the existent texts by later scholars. Exegetic scholars have discovered signs of adulterated sentences and even entire texts. In extreme cases, the adulteration turned out to be the result of systematic falsi?cation: e.g., the book of the Chou li. Ku Chieh-kang asserts, “Literati in the Warring-States and Ch’in-Han period arti?cially arranged ?gures in their own models in order to develop their own thought, leading these ?gures on to the historical stage and thus changing the historical picture. Post-Han scholars might have believed in a excluding b or believe in b excluding c, or attempt to harmonize them. Therefore, over two thousand years the historical discussion has become more and more disorderly. Such kinds of historical materials cannot be used until they are ?rst of all re-examined.” (Ku, 1988 v. 1, 363)
The tendency to falsify books also had a technical reason. Fu Ssu-nien maintains that in ancient times, oral transmission and hand-copying made changes and falsi?cations easily occur, particularly when the textual transmission was performed within a single family. On the other hand, because of dif?culties in writing, transmission was frequently organized for certain purposes with respect to the current situation. (Cf. Fu 1980, v. 1, 60).
 

 

[1] Confusion between the two meanings has continued until today. For example, Tu Wei-ming calls the second set of practical arts the “Confucian arts.” (Tu 1985, 76) Even in the second sense, there are two different enumerations of the basic six items. The difference lies in the two items included. One contains poetry and historical documents, the other rules for the forming of words and arithmetic. The latter was given in the Chou-Li of the Han. Even in this set, the content of the six items was changeable. The number “6,” like the number “5,” is mainly a catchword covering a wide ?eld. The choice of 5 or 6 was determined by both convenience and conventional classi?cation and enumeration. According to Wang Kuo-wei, the Ch’in dynasty viewed 6 as the basic number, while the Han viewed 5 as the basic number. Many other enumerations were made according to different basic number systems. (Wang, 1983, v. 9, 10) Fu Ssu-nian con?rms that the title of the “Five Classics” originated in the Han. (Cf. Fu 1980, v.1, 161)
[2] Chang’s usage presents an interesting case for understanding the style of Chinese historiography. His profound insight lies in his distinction between the intellectual and the institutional dimensions of the classic texts. These texts are representative of practical events and words, rather than theoretical thought. Thus, the central parts of these texts are practical in nature, having a similarity to “i” (art). Chang’s position emphasizes the original situation of Chinese culture. On the other hand, the Chinese habit of confusing the phrases “Five Classics,” “Six Classics” and “Six Arts” re?ects a pragmatic historiographical inclination: satisfaction in broad reference to the historical object and sincere insistence on heritage, including historical terms.
[3] The in?uential modern Neo-Confucianist Hsiung Shih-li, who lacks scienti?c interest in Confucianist scholarship, strongly insists on Confucius’ authorship of the Confucianist classics. He maintains, “The six classics were all created by Confucius” (Hsiung 1970, v. 1, 40; ibid., 41-67) In general, contemporary Chinese philosophers show much less interest in identifying the historical authenticity of the classical books.
[4] Wang Kuo-wei points out that the Analects had already become an introductory text read by every student of the time. All classical masters were familiar with the Analects. Therefore, there was no master especially noted for his knowledge of the book. (Wang 1983 v. 1 (4), 8) The substantial in?uence of the book and its of?cial rank were different things.
[5] The problem of the falsi?cation of books makes us reconsider ancient intellectual history. Many discussions of the different pre-Ch’in schools are based on texts ?rst formed in the early Han. There was a divergence between the legendary time of the heroes and the historical time of the formation of statements attributed to them. When comparing the “actual thought” of different heroes, however, such a distinction is often neglected. The distinction between the Confucian and the Legalist is less clear than others. Similarly, the historical origin and the historical in?uence of the Confucian texts are two different matters. We cannot say that before Han-Confucianist ideology, Confucian ethics was more in?uential. Our comparison is more structural than historical.
 
 
 
11) The Book of Changes (I Ching)
 
The Book of Changes or I Ching occupies a most important position in the system of the Five Classics. During the Han period, the Book of Changes and the Spring-Autumn Annals alternatively headed the list of the Five Classics. In the Modern Script school of Former Han, the Annals was chosen as the premiere classic; and in the Old Script school of Later Han, the Book of Changes was regarded as of foremost signi?cance. Both classics were more closely tied with the prevailing doctrines of the Yin-Yang and the Heaven-man correspondence than were the other three classics. They differently re?ect the in?uence and function of the same intellectual tendency. One employs historical chronology, the other a quasi-logical schematization. While the Annals was regarded as the basis of the principles or codes of correct political behavior which were regulated by Heaven-Tao, the Changes was seen as the reference book for correct choices based on Yin-Yang regulations, which were also determined by Heaven-Tao. Since the Yin-Yang Tao was more fundamental and general than the interpersonal Tao of the social hierarchy, this book about the changing relations of Yin-Yang positions became a philosophical book—the only one of its kind among the Five Classics.
Chu Hsi preferred the “Four Books” to the Five Classics. He was more doubtful of the meaning and value of the Annals and the Changes. He says, “the Changes is the most respectable among the earlier ancient books, and the Annals is the greatest among the later ancient books, but it is more dif?cult for us to read these two classics” (Chu Hsi 1986, 1659). Because of their “unintelligibility,” Chu, the greatest Confucianist philosopher of medieval China, held that students should pay more attention to the other classics than to the Changes. (ibid., 1633) He notes the remarkable fact that “the Analects and the Mencius do not talk about the Changes”. (ibid., 1658) Kao Heng, a modern scholar of the Changes, says that the number of books about the Changes written in the past two thousand years amounts to about 3000, but very few of them are still academically sigini?cant. (Kao Heng, 1984, 10) Despite the brilliant achievements made by the Ch’ing scholars in their philological studies, the quality of their work on this book is curiously limited. On the other hand, the Changes has remained the most important classic of Chinese philosophy for Chinese philosophers. Among the ancient classics, it is the only one which can be taken as metaphysical. In addition, the Book of Changes has formed the theoretical foundation of both Confucianism and Taoism since the Han, especially for Neo-Confucianist philosophy since the Sung.
Despite its being a Confucianist classic, the origin of the Changes has little connection to original Confucian thought. The authenticity of the single occurrence of the character “i” (change) in the Analects has been often debated. The thought of the Changes is evidently different from that of the Analects. Furthermore, among important pre-Ch’in Confucian scholars, neither Mencius nor Hsün tzu mentions the book or the idea of the change. By contrast, since the late Chou period, the Changes has been more and more connected with the Yin-Yang thought. As Chien Mu points out, the Changes is closer to Taoism than to Confucian thought because it talks about 1) God, change, nature and Tao; 2) bene?t and harm, and things auspicious and ominous; and 3) causality and the origin of fate. (Cf. Ku Chieh-kang 1963, v. 3, 90) In the Han, the book was widely utilized by Yin-Yang Confucianist scholars as the metaphysical basis of politico-ethical dogmas.
 
1. The Composition of the Changes
 
As is the case with the Annals, the Book of Changes contains two major parts: the original (classic) part (divinatory signs and words) and the commentary part (interpretative texts). Each part includes several pieces. The origins of the constitutive pieces of the book should be separately treated. There was a legendary chronological division between the two parts as well as a genuine chronological division between the sources of texts. We shall only deal with the latter in our discussion. Genealogically speaking, there are three distinguishable processes in the formation of the Changes: 1) The remote ancient material (the stroke signs and oracular-divinatory words), which was much more older than the original text of the Annals, stemming from between the Shang and the early Chou. This part covers the basic elements of the classic text. 2) The rearrangement of the chosen oracular-divinatory material into the transformational schemes of the stroke diagrams before the Han. 3) The texts in the commentary gradually added between the later Chou and the later Han.[1] When it is said to be the earliest book in China, reference is only made to those sentences and diagrams which were remnants of the ancient divinations. For this reason, the Changes is said to have originally been a divinatory book. As a whole, the book was completed or compiled in the Han, accompanying the formation of Confucianism.[2]
Due to the appearance of the commentary, in particular the “hsi-tz’u,” the Changes were taken as a Confucianist classic. The hsi-tz’u was allegedly written by Confucius, but its content accords with Yin-Yang Confucianist thought.
As regards the meaning of the title “I,” the word has several possible etymological senses includes “change,” “ease” and “replacement.” The meaning of “I” can focus on the constant movement of cosmological and social affairs. We may also focus, however, on its meaning “exchange,” “substitution” or “replacement” in these affairs. The aim of the Changes is expressed in the changing positional structures of the basic elements, with Yin and Yang as the root. The Changes is therefore a book about Tao or the rule of the changing combinations and transformations of the Yin and Yang elements.
 
2. The Structure of the Changes
 
Among the Five Classics, the Changes is the only one which presents an abstract system for logically explaining the correspondence of Heaven and humanity. Like other classics, the Changes consists of two parts: the basic text and the commentary or interpretation. The classic part contains several components. First, there is a system of 64 abstract stroke structures or patterns (kua-hsiang) without verbal meaning. Each pattern is formed by 6 strokes in a de?nite way and has a written character as its name (kua-ming) roughly symbolizing its attribute. The basic meaning of a pattern consists of an abstract, dynamic, relational part and a concrete, utilitarian part. The former consists of two numbers (yao-t’i), indicating a dynamic relation between the Yin and Yang elements within the diagrammatic structure. The latter consists of divinatory words (yao-tz’u) from the original oracular records expressing the good and ill tendencies of the related situation. Besides the ?rst part of the meaning of the Changes, the second interpretative part consists of seven commentaries (“I-chuan” or “Ten-wings”). While the former involves more the relationship of bene?t or loss, the latter involves more Confucianist morality. The content and style of the main commentaries is similar to other Confucianist discussions.
 
1) The Typology of the Yin-Yang Line-Diagrams
 
In the book there are 64 basic hexagrams (pieh-kua or derived-diagrams), each of which is made up of two more basic trigrams (ching-kua or classic-diagrams). Theoretically, the eight trigrams are the basis of the operation of the changing Tao. (Cf. R. Wihelm 1988, 339) Both trigrams and hexagrams are abstract emblems of the basic situations of the cosmology and the human world. Each hexagram consists of two trigrams. Each trigram is made up of three basic lines, each of which is either an undivided (-) or divided (--) line called “yao.” The undivided line is called Yang-yao and the divided line Yin-yao; Yin and Yang are represented by the two lines in the book. The eight trigrams have the following diagrams with special names and related emblems:
 

     Chi’en        K’un         Chen           K’an         Ken           Sun              Li             Tui           
(Cf. Fung Yu-lan 1952-3, v.1, 379)
 
The 64 hexagrams are also called “secondary diagrams.” The trigrams are symbols of general situations and the hexagrams those of concrete ones. The basic elements with the name “yao” consist of one single and one divided line. The line-elements of diagrams are the signs of Yin and Yang. The structural relations of the lines are in essence those of Yin and Yang, for which a lot of emblems with the male or sun (Yang) and the female or moon (Yin) are central. The basic social or interpersonal situations are symbolized by structural diagrams of relations of the opposite forces of Yang and Yin. The system of diagrams therefore provides a theoretical foundation for explaining human situations and making decisions.
The 64 hexagrams generally represent 64 basic situations with their symbolic signi?cations. Each hexagram represents a general situation of Yin-Yang dynamic relations. More particular situations are represented by the position of each de?nite line (namely, a Yin-line or a Yang-line) in a hexagram. The most basic forms of situations are represented by a line and its position in the related hexagram. Thus, there are 64 x 6 = 384 basic situations, each of which is represented by the position of a line and its related hexagrammatic structure. We have then 450 basic situations, including 64 hexagrams, 384 lines in the related hexagrams and 2 special situations connected with the ?rst two hexagrams, called Ch’ien and Kun, each of which is formed by doubling the trigram with the same name. The Ch’ien-trigram and the Kun-trigram are the basis of the diagrammatic system, just as Yin and Yang are the origins of the world. Because of the multiply overlapping of diagrams, the content of a particular situation involves the dynamic structures of three levels: the central (chu-kua), the general (ching-kua) and the particular. The last two are functional. Whether all three or just the two structures play an essential role in the same diagram, however, is unclear.
 
2) The 450 Basic Situations and Related Verbal Explanations
 
For each situation, there is a short text consisting of some fragmented sentences explaining its attribute or the tendency of the dynamic Yin-Yang relation. The dynamic attribute of a situation is basically determined by the related hexagram;and the position of the related line in the hexagram, although it is additionally explained through words about the situation. The short words associated with the 450 situations are called the “words of the Hexagrams and lines” (yao-tz’u), which belong to the oldest Chinese writings and are grammatically similar to inscriptions found on bones and tortoise shells of the Shang. In fact, they originally were oracular words of remote ancient times. During the compilation of the book, the oracular words were selected and grouped into hexagrams or line-patterns. According to Kao Heng, the original texts for the diagrams possibly consist of four classes: symbolic ?gures, historical events, intellectual remarks and divinations (Cf. Kao 1979, 46. In pages of 59-109 of his book, Kao gives a complete table of the system of patterns and their basic explanations.) The ?rst three classes of words characterize or judge the situation, while the last one offers a prediction or practical guide to the situation. Of course, the textual part is far from being regularly arranged in the diagrammatic system because the book was originally made out of fragmented oracular words. Although the system of diagrams was seemingly arranged for divination, as Chu Hsi pointed out, the divinatory technique and its rationale have been lost, so that it is dif?cult to understand the arrangements. (Chu Hsi 1986, 1626, 1634) This fact once again proves that the oracular-divinatory elements were only used by later Yin-Yang scholars to construct a new system. The elements of the ancient oracular texts were only the bricks for the Chou-Han’s metaphysical building. According to the academic point of view, no completely rational connections exist between the forms of lines, ?gures or emblems, records and predictions. For both modern historians and some ancient scholars, the Yin-Yang theory of the classic part is hardly acceptable. As a divinatory book, it was completely useless. The main dif?culty lies in the fact that the logical connection between the line structures, their ?gures and the predictions of good and evil cannot be reasonably traced. Hundreds of ancient studies of the Changes are mainly based on arbitrary speculations which can no longer be accepted. Thus, Ku Chieh-kang asserts, “we indeed do not understand the words in the original text of the Changes, but those who wrote the commentaries did not understand them either.” (Ku 1963, v. 3, 134)
The words in the original text were taken from records of oracular divinations touching on various items in the primitive society. Li Ching-ch’ih gives the following statistics about the articles and numbers of records: travelling of various kinds (about 200); ?ghting (about 80-90); offering sacri?ce (20); food and eating (above 30); ?shing and hunting (19); animal husbandry (17); farming (2 or 3); marriage (18); housing (above 20); pregnancy (3); illness (7); legal judgement and prison (above 10). (Cf. Ku Chieh-kang 1963, v. 3, 206) The records include both events and the results of prediction. Li also notes six kinds of recording in the words for hexagrams and lines: 1) records of auspicious and inauspicious judgments, which occur more in the words for hexagrams; 2) records of events, which more occur in the words for lines; 3) events followed by auspicious and inauspicious words, cases of this kind occurring most frequently; 4) auspicious and inauspicious words followed by an event; 5) events followed by auspicious or inauspicious words, then once again an event and auspicious and inauspicious words. 6) mixed types. (ibid., 190) Li maintains that the ?rst three kinds result from single divinations which resemble inscriptions of bones and tortoises and the latter three result from multiple divinations. All of the original divinatory words are quite simple and lack all profundity. When they were organized into the system of diagrams in the late Chou, the Ch’in-Han magicians speculated about their meaning and the words became largely unintelligible. The ancient fragments can only be taken as historical material from various sources.
Ch’ien Hsüan-t’ung, the radical critic of the Chinese classics, points out that “the classic part of the Changes is a book about divination.The events described occurred in the Shang and early Chou, so they were written by of?cials of divination. This book was not made for use as a reference book of divination. What was made were only diagrams for making divinations….These disconnected words were only compiled into a book in later time.” (Cf. Ku 1963, v. 5, 56) We can imagine that in compiling the book the authors attempted to combine several parts into a harmonious whole: the positional relations of the lines or Yin-Yang elements, the names of situations, symbolic ?gures, historical events and fortune-telling. As we said above, the logical ties between the parts are quite unclear, particularly the structural relations of Yin-Yang. Of course, the picturesque ?gures in the words are attractive and symbolically suggestive. As Chu Hsi pointed out, without any re?ection on the ?gures implied in the words, the Changes would be uninteresting (Chu Hsi 1986, 1662).
 
3) The First Commentaries: The t’uan and the hiang
 
The commentary of the Changes consists of seven or ten different groups of texts called “the Ten Wings” supporting the classic text. It was generally believed until recently to have been written by Confucius. (Cf. Chiang Po-Chien, 1983, 44.) This unfounded legend has been rejected by most modern Chinese historians. In fact there are three main sets of commentaries, but only the ?rst two are intellectually important. The ?rst two commentaries named “t’uan” and “hsiang” were ?nished at the same time during the late Chou and early Han period. Despite the different operations of textual organization, the determinative design for the systematic use of the divinatory materials was set by a de?nite individual or group of individuals. The maker of the system of the original texts and the maker of the ?rst commentaries could have been the same attempting to use the old material and the new ideas to construct a theoretical system based on the currently prevailing thought of the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements. The text-makers were reasonably supposed to have belonged to the Ch’i state, in which the Yin-Yang doctrine was prevalent. The ?rst commentaries have well organized sentences explaining the attributes and meanings of the basic situations. Through the commentaries, the 450 situations containing the line forms, symbolic ?gures and fragmented texts became intellectually or philosophically intelligible. While the content of the t’uan is connected more with the explanations of the meaning of the basic 64 diagrammatic situations in the classic part, the content of the “hsiang” involves more the meaning of the derived 384 particular situations, including the indication of the positional relations of the lines, the explanation of the nature of the hexagrams with ?gures, the interpretation of the original texts and related philosophical digressions. While the t’uan directly serves the original text and is more concerned with general Yin-Yang doctrine, the hsiang gives a Confucianist interpretation of the Changes.
 
4) The Second Commentaries: The wen-yan and the hsi-tz’u
 
The hsi-tz’u, consisting of 24 chapters, and the wen-yan, consisting of two short texts added to the two central hexagrams Ch’ien and K’uen, were rumored to have been written by Confucius due to their coherent Confucianist moral dogmas. It has been proved, however, that the two independent commentaries were made after the initial establishment of Confucianism in Han-Wu’s time. The hsi-tz’u has been taken as more important and even as the only signi?cant part of the Changes because of its clearly organized content. In distinction from the t’uan, the hsiang and the wen-yan, which were inserted into the original text, the philosophical discussion of the hsi tz’u is presented separately. It provides a comprehensive and coherent discussion of the philosophical ideas of the Changes. According to the hsi-tz’u, the social hierarchy is parallel to the cosmological hierarchy. Within the framework of double hierarchies, the basic binary elements of Yin-Yang or its human counterpart “rou-kang” (hard-soft) are combined in manifold ways in various Yan-Yang patterns. As we said before, the classic part, which contains diagrams, descriptions of basic situations and fortune-telling, is not so coherently organized. In addition, the meanings of the texts in the classic part are closer to Taoism and Yin-Yang doctrines dealing more with the art of balancing advantage and disadvantage than with morality. In fact, the wen yan ?rst focuses on the ethical implications of Taoist Confucianism for each diagrammatic situation. The later hsi-tz’u gives a philosophical elaboration of the Han type of Yin-Yang Confucianism, which combines Confucian ethics, Taoist Yin-Yang cosmology and tactics and fortune-telling.
Regarding its content and style, the hsi-tz’u is similar to some articles in the Records of Rites evidently written by Han scholars, such as the Great learning and the Mean. These were chosen by Chu Hsi in the Sung as parts of the new classic system “Four Books” in the Sung because of their programmatic features. According to the hsi-tz’u, a Confucian agent should undertake a series of steps: meditation on the Changes in terms of Yin-Yang doctrine, penetration into the depth of life and the course of the world, clarifying doubts and carrying out social projects, attaining spiritual inspiration and realizing domestic goals. (Chapter 10) How can he achieve these? According to the doctrine of the Heaven-man correspondence, the Confucian should watch for and obey a variety of principles based on Heaven observed and inferred through natural Changes, emblems and direct signs. (Chapter 11). In principle, if a Taoist Confucian or a sage obeys the will of Heaven, Heaven will protect and bless him and his business. The emblems, diagrams, appended words and changing situations and the resultant inspiration are intellectual tools enabling a sage to receive messages from Heaven and thereby make correct decisions. (Chapter 12) In distinction from other Han-Confucianist articles, the hsi-tz’u focuses more on proper practical performance and the Yin-Yang metaphysical reasoning. The hsi-tz’u is supposed to be read together with the classic part of the Changes, which focuses on mythic techniques for correct choices.
 
3. The Functions of the Book of Changes
 
Concerning its theoretical content, the system of the Changes consists of three sets of laws: the cosmological, the social and their correspondence. Among the Five Classics, the book of the Changes is the only one which presents a cosmological system embodied in a transformational system of diagrams or patterns. The patterns of the combinations of Yin-Yang elements and the laws of the transmission of the patterns provide the universal framework for the three domains. In light of this, many pseudo-scienti?c doctrines of ancient China gained a working framework for primitive theoretical constructions. Of course, because of subjective and mechanical speculation about the construction of the patterns, this framework was not really an effective basis for reasonable inference. Through its connection with Confucianism, the traditional theory of the Heaven-man correlation was clari?ed and Confucianist relationships gained a philosophical background. The connection of the two lies in the pragmatico-functional level and the question of how to make Confucianism operative. It is just at this level that Confucianism and Yin-Yang Taoism are clearly uni?ed.
 
1) The Combination of Confucianism and Taoism
 
When Taoism became a Yin-Yang cosmology, the Heaven-man correspondence was established. Nature and society were then treated in a universal way, and morality obtained a metaphysical foundation. The three lines in the trigram, which are said to represent Heaven, earth and man, respectively, came to subsist in the same structure. Metaphysics provided two paradigms: the Yin-Yang structure of the positional relations of ethical elements and the natural laws of the cosmological virtues. The ethical elements are not dependent on subjective judgements; they are determined by cosmological laws. We have already seen this doctrine in Tsou Yan’s theory of the movement of the ?ve virtues. The traditional axiological system of ethical terms remained as standards and values, but they were manipulated on the basis of cosmological knowledge. On the other hand, the cosmological hierarchy was interpreted as the foundation of the social hierarchy. The structure of power in the human world was supposed to re?ect that of the natural world. The ruler was supposed to be homologous to Heaven. Therefore, the Taoist concept of the natural Tao became the theoretical basis of the Confucian concept of the human Tao.
 
2) The Three-fold Transformations: Position, Force and Virtue
 
In Taoist Confucianism, the metaphysical relations of the abstract Yin-Yang positions, the interactional relations of substantial forces and the ethical relations of good and evil, or the gentleman (chün-tzu) and the base man (hsiao-jen), were homologously arranged. The basic Yin-Yang pair was associated with a great number of similar pairs with the same traits. The ?rst comparable pair in the human world is “kang” (hard) and “rou” (soft), which is connected with the physical metaphor of “hard and soft contrasting forces.” Yin-Yang, Heaven-earth, soft-hard, female-male and evil-good are the main pairs. Soft-hard became the fundamental stylistic, two-fold metaphysical parameter for the human world. The positional relations of the Yin-Yang became the dynamic relations of softness and hardness. A number of ethical relations were transformed into dynamic interactions of individual and social forces. The analysis of subjective virtues was transformed into that of the interaction of objective elemental forces.
 
3) The Analysis of the Dynamic Relations of Forces
 
The signi?cant turn of the doctrine of the Changes lies in the transformation of the structural positions of cosmological Yin-Yang elements into the dynamic structures of the soft-hard elements of human forces. As a result, Confucianism itself became more operational and dynamic. Accordingly, the original Confucian subjectivism of ethical choices was transformed into an objective dynamics of objective situations. The essential comparison between the qualities of good and evil became the structural and dynamic comparisons between the Yin-Yang or the soft-hard elements, itself leading to the contrasting parameters of pro?t and loss. Dynamic expressions of the basic elements more clearly presented various parameters such as strength, impulsiveness, implicit and explicit states and duration all of which are structurally involved in a situation. The choosing agent can take the changing potential of the situation into account and through utilitarian wisdom more “objectively” predict its development. Therefore, the structure of the Yin-Yang elements in diagrams highlights the structure of social forces.
 
4) The Transformation of Relations of Good-Evil into that of Pro?t-Injury
 
The transformation of Confucian ethical operation with its moral elements into Han-Confucianist Taoist-Legalist operation with its utilitarian elements reveals the strategical change in Chinese intellectual life. The manipulation of the dynamic developments of the situations leads to the clearer consciousness of the balancing of pro?ts and injuries which was the main concern of original Taoism. Confucian ethics is replaced then by a Taoist tactics. When the book was a divinatory tool, its only function lay in discerning pro?t and injury. The use of the Changes also marked a natural return to primitive concerns with practical bene?ts. According to Confucianism, the concepts of pro?t and injury should be grasped in ethical terms.[3]
There is indeed an ambiguity in the Changes in the relations of good-evil and pro?t-injury. The learning of virtues and that of tactics are practically mixed. It is interesting to note that the combined usage became desirable in Confucianist strategy.
Consequently, after the transformation of the pragmatic Confucianist epistemology, subjective praxis became more objective in nature, and the Confucian doctrine of the art of subjective choice turned into the intellectual analysis of objective situations or the utilitarian balance of exterior elements. The change in the foundation of intellectual operation meant a major reorientation of directions in Chinese ethical thought. The analysis of objective situations was further reduced to the analysis of the positional relations of structural diagrams and the dynamic relations of visual emblems. Static and dynamic tendencies of the situations were more intuitively grasped through the twofold analysis of diagrammatic structures and emblematic implications. The appended texts helped de?ne the utilitarian implications of the situations. In general, the ?ve homologous relations of Heaven-man, Yin-Yang, soft-hard, good-evil and pro?t-injury were concomitantly established in the Han doctrine of Changes.
 
5) Prediction through the Analysis of the Changes
 
Both the original Confucian and the original Taoist doctrine concern only the knowledge of the natural and human worlds. They do not intend to predict the development of human affairs in a concrete and operational way. By contrast, the original oracular divination, the Yin-Yang doctrine, the Heaven-Man correlation and many other superstitions are mainly concerned with prediction or fortune-telling. The last item was a tangible ground for communication. between Heaven and humanity The loss of knowledge of the ancient divinatory practices did not hamper the Han in using it in a divinatory way. The dif?culty, as Chu Hsi pointed out, lay in grasping the reasonable connections between diagrams, emblems, interpretations and suggestions about choices. According to Chu, understanding the original uses of divinatory technique can clarify the reasonable connections between the classic text, diagrams and commentaries. The original material used in ancient oracular divination is one thing, its later pragmatic use another. For the ancient mentality, the two processes belonged to the same objective scheme determining natural and human affairs. The book claimed to have something to do with prediction; and, as a matter of fact, based on past empirical observations, it was used to predict the general direction of pro?table choice.
The point of the original oracular divination lay in perceiving the opinion of Heaven. The Book of Changes based on this tradition accordingly comprises two parts: the knowledge of the situation and the suggested direction of choice. The laws of the structure and movement of the Yin-Yang elements were taken as the general indications of Heaven; and the emblematic suggestions from the oracular records were taken as the immediate instructions of Heaven. We can call it the reading of the Heaven-Man correlations. On the other hand, the laws of the alteration of the elements were seen to accord with human experience. The laws were also graspable through empirical observation in combination with theoretical speculation. Interpretative practice remained an empirical effort. Empirical reason delivered the interpretation of theoretical content. Because of the Han’s lack of knowledge of original divinatory practices, empirical observations offered the main access to truth. This way of reading empirical reason had the same result with respect to the direction of choice. The two sets of predictions or suggested directions of choice according to the two ways of reading were the same or similar for the Han mentality. The original records of predictions presented in the classic text were taken as proof of the direct instructions of Heaven and augmented the authenticity and sacredness of the original text. The transmitted intellectual situational patterns became a network allowing later readers to ?nd the corresponding patterns for explaining the meaning of various situations. The original text became an intellectual tool for structurally locating empirical phenomena in the system. Then readers could understand the situation in terms of a holistic system and take up suitable methods for dealing with it. Thus, belief in the ancient message as having come from Heaven and belief in contemporary wisdom were combined. Predictions given by the ?rst kind of reading overlapped with those given by the second kind of reading. The incongruity between the results of the two readings explains the constant doubts about the value of the book and its commentaries. Because of the same historiographical weakness as found in the Annals, there are two different sources of the predictive authority of the book: Heaven as personal will in the Shang and the Yin-Yang as an objective system in the Warring-States period. As a result, the book can only function in a mixed fashion.
 
6) The Confucianist Focus on Practical Tactics
 
Far from being clearly given, the utility of the book is displayed only in its use by sages, rulers and Confucianists. The predictive mechanism of the book only works in connection with good and superior people. The double sets of moral and utilitarian standards are presupposed as uni?ed without any explanation. Although it is not used for divining correct choices, it is indeed used for understanding the general strategy of proper choices in reference to situational patterns. The book presents a system of structural patterns. Proper choice on the basis of the general scheme of situational patterns includes the favorable or right moment of action. In principle, the chooser must watch and wait for the suitable phase of the changing situation and take action according to the analysis of the situation. The ability to correctly grasp the right moment for action becomes the property of the quali?ed user. Confucius was even said to be a sage who would seize the right moment for prediction. Of course, there is always a mixture of empirical reasoning and metaphysical calculation in the wisdom of choice. The more rationally minded Chu Hsi holds that even the Chou Prince, a sage, made his decisions according to empirical wisdom and appealed to oracular divinasion only in the face of unanswerable problems. This indicates a strong inclination towards empirical rationality. (Chu 1979, v. 4, 1620) Chu vainly hoped to ?nd a link between the book and its original divinatory function and justify its combination of the empirical and the supernatural. All of these efforts can be reduced to concern for the logical authority of the mechanism of practical choice. To the modern mind, the links between the different constituent parts of the book remain unclear. In general, the classic part and the parts of its commentary are illogically combined, as Li Ching-ch’ih asserts. (Li 1978, 1, 329)
 
4. Why the Book of Changes is the Leading Classic of Confucianism
 
There were several famous commentaries of the Changes in the Han focusing variously on the Yin-Yang or philological aspects. Only after the Han was the study of the Changes substantially developed through philosophical re?ection on its basic textual structure. The book nevertheless played several important roles in the Han.
 
1) The Main Features of the Changes in the Han
 

 
a) The authenticity of the material
 
The alleged authenticity of the book, like that of the Annals, arises from the acceptance of the fragmented original material as the physical manifestation of holiness. The physical existence of the original ancient material functioned symbolically, providing a tangible exhibition of remote antiquity, which was respected for itself. The commentaries, on the other hand, present a system of ideological notions strengthening the connection of the primary text to the Confucianist tradition. Operationally speaking, the construction of the basic classic was much more important. For this reason, Chu Hsi stressed the following sequence of signi?cance in reading the book: the original text, especially the emblems; the ?rst commentaries; and the later commentaries. Although the last is most clearly formulated and said to have been written by Confucius himself, the ?rst commentaries appeared with the original texts, the only divinatory records of the remote ancient China, and present the original structural diagrams. This show that historical originality was more signi?cant for the Chinese mentality than the interpretation of the Ch’in-Han.
 
b) The dynamic trait
 
Strategical considerations underlay the transformation of Confucian practice from its original static balancing into the more dynamic Confucianist pragmatics. The innate weakness of the logical foundation of the Confucian doctrine of choice seemed to have been overcome by a more feasible program for effective action. Concrete practice involves a dynamic historical process and the wisdom of choice contains a utilitarian aspect in?uenced by dynamic factors.
 
c) The symbolic role
 
On the whole, the Book of Changes is not a reference book or handbook for concrete predictions. Both the diagrammatic and textual teachings in the book are more symbolically than practically intelligible and operational. The general principles embodied in the classic part are sketchy. We can even say that the system of the Changes functions more psychologically than strategically. If the actual diagrams of situational structures do not precisely re?ect interpersonal relations, they still present a system of gestures about Yin-Yang dynamics. The Book of Changes is in fact a “scripture” of the Yin-Yang doctrine about the systems of con?ict and harmony between cosmological and social elements.
 
d) Structural Power-Relations and Empirical Causality
 
The Book of Changes takes Yin and Yang or their diagrammatic expressions “divided line” (— —) and “undivided line” (—) as representing the basic energetic elements in the cosmological and social dynamic structures. The basic elements or forces are the logical source of the energetic development of interpersonal relations. This was the original Yin-Yang doctrine prevalent in the late Chou. Human situations are classi?ed into a structural order of force. Structures of elemental forces appear in interaction or mutually restricting relations. Each human situation is represented by a diagram of dynamic structure which shows the relational movement.
 
2) The Symbolically Heuristic Mechanism for Grasping and Organizing the Structural Situations of Elements
 
There are 450 structural patterns, each of which shows a de?nite relation of the basic elements. The relation represents the con?ictual pattern and tendencies of two oppositional elements which are further verbally depicted in the commentaries of the t’uan and the hsiang.
 
a) The positional relations of the elements
 
The patterns of positional relations are indicated by different combinations of the elements within the six-line structure. Each pattern consists of six elements, each of which is either soft (Yin) or hard (Yang), and their de?nite combination within the de?nite structure. A tension between soft and hard force can be perceived through the pattern characterized by the number of each kind of element and its respective position in the structural framework. For example, possible patterns are: 5 soft vs. 1 hard; 5 hard vs. 1 soft; 3 soft vs. 3 hard; 3 soft vs. 3 hard etc. Each structure represents a relation between hardness and softness, referring to the degree, trait and direction of the confrontation of the two opposite forces. The structural and dynamic relation of the two forces in a diagrammatic pattern is also related to the structural and dynamic relations of the two forces in the neighboring patterns of the system, which complicates the entire network of structural and dynamic relations of the Yin-Yang elements. The Changes expresses the structural nature of human conditions. According to it, the positional structure of basic elements is more important than other causal relations. In actual empirical situations, we face a variety of causal connections outside the constructed schemata of the basic elements. The schemata of the Changes have been taken as subjective constructions because of its arti?cial logic and organizational principles. In any actual situation, however, people meet with many different kinds of causal connections beyond these schemata.
While the schematic way of thinking limits efforts at empirical reasoning, it still presents a structural framework enabling attention to positional relations easily neglected in models of linear causality. The schemata of the structural analysis of elements do not provide de?nite solutions for concrete predictions, but instead present an outline for reorganizing the imagination of interpersonal relations. An agent’s choice is also reorganized through understanding the changing tendencies of a situation and waiting for the favorable moment. The objective framework of force and subjective wishes are practically uni?ed. Accordingly, the ?eld of choices becomes manifold With the focus on effective practice,the temporal factor of the actual situation becomes even more relevant. The wisdom of the Changes is noted for its emphasis on the timing of practice. For this reason, Ku Chieh-kang asserts that the central idea of the t’uan commentary is that of the right moment for action. (Ku 1991, v. 7, 5095).
 
b) Interpersonal relations in con?icts
 
Through the commentaries, the book of the Changes became connected with problems of human relations. The positional relations of basic elements were understood as embodied in social relations. With its structural and dynamic tendency, the Changes attempts to analyze personal situations into their constituent elements, which are not empirically perceptual but ethically energetic. It teaches the moral subject how to observe and grasp the dynamic relations of his own personal situation. Its binary structure sets every factor into the interaction of the basic Yin-Yang elements. Far from being based on scienti?c or empirical observation, it actually serves subjective speculation rather than objective calculation. The Changes became a heuristic instrument for forming conceptions about the positional structure of various elements involved in real situations, a pragmatical stimulant for reorganizing choices or perceiving the utilitarian aspect of moral situations.
 
c) The quasi-theoretical basis of symbolic praxis
 
In light of the above, the book should be approached more from a sociological and psychological point of view than from a philosophical perspective. The demysti?cation of the book can also neutralize its ideological potential. The importance of the Changes in China leads us to consider its strength from a functional angle. It is symbolically functional in a two-fold sense. As a theoretical instrument, it presents a formalist system embodied in sets of diagrammatic patterns for any abstract fantasy. The theoretical instinct of the Chinese mind, however, is psychologically exhausted by its empty schemes. In reality, it becomes a mental tool for stimulating empirical re?ection on actual human relations. Its diagrammatic patterns aid the penetration into the structural and dynamic conditions of human confrontation. There is no direct logical link between the former and the latter, but only an indirect association. The patterns of the Changes offer heuristic models for profound observation and meditation about interpersonal tactical calculations. At most, there exists a loose topological homology between its theoretical patterns and practical situations.
 
5. The Hermeneutic Mechanism
 
The schematic system of the Changes has been a substrate upon which different doctrines have been constructed in Chinese intellectual history. The formalist skeleton can be used for different styles of interpretations. We shall conclude this chapter by examining the common features of the hermeneutic procedures inlaid in the Changes itself. According to Tang Chün-i, during the formative period of the learning of the Changes during the Han-Wei period, there were two different scholarly directions: inter-hexagrammatic transformation or the emblematic and numerical line (the Modern Script school) and intra-hexagrammatic or philosophical analysis (the Wei-Taoist school). In general, however, the two directions always existed, the one leading to the mutual transformation of line-structures and the other the internal analysis of single structures. (Cf. T’ang Chün-i 1976 v. 2, 306-307) The latter was mainly represented by Wang Pi of the Wei and Ch’eng I of the Sung, but the principle of interpretation was implied in Han scholarship of the Changes as well. Both approaches were part of the Han hermeneutics of the Changes; and they play the same important role in present-day studies.
 
1) The Basic Signifying Ways of the Diagrammatic Unit
 
A single hexagrammatic unit or one six-line-structure (kua-hsing) functions as seven different basic situations of the relation of forces. The ?rst one is the structure itself, which presents a general situation of the Yin-Yang (divided line and undivided line) confrontation, which is de?ned by the multiple positional relations of the two elements. Each one of six parallel lines existing in spatial hierarchy becomes an independent center of perspective which forms a new particular situation of the Yin-Yang confrontation. In light of our earlier explanation, the confrontation of Yin-Yang forces or elements can be de?ned by the following parameters and their combinations: the ?xed attributes (female/male, soft/hard) of Yin and Yang, the numbers of the Yin-element(s) and Yang element(s) in the six-line structures, the interpositional relations (above/below) of the central line to the other ?ve lines, and the interpositional balancing tendency (stability/instability) of the structure. In fact, there are two features of the diagrammatic structure: the central hexagrammatic structure (A) and the central line (yao) structure (B). A is a unit (Am) of 64 hexagrams; B is a unit (Bn) of 384 hexagrammatic structures. For each hexagram, there is one A and six B’s. Each A is shared by all six B’s. Each B, besides the shared feature of A, is further de?ned by the positional order (d) of the central line, its relation to the other 5 lines (e) and the respective number of the Yin-Yang elements in the 5 lines (g). The “meaning” (M) of a particular situation represented by B implies the confrontational condition of the related Yin-Yang forces, which are characterized by the strength of each force, their structural position, the changing tendency of each force and, ?nally, the stability of the Yang force. The point of the Changes lies in showing “how Yang overcomes its partner Yin.” We can then use a formula to represent the above situation: M (Bn) = f (Am, d, e, g) The meaning, attribute or tendency of a particular situation within the system of the Changes is decided by several structural parameters. The multiple structural attributes of the diagrammatic system is intellectually quite attractive. The signifying formula not only expresses a dynamic feature of one situation but also its mutability with regards to other situations.
 
2) The Function of Ideologico-Pragmatic Signi?cation
 
Despite the mythical legend of the origin of the diagrammatic system, the rationale of the structure of the Changes has been questioned from time to time. It has been asked why the three-line structure was chosen for the basic unit and why the total system is formed through doubling the eight trigrams, so that a particular structure consists of six lines. A number of explanations are based on philosophical speculation, including the typical modern one given by the Neo-Confucianist philosopher Hsüng Shih-li, who arbitrarily depends on the words of Lao-tzu about the generative relation between the numbers 1, 2 and 3. (Cf. Hsüng 1985, 316)
 
a) The arbitrary construction of the diagrammatic structure
 
We simply cannot prove the necessity of the structure of this system. The line-structure can be attained in many ways through changing the number of the lines used in the basic structures and the derived structures in order to meet an interpretative purpose. A practical answer is that the design of the diagrammatic system is a rich enough and convenient enough interpretation based on Yin-Yang doctrine.
 

 
b) The quasi-metaphysical function
 
The diagrammatic system, regardless of its original divinatory function, provides the Yin-Yang doctrine with a quasi-logical scheme which can function in two-fold fashion as a symbolic logical appearance and an emblematic and numerical scheme of speculative rhetoric. This function has been criticized ever since the late Han as the superstitious aspect of the scholarship about the Changes. It has especially been attacked by modern scienti?cally minded historians as absurd and useless, because in distinction from other Confucianist classics, the book provides much less historical material. By contrast, this speculative and superstitious function has been advocated by a number of modern Neo-Confucianist philosophers.[4]
The quasi-logical regularity of the Changes replaced the genuine logical way of thinking in Chinese history and seriously retarded Chinese intellectual development. Its authoritative regularity, however, functioned positively in a pragmatic ethics which focused on the potential of moral actions based on Confucianist dogmas.
 
c) The schematic-empirical analogy
 
The Confucianist way of thought was very good at pragmatically combining the metaphysical and the empirical functions of a system of learning in order to meet theoretical, psychological and empirical requirements. The Changes was successfully used as a diagrammatic heuristic too stimulating the imagination in interpersonal confrontational relationships. The latter provides an explanation of actual social situations, a typology of oppositional situations. This is the reason why the line-structures of the Changes are given intelligible and useful explanations by the philosophers Wang Pi and Ch’eng I.
 

 
d) Typological symbolism
 
As we pointed out before, the Change has been not really used as a handbook for mythical divination or empirical calculation. “Playing with the Changes” (wan-i) only has an intellectual (psychological or philosophical) effect, offering the player the knowledge of general rules of structural situation and the dynamic tendency of interpersonal conditions. In this sense, we can say that the Changes is a “handbook” of the heuristic topography and typology of interpersonal re?ections. All parameters can be used to objectively characterize the possible relations of one’s positional strength to that of others in various conditions. The diagrammatic system can strengthen the consciousness of the opposite forces involved in interpersonal situations. Such a strengthened consciousness brings with it a stronger tendency towards practical activity which requires a precise understanding of the dynamic features of relationships.
 
3) The Source of the Authority of the Changes with Respect to its Interpretative Procedure
 
The Changes is the only Confucianist classic which is more theoretical than historical. Its material could be historically older than that of the other classics, but, the highly fragmented texts contain little historical narrative. This fact makes it more archaeological than historiographical in nature. On the other hand, however, it is the only classic employing a quasi-logical scheme. The scheme is directly linked to a clear conception of pro?t. Theory and interest are therefore organically combined in this ?rst Confucianist classic.
 
a) The genealogical source
 
Despite a lack of meaningful narratives in the original texts, “yao-tz’u,” its oracular words convey the activities of remote ancient rulers, recording their direct correspondence with supernatural spirits. These original words were regarded as signs of the intention of Heaven. Thus, there are three authoritative factors implied in the basic text and the related diagrams of the Changes: remote antiquity, primitive kingship and Heaven’s spirit. To the ancient Chinese, the diagrammatic and written signs were reliable evidence of the sacredness of the book. This genealogical sacredness was further strengthened by the fabricators of different parts of the book, including the legendary king Fu-hsi, the Chou-king Wen and Confucius. The sophistication of the diagrammatic structure was ascribed to the supernatural wisdom of these great ?gures.
 
b) Reliability for securing pro?t
 
The basic part of the book was derived from divinatory materials. This fact naturally linked it to the aim of obtaining interests through appealing to Heaven. Despite this supernatural aspect, the motive and purpose of the divinations are related to utilitarian bene?ts. This has been the central concern of human beings. Therefore, the Chinese have been inclined to accept it as reliable. This is so in addition to the ideological role which the work has played in Confucianist philosophy since the Han. In Chinese history, utilitarian systems are always superior to the moral systems which they employ.
 
c) Additional Confucianist dogmas
 
The moral and ideological function of the book has existed only since the addition of the Confucianist texts. The seven commentaries have different links to the classic part. All of them successfully ascribe moral and utilitarian explanations and guides to the basic texts, making it a useful handbook for speculating upon practical situations. First, the originally authorized part offers Confucianist teachings with a supernatural and metaphysical foundation. Second, the Confucianist texts, including the theory of the Five Elements, provide divinations with philosophical and ethical connotations. The Book of Changes formulates a hierarchy of the Heaven-Man correspondence. Third, a Confucianist pragmatics became operational through a learning of pro?t or interest which followed a double track: the suggestion of the divinatory origin and the practical analogy with interpersonal confrontations.
 

 
d) The formalistic, diagrammatic system as a quasi-logical schema
 
The diagrammatic part of the book is the crucial reason why the book has been so attractive to the Chinese mentality. Its formal sophistication makes it theoretically or logically convincing. In addition, the same basic part can be used symbolically as a diagrammatic heuristic of different intellectual thought. The two-fold systematic function was generally acceptable to the pragmatic mentality which developed out of various pre-Ch’in intellectual sources: Taoism, the doctrines of Yin-Yang and Five Elements, Legalism and Confucian thought. In distinction from the other classics, which also contain synthetic thought, the Changes provides a pseudo-theoretical framework unifying all of the metaphysical and social orders. Among the Five Classics, only the Changes was able to provide a universal dogmatic and heuristic scheme for Han-Confucianist ideology.

 
 

 

[1] Li Chian-ch’ih a contemporary expert of the Changes, mentions three periods in its formation: 1) the original form of the Changes in the Shang-Chou, the simply oracular words; 2) the ?nished form of the Changes in the late Chou with the system of the basic interpretative texts; 3) the developed Confucianist classic with commentary in the late Chou-Han. (Li 1978, 148-149)
[2] Modern historians of the Changes have pointed out its divinatory function. This raises the issue of how to grasp the Changes as a complete book. Besides the commentary, the material employed and its compilation must be distinguished. If so, we cannot say that it was a “book” for divination. Chu Hsi was confused by this matter when he attempted to discover the divinatory methods of the book. (ibid., 1622). Still, this confusion contains an important epistemological point, which we shall discuss later.
[3] Modern Confucianist philosophers tend to emphasize the expanded sense of the term “interest” in the Changes, including the interest in moral terms. (the utilitarian aspect of moral projects) (Cf. T’ang Chün-i 1976 v. 2, 153) Chang Tsai, the Sung Confucianist philosopher, tried to use the term in the rede?ned sense that only an “interest for the people can be called interest.” (Cf. Huang Tsong-hsi 1989, v. 1, 768) Another Sung Confucianist metaphysician, Shao Yung, interpreted the term “interest” as “propriety.” (ibid., 404) The point lies in the ambiguity of the pragmatic usage of the term rather than in its semantic rede?nition.
[4] One of Hsüng’s students, T’ang Chün-i, said, “the value of the learning of the Changes does not lie in divination or textual criticism, but rather in the fact that its conceptions can be simultaneously used as concepts and categories for thinking about the cosmos. This part maintains a true philosophical value and signi?cance.” (T’ang 1976, v. 2, 311)
12) The Book of the Historical Documents (Shu)
 
The Ch’ing historian Chang Hsüeh-ch’eng says, “the six Classics are all historical books.” The Shu Ching, or the Book of Historical Documents (brie?y, the Documents), however, has been regarded as a more authoritative history book than all other Chinese classics. The texts of the book are documents of the words and deeds of rulers recorded by of?cial historians of ancient courts. The basic texts of all other classics were also originally prepared by of?cial historians, but the Documents has the following features: each article is a complete text; most records in the texts are of the early kings’ activities and speeches; and the articles present the more complete dynastic lineage from the Hsia to the Chou through chronological examples of the kings’ words and deeds. While the Spring-Autumn Annals is a historical book about the ?rst half of the later Chou period, the Documents is about the history immediately prior to the period of the Annals. It presents a set of Heaven’s moral mandates through the words of the Kings which have become the basic codex of the Chinese national spirit.
 
1. The Historical Background of the Documents
 
Although the Documents is not really a precise chronological history book, its content spans a period of over 1600 years (about 1200 years for the Hsia and the Shang plus about 400 years for the Chou) following a general historical sequence. Its 28 basic texts, however, consist of only 16,320 characters. With regard to whether it is a true history book, debates have continued until today.
 
1) Recorded History and the Historical Documents
 
Among all classics or ancient books, the Documents is the only one which presents a relatively complete panorama of ancient history, originating with the ?rst generally accepted Chinese dynasty, the Hsia.[1] The complete panorama can only be understood in a symbolic and sketchy way. The book contains scanty descriptions of the historical processes. The historical records of the ?rst two dynasties over 1234 years in the book are included in only nine articles, with some names of kings being taken from historical legends. While the existence of the articles was enough to convince Chinese ancients of the existence of the historical dynasties, they are hardly accepted by modern scholars. Results of archaeological work in China from the beginning of this century have proven the existence of the Shang dynasty, but no direct signs of the existence of the Hsia dynasty have been found, as Chang points out.
The Chou is the ?rst con?rmable beginning of written Chinese history but there are very few written and physical documents from the ?rst half of its history. According to the archaeological material of the Lung-Shan culture, Chinese civilization began 7000 years ago, but the documented history of individual events goes back only about three thousand years. The social events of remote Chinese history have unfortunately left little documentation. If in its narrow sense history means recorded historical processes and events, there are ?ve types of pre-modern Chinese history.
 
a)   Fragmented records of human activity: pre-historical civilization. No individual or complete historical event has been handed down to us.
b)   The records of the legendary stories with legendary dates without any reliable documents to prove their historical existence: the Hsia dynasty and those prior to it.
The above two categories cannot become the objects of historical studies.
c)   Fragmented records of some individual historical events: the middle Shang and the early Chou. These can become the object of historical studies. It is very dif?cult or even impossible, however, for us to represent their historical outline, let alone the historical details.
d)   More complete records in the verbal texts, still lacking reliable, original systematic records of historical events: the latter Chou period.
e)   Systematic chronological records of historical processes and collections of books from pre-modern Chinese history.
 
From the above explanations, we can understand that the identity of the historical processes is innately tied to the identity of historical documents. The study of historical processes depends on that of historical documents. The results of historical study are a mixture of objective and subjective factors.
 
2) The History of the Formation of the Documents
 
The ?rst dif?culty in our inquiry is caused by the semantic ambiguity of Chinese words. Originally, the name of the book was “shu,” which since the late Chou has generally meant “book.” In remote ancient times, before appearance of books as collections of texts, it meant the verb “to write.” Later on, after historical recording in antiquity had been gradually institutionalized in the late Shang and Chou, the word referred specially to of?cial documents of any kind, including divinatory writings. Hence, Wang Kuo-wei says, “all ancient documents can be brie?y called ‘shu’.” (Wang, v. 15, 6927) Finally, during the late Chou and Han, when a special collection of historical documents was compiled, the word began to refer to this single book, although all of the possible meanings of the word exist in the ancient written material. Confusion particularly arises because of the last two meanings: the particular book available since the Han and historical documents in general.
In pre-Han texts, we ?nd several uses of the word. In the Analects, the Mencius, the Tso-chuan and as late as the Annals of Lü, the word refers to particular historical documents, but we cannot de?nitely say these documents belong to the same book available in the Han. A negative indication can be gained by remarking that the quoted sentences containing the character “shu” in the above books do not appear in the Documents. For this reason, Fu Ssu-nien asserts that “there are different versions of the shu in various periods” (Fu 1980, v. 1, 70). The Han scholars of the Documents were inclined to identify the word in the pre-Han texts with that in the Han book of the Documents in order to prove its earlier origin. According to modern scholars, there are two possible origins of the compilation of the book: the late Chou or the early Han. If so, the book was never seen by Confucius, Mencius and many other pre-Ch’in literati.
We still need to differentiate between the oral and written existence of the collection of texts called “shu.” Even if the collection really was ?nished before the Han, it still could have been “written down” on bamboo tablets or silk rolls as late as the early Han. In fact, there is a record in the Han Records that the bamboo or silk book was formed during the Han-Ching-ti period, when the 90-year-old scholar Fu Sheng taught the book. This scholar was rumored to have survived three dynasties. (Another contradictory legend says that he hid the book and exhibited it only after the end of the Ch’in.) Fu Sheng’s the Documents consists of 28 articles. The study of the book was accepted as an of?cial learning in the Han-Ching-ti period and later became one of the basic Confucianist classics in the Han-Wu-ti period. The ?rst set of Five Classics belonged to the “Modern Script school.” During the period between Former and Later Han, the “Old Script school” emerged and many more articles were added to Fu Sheng’s work. The new book consisted of 102 articles, known as the version of the Old Script system; but this version has not been handed down to us. Moreover, it has been regarded by modern scholars as a fabrication. Finally, during the Eastern Chin dynasty another version of the book in the Old Script system with 58 articles came out. It was supposed to have been preserved by Kung An-kuo, allegedly one of Confucius’ descendants in the Han-Wu, when it was discovered. Although this version has been handed down to us, its authenticity was denied even by many ancient scholars. Fortunately, it contains all the original 28 articles in the Modern Script system. It has been regarded by modern scholars as a reliable object for study.
There are several aspects to the fabrications of the book. It is generally accepted that most of the articles in the book was taken from the of?cial documents of the Chou which had not yet been compiled into a book. It is a mistake to hold that it was ?rst compiled and prefaced by Confucius. The only meaningful question involves the origin of the collection of 28 articles belonging to the Modern Script school. As Ch’ien Hsüan-t’ung points out, the content of the book could have changed over time. For each article there could have been an original part and several additions with different dates of origin. If this collection of texts was transmitted orally before the Han by professional families through generations, various revisions could easily have been introduced. Between the unknown ?rst version of the book and the present extant text, a number of fabrications, revisions and mistakes must have occurred in copying. Hence, Ch’ien and Ku repeatedly maintain that the historical authenticity of the book in both versions is dubious. (Ku 1963, v. 5, 14)
 
2. Historical Content and Historical Authenticity in the Documents
 
Modern studies employ different criteria for classifying the 28 articles: a) the historical content; b) the authenticity of the texts; c) the authenticity of the recorded historical facts; d) the type of writing; and e) linguistic and stylistic traits.
 
1) Historical Content
 
The historical content of the articles refers to the historical events depicted in various detail. The represented events in the texts differ from the objective processes which can hardly be reconstructed. The historical records include three dynasties whose existence as well as moral perfection were widely accepted during the Chou-Han period. There are four texts about the Hsia, ?ve texts about the Shang and nineteen texts about the Western and early Eastern Chou. Despite the uneven distribution of the texts along chronological axes, each dynasty is represented by only a few texts. The total of 28 articles is “textually” representative or indicative of the three Dynasties. Nevertheless, we are not in a position to con?rm their historical reliability.
 
2) Historical Authenticity
 
It is now generally accepted that the book contains three kinds of texts with different degrees of reliability. First, the texts were produced contemporaneously with the events which they described. Second, the represented events resemble historical truth. According to Ku’s classi?cation, the most reliable set contains one Shang text and 12 Chou texts. This means that their content and language seem to conform with the historical reality. A less reliable set contains 12 texts concerned with three dynasties. Neither their content nor their language seems to be original. The most unreliable set contains three Hsia texts. Their represented history was the oldest among the 28 articles but was evidently fabricated by the Ch’in-Han. (Ku 1991, v. 2, 598-600)
The most unreliable part of the book is the “Introduction to the Documents,” made later in the name of Kung An-kuo, and the short prefaces to each of the texts. The “short prefaces” (hsiao hsü) were rumoured to have been written by Confucius, although this was rejected already by many ancient scholars, including Chu Hsi. Doubting the authenticity and value of the book as a whole, Chu contests the authorship of the introduction and the short prefaces. (Chu 1986, v. 5, 1984) The introduction and prefaces, however, intellectually unify the collected articles.
Another proof of the fabrication of the Hsia documents is that the three Hsia texts have a language and style similar to that of the Ch’in-Han texts; they are even more readable. Nevertheless, the historical events represented by them have not yet been con?rmed. Among the ?ve Shang texts, there is only one reliable long piece the “Pan Keng,” which describes the moving of the capital of the Shang dynasty. When Ku Chieh-kang asserts that it is a “true” work, he adds that its language could have been later reworked. But what is the exact meaning of Ku’s phrase “the truth of the thought” of the text ? It can only refer to the legendary content and limited modern archaeological results. The source of the text has not been found; the text could have been completed much later. In fact, the language of the text is quite antique and very dif?cult to grasp. Even the Sung scholar Chu Hsi said he could not understand many parts of it. (Cf. Ku 1991, 1978)[2]
What we can safely say is that the Pan Keng records a more reliable legend of the Shang. The related historical document was formed through oral transmission. Therefore, it was not a record of contemporary historical events. In this sense, it is not a historical record from but instead only about the Shang. Our problem is whether there existed written documents for the proper historical records in the Shang. Until now, we have no direct proof of the existence of any such documents of Shang history. There may be no true Shang historical records. K. C. Chang says “We do not know that in the royal court of the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1700-1100) there were archivists and scribes who recorded important events of the state.” (Chang 1986, 296) He adds that written material in book form may not have survived long due to the frailty of bamboo and silk. Kuo Mo-roe and Tung Tsou-pin even assume there must have been brush pen and ink in the Shang. (Cf. Wu Hao-kun, 1985, 64) Nevertheless, all of these archaeological statements lack historiographical con?rmation. As Ku points out, most of the material about the Hsia and the Shang in the Documents only deals with legends. (Ku 1991, v. 1, 73)
Among the 19 Chou texts most are about the early Western Chou period, stories about and speeches made by several early Chou kings and princes. Even radical critics of ancient documents such as Fu Ssu-nien, Ch’ien Hsüan-t’ung and Ku Chieh-kang recognize that most of the Chou texts in the book contain “true” historical material. In this context, “true” means that the content resembles its historical actuality and that the language employed is closer to that of the early Chou. If the authenticity of the Chou texts cannot really be con?rmed, how can we believe that all of?cial texts, including the Chou’s, were kept in a single scholar’s hand—and this in addition to the possibility that the transmission was mostly oral without relying on written records? If the late Chou could have created so many legends and myths about pre-Chou times, it could also have done the same for the early Chou. We have, however, no separate sources to con?rm the Chou texts. Among them, however, there are eight special ones about the declarations of the Chou Prince. They are generally regarded as being more reliable, more dif?cult (because of their use of the current vernacular) and more signi?cant. They are taken as the “historical truth” left by the great royal sages who created Chou culture.
 
3. The Truth of Recorded History
 
As Ku Chieh-kang points out, the ancients did not pay attention to the signi?cance of culture and documents were not well kept for the sake of subsequent generations. (Ku 1991, v. 1, 73) Documents written in ancient time were not necessarily handed down. It is questionable how accurately those presumed documents re?ected the historical processes. Our ?rst query concerns the purpose of the ancient of?cial archivists and scribes in recording current events. The earliest scribes wrote on bones or shells. Archaeological ?nds include many remnants of Shang and Chou inscriptions on animal bones and tortoise shells. Divinatory inscriptions are the ?rst texts recording the divinatory activities of kings and princes. According to the patterns of the inscriptions, the recorded contents have to do with the time, purpose, name of the scribe, activity and effects. The items can be classi?ed into four groups: an initial description (time, place and divinatory person); a characterization of purpose (stating the divinatory purpose to the spirit of the tortoise used); a divinatory part (telling a fortune according to the pattern of lines on the bone or shell); and a con?rmation (comparing the empirically proved results with the divinatory result). (ibid., 86) The recorded events are sketchy; there are no positive causal descriptions apart from the divinations. The historical messages conveyed by the remnants of the short divinatory texts are very limited. Longer texts have been found inscribed on the unearthed vessels of the Shang and Early Chou. These texts are also practical in nature. The inscriptions of most unearthed bronze vessels of the Shang involve memoirs of ?ghting, sacri?cial rites and banquets, among other activities. Except for a few vessel texts with about 50 characters, most consist of only a few words ranging from one to six characters. Therefore, they are simple notes rather than complete descriptions. Still, the texts are about individual activities of rulers or states and therefore convey more historical content. The purpose of the inscriptions, however, is ceremonial; they do not intend to record political and social activities, as do documents written in the late Chou. Thus, historical remnants of the Shang are at most only fragmented records of occasional royal events and are far from offering a continuous picture of Shang history. Besides these sketchy notes, there are neither descriptions nor arguments on the inscriptions of those bronze vessels. In other words, there are few discursive extensions in the longer texts.
Because the Hsia texts in the Documents are fabrications of the late Chou or Han, their content could only have been drawn from ancient legends. What about the Shang texts? According to Ku, as we said above, at least one long text, the “Pan keng” could be “genuine”, although its language was probably revised in the Chou. In addition to convincing traits such as antique characters, use of language and inclusion of historical events, the stylistic organization of the text is unique among Shang texts, for it is much more elaborate in the process of textual organizations than the bronze inscriptions. Its textual density is much higher than that of contemporary or subsequent divinatory inscriptions. The historical content conveyed by the texts cannot be further con?rmed.
The most genuine texts in the Documents are generally recognized to be the 13 Chou texts about the mandates and instructions of the early Chou kings. The content and linguistic style of the texts are consistent with stories of the Chou handed down and accepted by ancient and modern Chinese readers. Despite such indirect support, we still lack direct evidence of the originality of the texts themselves and the truth of their historical stories. For this reason, Ku, one of the leading modern specialists of the book, also stresses that “few of texts of the Documents are historically convincing.” (Ku 1988, 117) What we have are only vessel texts whose authenticity has been archaeologically proved: for example, those with the names “Ling I,” “Ta Ting” and “Hsiao Ting” from the Ch’eng-King and K’ang-King period consisting of 187, 291 and 390 characters, respectively. The late Shang divinatory texts are extremely short, while the early Chou vessel memoirs-texts are well formulated. The historical content of the vessel texts is still limited owing to their practical purposes of celebration and recollection. It seems that written texts were not a central part of routine political communication in the early Chou dynasty.
 
4. Types of Writing and the Complexity of Narrative Organization
 
1) Types of Writing
 
Ku Chieh-kang refers to statements of Ch’i Chao-nan that after revision over many generations the texts of the Hsia, the Shang and the Chou dynasties, which span more than one thousand years, seem to have been written by a single hand. Despite their substantial and stylistic diversity, there is too much similarity between the 28 texts. We shall discuss their textual coherence later, focusing at this point on the types of writing.
Liu Hsieh, the ?rst Chinese literary critic, says that “the Book of the Documents is the classic of speeches; the Annals is the classic of events.” (Liu 1981, ch. 16, 169) This typical historical book does not include descriptions or records of historical processes. There are indeed several articles in it which contain more descriptions of events than others, but those texts are very dubious. Most relatively genuine texts of the Documents convey “speeches” rather than “events,” despite the fact that the traditional division between speech and event is not precisely made. We have to use a more exact classi?catory system of four planes of historical texts: a) production, b) expression, c) content and d) referent. Planes a) and d) are outside the text, while b) and c) are its constituent parts. The items in d) belong to the historical processes considered by the positive sciences. Items in a) are the concrete producers of the text. The identity of the producer must be also studied by the positive sciences. A producing agent as a “writer” or “scribe” is an actual agent establishing the text. Within the text there is also a writer or narrator or declarer as a factor of textuality. There are different positions or angles for the narrator such as the ?rst, second and third pronouns. Accordingly, there are subjective and objective positions in narrative texts. Therefore, a text contains different possible narrative types. In the nexus of sentences, there can appear several possible narrators with different angles and syntactical relations. If the narrator is subjective, it is an “I” or “we” with its spoken content. If objective, the narrator is a “he,” “she,” “you” or “they” with its narrated content. When the text has a spoken form rather than one of objective description, the speaker can be subjective or objective. This indicates the background of narrative operation. The textual form can consist of a narrative type and a substantial part. At lower levels the substantial part can be further divided into the narrative part and the substantial part at lower levels. Whenever the narrative role has a spoken form, the text is a record of spoken content. The term “spoken” is only a mark of a narrative role rather than substantial content. The connection between narrative role and the narrated content is external.
According to the above explanaion, the division between the class “speech” and class “event” refers to the narrative roles rather than to the substantial content. The nature of textual content is not de?ned by its narrative forms but rather by the narrated content. In the historical documents of the Shang-Chou period the quality of the historical content involved is not proved by the narrative roles. While the divinatory and classic texts of the Annals are mostly formed around the objective narrative role, many memoir vessel texts and texts in the Odes and the Analects are formed around the subjective narrative role. Although there is a difference of expressive subjectivity in the two categories of texts, the related historical content is not measured by the narrative forms which belong to the expression plane. Instead, the characteristic of the historical content in the texts is de?ned by the plane of the expressed.
The effective content of a historical text is dependent not on whether the story is spoken or written (this belongs to the expression plane) but instead on its expressed states. There are two basic categories of texts: the descriptive and the declarative, to which we wish to draw attention. The two categories cover both the objective and subjective subjects. Descriptions include external or internal states of an object. Declarations involve internal and external matters. The one is about the juxtaposition of described items, while the other presents various narrative requirements such as orders, wishes, warnings etc. The latter is connected not only with subjective states, but also with the demanding relation between the narrator and his chosen partners.
According to our criteria, the texts of the Documents have a weaker descriptive function and a stronger declarative function. This means that the descriptions of historical processes are quite limited and the degree of authenticity of described processes is quite low. Instead, most of the content of the book consists in wishes, orders, admonitions and threats of the kings. Furthermore, these subjective expressions themselves can have more historical authenticity. This does not mean that we are in a better position to con?rm them, but rather that those subjective expressions exist in classi?catory form. The wishes for victory and good harvest, orders for ?ghting and moving and giving thanks in different historical situations can have a similar content, although the involved historical processes and circumstances are different. The texts of the declarative category, however, can function separately in various historical situations. In general, the authenticity of historical materials has two different sides: (A) objective descriptions of behavior, events and their causal and motivational connections; and (B) subjective reactions to A. B offers more authenticity than A. In this case, the authenticity of B is physically borne by A, which has other problems of authenticity.
 
2). The Complexity of Narrative Organization
 
Concerning the constitution of historical texts, there is a division between the internal and external, or subjective and objective; and there is another division between the descriptive and the declarative types. Different combinations of the four parameters are realized in the narrating and narrated modes. Accordingly, there are four possible types of complexity in textual organization. Their degree can be estimated by the following factors in the expression plane and content plane: in the expression plane, or the formal plane, the related factors are the number of items employed and the complexity of their connection; in the content plane, besides the above-listed quantitative factors, there are other rational factors organizing the textual content, including causation ties, ties between motive and effect, those between aim and means and evaluation. The last type includes both the ethical and the utilitarian. Therefore, we can say that the complexity of the narrative content involves the rational operation of textual organization. In the expression plane, the linguistic and rhetorical characters are the most important factors for judging the nature of texts.
Based on the above formal and substantial organizing procedures, a text of historical documents can be primarily judged in formalist terms. Of course, there are two formalist dimensions at both the formal and the substantial planes. Both re?ect levels in the rational organization of texts, offering some basic criteria for identifying historical texts. According to these criteria, the organizing level of the Shang-Chou texts of the Documents is much more complex than the historical texts uncovered by archaeological inquiry into the material of the same period. Thus, the texts of the Documents are much richer at both the formal and substantial levels than texts found on divinatory bones and memoir vessels. This fact indirectly proves that the texts of the Documents are not original. As we pointed out before, the most convincing refutation of the originality of the texts of the Documents is obtained by examining the texts of the Hsia which pretend to be the earliest. According to the above criteria, the complexity of the texts is even greater than those of subsequent dynasties. If this is so and includes extreme examples of fabrication, it is natural to guess that other texts could to a lesser degree have been similarly constructed for the same reason.
 
5. The Ideological Role of the Three Main Falsi?ed Texts
 
There are three historiographically falsi?ed texts in the Documents which play a leading ideological role. Despite their falsity, they have had a tremendous in?uence in Chinese intellectual history because of their nationalist coloration. If the historical fabrications are regarded as legends, their meaning will be different. In the Five Classics, however, they are supposed to portray historical reality.
 
1) The Canon of Yao
 
The ?rst article in the book is about the legendary ?rst emperor Yao, who lived about 2300 B.C. This text has great signi?cance in the book, because it introduces all the other articles. It has been proved by Ku Chieh-kang to be a product of the imperial expansionism of the late Chou. The article became a “manifesto” of the imperial lineage and the spirit of an expanded “larger China” (ta chung-kuo). Ku asserts that there are three successive versions of the article and that the last one was ?nished in the Wu-ti period, immediately before Ssu-ma’s Records of History. (Ku 1990, v. 3, 1344) Fu Ssu-nien points out that the geographical and administrative descriptions in the text of the last version of the Han conform with the Han situation; the content is highly consistent with the events of the Han Wu-ti. (Fu 1980, 360) Ku also points out that the article could be regarded as “a program of the State Reconstruction” of the Wu-ti emperor. (Ku 1990, v. 3, 1406) Wu-ti hoped this program would become a canon for all subsequent generations. (ibid., 1417)
This general program of a great Han-nationalist empire was begun by the ?rst Ch’in emperor but was only completed by the Han Wu-ti emperor. The expansionist voice of the nation was initially raised by the legendary ?rst emperor said to have been the founder of the ?rst Chinese dynasty Hsia. The original expansionist desires were eventually realized in the Han-Wu-ti. The article Canon of Yao-Hsia became a symbol of the Wu-ti’s ambition. The text praises the great virtues of Yao, the principles he followed, his political ambition and achievements and his concern about his successor, Shun, the legendary second great emperor in the lineage invented in the late Chou. While we should be cautious in guessing the rationale of the article, its evident emphasis lies on the great mission of the ?rst Chinese emperor and the historical realization of the ?xed lineage. All subsequent emperors shared in and identi?ed themselves with the same lineage. Wu-ti was an orthodox successor of the lineage and also the second and most successful emperor—the ?rst Ch’in emperor. His task was one of changing the political system established by the Ch’in emperor according to the commonly accepted lineage. Thus, the same lineage presents different historical phases realizing the original canon. Accordingly, peaceful transition was replaced by military annexation for the same aim of maintaining the lineage. The ancient Chinese rulers were all fascinated with the same positive presentation of historical processes. What happened in the past was a justi?ed fact in the lineage of power. The political lineage represents the temporal link of different historical powers inlaid in an objective framework of justi?cation and authority.
Liao P’ing, a Ch’ing historical critic, said, “The meaning of the Book of Documents can be suf?ciently represented by the single article Canon of Yao the remaining 27 pieces are only detailed unfoldings and elaborations of this ?rst article.” (Cf. Ku 1990, v. 5, 3678) As the ?nal work completed,[3] the Canon of Yao, according to Ku, can be regarded as the summary of an ancient political theory or the general program for the nationalist uni?cation of the Han empire designed by Wu-ti. The fragmented historical documents were used to “prove” the authenticity of a theory invented later.
 
2) The Tribute of
 
Another Hsia text, the “Yü kung” (the Tribute of Yü), is apparently geographical in nature, employing the name of the third legendary Chinese emperor Yü, who was also the ?rst emperor of the Hsia Dynasty. The ?rst three original emperors were almost contemporaries, each recommending his successor. The commonly recognized ?rst Chinese dynasty began with Yü, from whom subsequent emperors claimed to have obtained authority through the patriarchal system. Compared with the ?rst two legendary emperors, Yü seems to be historically more acceptable. His legendary achievement was the controlling of ?oods in mainland China. The article uses his story as a narrative background for the notion of an imaginary expanded China. China’s territory was de?ned and enumerated, forming a comprehensive if geographically inaccurate picture. The main content of the article includes Yü’s demarcation of nine Chinese provinces, his descriptions of mountains and rivers, his plan for ?ood control and lists of people and minorities along with their possible contributions to the court. Because of its evident historical and geographical mistakes, the authenticity of the text has been rejected, but it played a lasting historical role. The geographical descriptions connected with the achievements of King Yü were physical symbols and blueprints of the uni?ed empire.
 
3) The Great Plan
 
Another important falsi?cation is the Chou text “the Great Plan.” While the former two texts about the major programs should be appreciated in connection with the entire book, this one should be regarded as a separate masterpiece. It was an independent program of Chinese philosophy and politics. The “plan” refers to the set of basic principles mandated by Heaven and handed down to the Chou prince from Kie Tzu the last of?cial of the destroyed Shang dynasty. Through learning from the last of?cial of the Shang, the Chou Prince inherited Heaven’s mandate and its instruction, along with the correct principles and methods for ruling the country. The legend accords with the spirit of the Documents, with the Chou prince being the key ?gure in the formation of Chinese civilization. The plan comprises nine sections, including 1) the Five Elements; 2) the ?ve good manners; 3) the eight of?ces; 4) the ?ve seasonal jobs; 5) the royal doctrine as the center of the Great Plan; 6) the three major virtues; 7) the examination of doubt (deciding by dint of divination); 8) observing meteorological changes to aid correct management of the government; and 9) control over people through reward and punishment. The nine sections of governing principles include various ?elds ranging from the metaphysical to the political. Among the articles in the Documents, this one, which was included in its entirety in the Records of History, became particularly in?uential in the Ch’in-Han period.
The ideas of the Great Plan express the predominant thought of the late Chou time and do not constitute an original system. As Ku suggests, “through combining the ancient divinatory crafts and the Five Elements theory of the Warring-States period, it elaborates the theory of the Heaven-Man correlation.” (Ku 1990, v. 8, 6288) While the Canon of Yao is the spiritual guide of the book of the Documents, the Great Plan is the ideological guide of Han Confucianism, with its strategic theory of universalism and expansionism of Han-Wu-ti’s regime.
 
6. Ideological Manipulation in the Documents
 
Among the system of the Five Classics the Documents is a typical work of historiographic ideology.
 
1) The Formation of the Documents
 
Following the ?rst compilation of the book in the Han, there were three different versions, each of which includes a different number of articles. The 28 articles of the main part functioned in the same way as many other compiled texts in Chinese classics, containing the following essential elements: the representative texts of the three dynasties; the guiding thought expressed in several fabricated articles added in later generations; and short prefaces added to all articles ?nished in the later generations. Both the total content and the combination of texts symbolize the original voices of the ancient national kings during their mythical communication with Heaven. The combination of texts also indicates the political lineage of the kings. The lineage itself became the basis of dei?cation. In ancient times, doubts about the authenticity of some texts did not lead to complete denial of the value of the book. Some original portions of the texts support the ideological reconstruction of the book. The rationale of the book lies not in its historiographic authenticity, but rather in its potential to stimulate belief in the imperial lineage.
 
2) The Presumed Authorship of the Chou Prince and Confucius
 
The most important texts are those about the Chou Prince and his words and deeds at the beginning of the Chou dynasty. There are 12 texts indicating the basic systems and rules which he established. This set of texts was also regarded as the codex of the Chou cultural system. The organization of the book with these achievements at the center highlights the central position of the Chou Prince in the formation of Chinese civilization and political lineage. As Ku points out, 12 articles about the Chou Prince in the document led to his becoming the central ?gure in the Chinese political lineage. (Ku 1991, v. 5, 3677) The texts became positive evidence for the existence of the Chou prince, his achievements and his position in Chinese history. The Chou prince never formally occupied the position of king, he only played the role of arch-sage. There was a two-fold system of the glori?cation of authority: besides the political king there was a spiritual king (sage). They complemented each other. The Chou Prince was a unique model combining the position of king and the identity of sage. When Confucianism was established in the middle Han, the ideological pattern of Chinese history was revised. A double system consisting of the Chou prince and Confucius was formally recognized. The former was taken as the founder of the lineage and the tradition and the latter as the key transmitter of the spiritual tradition.
The ideological trick lies in the fact that the special mixture of fragmented original documents and systematic modern teachings led to two results: the credibility guaranteed by the originality of inserted material and the political rationality of current thought. In fact, the three main articles work in a complementary way. People might have concluded that 1) there were voices and instructions of the old kings mandated by Heaven; 2) the ?rst instructions were given by the ?rst Chinese emperor, Yao; 3) the original national mission was designed by the ruler Yü of the ?rst Chinese dynasty, the Hsia; 4) the systematic principles of life and politics in China were established by the ?rst great sage, the Chou prince, on the basis of the mandate of Heaven; and 5) the book of the Documents and the three articles were recon?rmed by the second great sage,Confucius, through his compilation and prefaces.
 
3) The Special Introduction Fabricated for the Documents
 
As is the case with other classics, an evident ideological role is played by a special introduction to the book. This is the notorious text “The General Preface of the Documents” traditionally ascribed to Confucius. This article enumerates 100 texts and gives the leading idea of all of them, including the lost texts. According to Kang You-wei, it was fabricated by Liu Hsin, but Ku assumes that it was produced only in the late Han. (Ku 1990, v. 3,1307) It is possible that the preface in Confucius’ name underwent several revisions in the Han. This article attempts to intellectually unify all of the documents into a single line of thought. It has been extensively doubted and even dismissed since the Sung, but it played an active role in gaining acceptance for the ideology of the book in the late Han. Despite a general disregard for its historiographic signi?cance in modern times, we should examine its ideological role. With respect to its historical con?rmability, the Book of the Documents is more important than all other classics because it contains the words and deeds of the early kings as represented by the alleged original historical remnants.
 
4) The Temporal Order of Historical Powers
 
Although we cannot con?rm Ku’s surmise about the date of the ?rst article in the book, its compilation must have begun earlier than the Wu-ti, perhaps in the very beginning of the Han. The order of the texts re?ects the accepted imperial lineage: the Hsia, the Shang and the Chou. The order indicates an historical evolution which was strengthened after the early Han. The insertion of additional fabricated texts and introductions further uni?ed the historical narrative. The arrangement of chapters indicates the genealogy of the original power of the ?rst three dynasties.
 

 
5) The Historiographical Indication of the National Origin
 
The historical order supports the national origin identi?ed with the ?rst dynasty and the ?rst emperor. Because of the mythical nature of the legend of the Hsia and Yao, the insertion of the ?rst text, regardless of its date of composition, indicates the ideological motive of the editor of the book. The fabricated words of the ?rst emperor purport to reveal a uni?ed historical evolution. In addition, the textual existence of the historical remnants itself plays a direct role. Despite the inclusion of earlier pre-Chou legends in the book, the Chou documents are reliable and convincing. They compose the “physical” skeleton containing “historical textual relics” for evoking belief in their veracity. It is thought that “there is something true implied in the historical texts.”

 
 

 

[1] Chang K.C. notes, “Traditionally, the Hsia dynasty is placed between 2205 and 1766 B.C. I am among the many who believe in the essential validity of the historical records concerning the Hsia, although archaeologists have as yet been unable to identify any Hsia ruins despite many attempts to do so.” (Chang 1976, 47)
[2] Much later, Ku inserted a more critical remark about the article in his notebook. According to inscriptions on bones and tortoise-shells records, the Shang called themselves simply “Shang.” Only the subsequent Chou called the Shang the “Yin.” In this article assumed to have been written in the Shang dynasty, the Shang also refer to themselves as the “Yin.” This further evidences its fabrication, apart from “a lack of historical detail in the text.” (Ku 1991, 7776)
[3] The ?nal version of the article could be the result of several fabrications since the late Chou. Ch’ien Mu also recognized that the article was produced in the later Chou like the book Chou li. (Chien 1958, 302) Concerning the entire book available today, Ku concluded that there were four stages of falsi?cation covering a long period from the later Chou to the Eastern Chin.
 
 
 
 
12) The Book of the Historical Documents (Shu)
 
The Ch’ing historian Chang Hsüeh-ch’eng says, “the six Classics are all historical books.” The Shu Ching, or the Book of Historical Documents (brie?y, the Documents), however, has been regarded as a more authoritative history book than all other Chinese classics. The texts of the book are documents of the words and deeds of rulers recorded by of?cial historians of ancient courts. The basic texts of all other classics were also originally prepared by of?cial historians, but the Documents has the following features: each article is a complete text; most records in the texts are of the early kings’ activities and speeches; and the articles present the more complete dynastic lineage from the Hsia to the Chou through chronological examples of the kings’ words and deeds. While the Spring-Autumn Annals is a historical book about the ?rst half of the later Chou period, the Documents is about the history immediately prior to the period of the Annals. It presents a set of Heaven’s moral mandates through the words of the Kings which have become the basic codex of the Chinese national spirit.
 
1. The Historical Background of the Documents
 
Although the Documents is not really a precise chronological history book, its content spans a period of over 1600 years (about 1200 years for the Hsia and the Shang plus about 400 years for the Chou) following a general historical sequence. Its 28 basic texts, however, consist of only 16,320 characters. With regard to whether it is a true history book, debates have continued until today.
 
1) Recorded History and the Historical Documents
 
Among all classics or ancient books, the Documents is the only one which presents a relatively complete panorama of ancient history, originating with the ?rst generally accepted Chinese dynasty, the Hsia.[1] The complete panorama can only be understood in a symbolic and sketchy way. The book contains scanty descriptions of the historical processes. The historical records of the ?rst two dynasties over 1234 years in the book are included in only nine articles, with some names of kings being taken from historical legends. While the existence of the articles was enough to convince Chinese ancients of the existence of the historical dynasties, they are hardly accepted by modern scholars. Results of archaeological work in China from the beginning of this century have proven the existence of the Shang dynasty, but no direct signs of the existence of the Hsia dynasty have been found, as Chang points out.
The Chou is the ?rst con?rmable beginning of written Chinese history but there are very few written and physical documents from the ?rst half of its history. According to the archaeological material of the Lung-Shan culture, Chinese civilization began 7000 years ago, but the documented history of individual events goes back only about three thousand years. The social events of remote Chinese history have unfortunately left little documentation. If in its narrow sense history means recorded historical processes and events, there are ?ve types of pre-modern Chinese history.
 
a)   Fragmented records of human activity: pre-historical civilization. No individual or complete historical event has been handed down to us.
b)   The records of the legendary stories with legendary dates without any reliable documents to prove their historical existence: the Hsia dynasty and those prior to it.
The above two categories cannot become the objects of historical studies.
c)   Fragmented records of some individual historical events: the middle Shang and the early Chou. These can become the object of historical studies. It is very dif?cult or even impossible, however, for us to represent their historical outline, let alone the historical details.
d)   More complete records in the verbal texts, still lacking reliable, original systematic records of historical events: the latter Chou period.
e)   Systematic chronological records of historical processes and collections of books from pre-modern Chinese history.
 
From the above explanations, we can understand that the identity of the historical processes is innately tied to the identity of historical documents. The study of historical processes depends on that of historical documents. The results of historical study are a mixture of objective and subjective factors.
 
2) The History of the Formation of the Documents
 
The ?rst dif?culty in our inquiry is caused by the semantic ambiguity of Chinese words. Originally, the name of the book was “shu,” which since the late Chou has generally meant “book.” In remote ancient times, before appearance of books as collections of texts, it meant the verb “to write.” Later on, after historical recording in antiquity had been gradually institutionalized in the late Shang and Chou, the word referred specially to of?cial documents of any kind, including divinatory writings. Hence, Wang Kuo-wei says, “all ancient documents can be brie?y called ‘shu’.” (Wang, v. 15, 6927) Finally, during the late Chou and Han, when a special collection of historical documents was compiled, the word began to refer to this single book, although all of the possible meanings of the word exist in the ancient written material. Confusion particularly arises because of the last two meanings: the particular book available since the Han and historical documents in general.
In pre-Han texts, we ?nd several uses of the word. In the Analects, the Mencius, the Tso-chuan and as late as the Annals of Lü, the word refers to particular historical documents, but we cannot de?nitely say these documents belong to the same book available in the Han. A negative indication can be gained by remarking that the quoted sentences containing the character “shu” in the above books do not appear in the Documents. For this reason, Fu Ssu-nien asserts that “there are different versions of the shu in various periods” (Fu 1980, v. 1, 70). The Han scholars of the Documents were inclined to identify the word in the pre-Han texts with that in the Han book of the Documents in order to prove its earlier origin. According to modern scholars, there are two possible origins of the compilation of the book: the late Chou or the early Han. If so, the book was never seen by Confucius, Mencius and many other pre-Ch’in literati.
We still need to differentiate between the oral and written existence of the collection of texts called “shu.” Even if the collection really was ?nished before the Han, it still could have been “written down” on bamboo tablets or silk rolls as late as the early Han. In fact, there is a record in the Han Records that the bamboo or silk book was formed during the Han-Ching-ti period, when the 90-year-old scholar Fu Sheng taught the book. This scholar was rumored to have survived three dynasties. (Another contradictory legend says that he hid the book and exhibited it only after the end of the Ch’in.) Fu Sheng’s the Documents consists of 28 articles. The study of the book was accepted as an of?cial learning in the Han-Ching-ti period and later became one of the basic Confucianist classics in the Han-Wu-ti period. The ?rst set of Five Classics belonged to the “Modern Script school.” During the period between Former and Later Han, the “Old Script school” emerged and many more articles were added to Fu Sheng’s work. The new book consisted of 102 articles, known as the version of the Old Script system; but this version has not been handed down to us. Moreover, it has been regarded by modern scholars as a fabrication. Finally, during the Eastern Chin dynasty another version of the book in the Old Script system with 58 articles came out. It was supposed to have been preserved by Kung An-kuo, allegedly one of Confucius’ descendants in the Han-Wu, when it was discovered. Although this version has been handed down to us, its authenticity was denied even by many ancient scholars. Fortunately, it contains all the original 28 articles in the Modern Script system. It has been regarded by modern scholars as a reliable object for study.
There are several aspects to the fabrications of the book. It is generally accepted that most of the articles in the book was taken from the of?cial documents of the Chou which had not yet been compiled into a book. It is a mistake to hold that it was ?rst compiled and prefaced by Confucius. The only meaningful question involves the origin of the collection of 28 articles belonging to the Modern Script school. As Ch’ien Hsüan-t’ung points out, the content of the book could have changed over time. For each article there could have been an original part and several additions with different dates of origin. If this collection of texts was transmitted orally before the Han by professional families through generations, various revisions could easily have been introduced. Between the unknown ?rst version of the book and the present extant text, a number of fabrications, revisions and mistakes must have occurred in copying. Hence, Ch’ien and Ku repeatedly maintain that the historical authenticity of the book in both versions is dubious. (Ku 1963, v. 5, 14)
 
2. Historical Content and Historical Authenticity in the Documents
 
Modern studies employ different criteria for classifying the 28 articles: a) the historical content; b) the authenticity of the texts; c) the authenticity of the recorded historical facts; d) the type of writing; and e) linguistic and stylistic traits.
 
1) Historical Content
 
The historical content of the articles refers to the historical events depicted in various detail. The represented events in the texts differ from the objective processes which can hardly be reconstructed. The historical records include three dynasties whose existence as well as moral perfection were widely accepted during the Chou-Han period. There are four texts about the Hsia, ?ve texts about the Shang and nineteen texts about the Western and early Eastern Chou. Despite the uneven distribution of the texts along chronological axes, each dynasty is represented by only a few texts. The total of 28 articles is “textually” representative or indicative of the three Dynasties. Nevertheless, we are not in a position to con?rm their historical reliability.
 
2) Historical Authenticity
 
It is now generally accepted that the book contains three kinds of texts with different degrees of reliability. First, the texts were produced contemporaneously with the events which they described. Second, the represented events resemble historical truth. According to Ku’s classi?cation, the most reliable set contains one Shang text and 12 Chou texts. This means that their content and language seem to conform with the historical reality. A less reliable set contains 12 texts concerned with three dynasties. Neither their content nor their language seems to be original. The most unreliable set contains three Hsia texts. Their represented history was the oldest among the 28 articles but was evidently fabricated by the Ch’in-Han. (Ku 1991, v. 2, 598-600)
The most unreliable part of the book is the “Introduction to the Documents,” made later in the name of Kung An-kuo, and the short prefaces to each of the texts. The “short prefaces” (hsiao hsü) were rumoured to have been written by Confucius, although this was rejected already by many ancient scholars, including Chu Hsi. Doubting the authenticity and value of the book as a whole, Chu contests the authorship of the introduction and the short prefaces. (Chu 1986, v. 5, 1984) The introduction and prefaces, however, intellectually unify the collected articles.
Another proof of the fabrication of the Hsia documents is that the three Hsia texts have a language and style similar to that of the Ch’in-Han texts; they are even more readable. Nevertheless, the historical events represented by them have not yet been con?rmed. Among the ?ve Shang texts, there is only one reliable long piece the “Pan Keng,” which describes the moving of the capital of the Shang dynasty. When Ku Chieh-kang asserts that it is a “true” work, he adds that its language could have been later reworked. But what is the exact meaning of Ku’s phrase “the truth of the thought” of the text ? It can only refer to the legendary content and limited modern archaeological results. The source of the text has not been found; the text could have been completed much later. In fact, the language of the text is quite antique and very dif?cult to grasp. Even the Sung scholar Chu Hsi said he could not understand many parts of it. (Cf. Ku 1991, 1978)[2]
What we can safely say is that the Pan Keng records a more reliable legend of the Shang. The related historical document was formed through oral transmission. Therefore, it was not a record of contemporary historical events. In this sense, it is not a historical record from but instead only about the Shang. Our problem is whether there existed written documents for the proper historical records in the Shang. Until now, we have no direct proof of the existence of any such documents of Shang history. There may be no true Shang historical records. K. C. Chang says “We do not know that in the royal court of the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1700-1100) there were archivists and scribes who recorded important events of the state.” (Chang 1986, 296) He adds that written material in book form may not have survived long due to the frailty of bamboo and silk. Kuo Mo-roe and Tung Tsou-pin even assume there must have been brush pen and ink in the Shang. (Cf. Wu Hao-kun, 1985, 64) Nevertheless, all of these archaeological statements lack historiographical con?rmation. As Ku points out, most of the material about the Hsia and the Shang in the Documents only deals with legends. (Ku 1991, v. 1, 73)
Among the 19 Chou texts most are about the early Western Chou period, stories about and speeches made by several early Chou kings and princes. Even radical critics of ancient documents such as Fu Ssu-nien, Ch’ien Hsüan-t’ung and Ku Chieh-kang recognize that most of the Chou texts in the book contain “true” historical material. In this context, “true” means that the content resembles its historical actuality and that the language employed is closer to that of the early Chou. If the authenticity of the Chou texts cannot really be con?rmed, how can we believe that all of?cial texts, including the Chou’s, were kept in a single scholar’s hand—and this in addition to the possibility that the transmission was mostly oral without relying on written records? If the late Chou could have created so many legends and myths about pre-Chou times, it could also have done the same for the early Chou. We have, however, no separate sources to con?rm the Chou texts. Among them, however, there are eight special ones about the declarations of the Chou Prince. They are generally regarded as being more reliable, more dif?cult (because of their use of the current vernacular) and more signi?cant. They are taken as the “historical truth” left by the great royal sages who created Chou culture.
 
3. The Truth of Recorded History
 
As Ku Chieh-kang points out, the ancients did not pay attention to the signi?cance of culture and documents were not well kept for the sake of subsequent generations. (Ku 1991, v. 1, 73) Documents written in ancient time were not necessarily handed down. It is questionable how accurately those presumed documents re?ected the historical processes. Our ?rst query concerns the purpose of the ancient of?cial archivists and scribes in recording current events. The earliest scribes wrote on bones or shells. Archaeological ?nds include many remnants of Shang and Chou inscriptions on animal bones and tortoise shells. Divinatory inscriptions are the ?rst texts recording the divinatory activities of kings and princes. According to the patterns of the inscriptions, the recorded contents have to do with the time, purpose, name of the scribe, activity and effects. The items can be classi?ed into four groups: an initial description (time, place and divinatory person); a characterization of purpose (stating the divinatory purpose to the spirit of the tortoise used); a divinatory part (telling a fortune according to the pattern of lines on the bone or shell); and a con?rmation (comparing the empirically proved results with the divinatory result). (ibid., 86) The recorded events are sketchy; there are no positive causal descriptions apart from the divinations. The historical messages conveyed by the remnants of the short divinatory texts are very limited. Longer texts have been found inscribed on the unearthed vessels of the Shang and Early Chou. These texts are also practical in nature. The inscriptions of most unearthed bronze vessels of the Shang involve memoirs of ?ghting, sacri?cial rites and banquets, among other activities. Except for a few vessel texts with about 50 characters, most consist of only a few words ranging from one to six characters. Therefore, they are simple notes rather than complete descriptions. Still, the texts are about individual activities of rulers or states and therefore convey more historical content. The purpose of the inscriptions, however, is ceremonial; they do not intend to record political and social activities, as do documents written in the late Chou. Thus, historical remnants of the Shang are at most only fragmented records of occasional royal events and are far from offering a continuous picture of Shang history. Besides these sketchy notes, there are neither descriptions nor arguments on the inscriptions of those bronze vessels. In other words, there are few discursive extensions in the longer texts.
Because the Hsia texts in the Documents are fabrications of the late Chou or Han, their content could only have been drawn from ancient legends. What about the Shang texts? According to Ku, as we said above, at least one long text, the “Pan keng” could be “genuine”, although its language was probably revised in the Chou. In addition to convincing traits such as antique characters, use of language and inclusion of historical events, the stylistic organization of the text is unique among Shang texts, for it is much more elaborate in the process of textual organizations than the bronze inscriptions. Its textual density is much higher than that of contemporary or subsequent divinatory inscriptions. The historical content conveyed by the texts cannot be further con?rmed.
The most genuine texts in the Documents are generally recognized to be the 13 Chou texts about the mandates and instructions of the early Chou kings. The content and linguistic style of the texts are consistent with stories of the Chou handed down and accepted by ancient and modern Chinese readers. Despite such indirect support, we still lack direct evidence of the originality of the texts themselves and the truth of their historical stories. For this reason, Ku, one of the leading modern specialists of the book, also stresses that “few of texts of the Documents are historically convincing.” (Ku 1988, 117) What we have are only vessel texts whose authenticity has been archaeologically proved: for example, those with the names “Ling I,” “Ta Ting” and “Hsiao Ting” from the Ch’eng-King and K’ang-King period consisting of 187, 291 and 390 characters, respectively. The late Shang divinatory texts are extremely short, while the early Chou vessel memoirs-texts are well formulated. The historical content of the vessel texts is still limited owing to their practical purposes of celebration and recollection. It seems that written texts were not a central part of routine political communication in the early Chou dynasty.
 
4. Types of Writing and the Complexity of Narrative Organization
 
1) Types of Writing
 
Ku Chieh-kang refers to statements of Ch’i Chao-nan that after revision over many generations the texts of the Hsia, the Shang and the Chou dynasties, which span more than one thousand years, seem to have been written by a single hand. Despite their substantial and stylistic diversity, there is too much similarity between the 28 texts. We shall discuss their textual coherence later, focusing at this point on the types of writing.
Liu Hsieh, the ?rst Chinese literary critic, says that “the Book of the Documents is the classic of speeches; the Annals is the classic of events.” (Liu 1981, ch. 16, 169) This typical historical book does not include descriptions or records of historical processes. There are indeed several articles in it which contain more descriptions of events than others, but those texts are very dubious. Most relatively genuine texts of the Documents convey “speeches” rather than “events,” despite the fact that the traditional division between speech and event is not precisely made. We have to use a more exact classi?catory system of four planes of historical texts: a) production, b) expression, c) content and d) referent. Planes a) and d) are outside the text, while b) and c) are its constituent parts. The items in d) belong to the historical processes considered by the positive sciences. Items in a) are the concrete producers of the text. The identity of the producer must be also studied by the positive sciences. A producing agent as a “writer” or “scribe” is an actual agent establishing the text. Within the text there is also a writer or narrator or declarer as a factor of textuality. There are different positions or angles for the narrator such as the ?rst, second and third pronouns. Accordingly, there are subjective and objective positions in narrative texts. Therefore, a text contains different possible narrative types. In the nexus of sentences, there can appear several possible narrators with different angles and syntactical relations. If the narrator is subjective, it is an “I” or “we” with its spoken content. If objective, the narrator is a “he,” “she,” “you” or “they” with its narrated content. When the text has a spoken form rather than one of objective description, the speaker can be subjective or objective. This indicates the background of narrative operation. The textual form can consist of a narrative type and a substantial part. At lower levels the substantial part can be further divided into the narrative part and the substantial part at lower levels. Whenever the narrative role has a spoken form, the text is a record of spoken content. The term “spoken” is only a mark of a narrative role rather than substantial content. The connection between narrative role and the narrated content is external.
According to the above explanaion, the division between the class “speech” and class “event” refers to the narrative roles rather than to the substantial content. The nature of textual content is not de?ned by its narrative forms but rather by the narrated content. In the historical documents of the Shang-Chou period the quality of the historical content involved is not proved by the narrative roles. While the divinatory and classic texts of the Annals are mostly formed around the objective narrative role, many memoir vessel texts and texts in the Odes and the Analects are formed around the subjective narrative role. Although there is a difference of expressive subjectivity in the two categories of texts, the related historical content is not measured by the narrative forms which belong to the expression plane. Instead, the characteristic of the historical content in the texts is de?ned by the plane of the expressed.
The effective content of a historical text is dependent not on whether the story is spoken or written (this belongs to the expression plane) but instead on its expressed states. There are two basic categories of texts: the descriptive and the declarative, to which we wish to draw attention. The two categories cover both the objective and subjective subjects. Descriptions include external or internal states of an object. Declarations involve internal and external matters. The one is about the juxtaposition of described items, while the other presents various narrative requirements such as orders, wishes, warnings etc. The latter is connected not only with subjective states, but also with the demanding relation between the narrator and his chosen partners.
According to our criteria, the texts of the Documents have a weaker descriptive function and a stronger declarative function. This means that the descriptions of historical processes are quite limited and the degree of authenticity of described processes is quite low. Instead, most of the content of the book consists in wishes, orders, admonitions and threats of the kings. Furthermore, these subjective expressions themselves can have more historical authenticity. This does not mean that we are in a better position to con?rm them, but rather that those subjective expressions exist in classi?catory form. The wishes for victory and good harvest, orders for ?ghting and moving and giving thanks in different historical situations can have a similar content, although the involved historical processes and circumstances are different. The texts of the declarative category, however, can function separately in various historical situations. In general, the authenticity of historical materials has two different sides: (A) objective descriptions of behavior, events and their causal and motivational connections; and (B) subjective reactions to A. B offers more authenticity than A. In this case, the authenticity of B is physically borne by A, which has other problems of authenticity.
 
2). The Complexity of Narrative Organization
 
Concerning the constitution of historical texts, there is a division between the internal and external, or subjective and objective; and there is another division between the descriptive and the declarative types. Different combinations of the four parameters are realized in the narrating and narrated modes. Accordingly, there are four possible types of complexity in textual organization. Their degree can be estimated by the following factors in the expression plane and content plane: in the expression plane, or the formal plane, the related factors are the number of items employed and the complexity of their connection; in the content plane, besides the above-listed quantitative factors, there are other rational factors organizing the textual content, including causation ties, ties between motive and effect, those between aim and means and evaluation. The last type includes both the ethical and the utilitarian. Therefore, we can say that the complexity of the narrative content involves the rational operation of textual organization. In the expression plane, the linguistic and rhetorical characters are the most important factors for judging the nature of texts.
Based on the above formal and substantial organizing procedures, a text of historical documents can be primarily judged in formalist terms. Of course, there are two formalist dimensions at both the formal and the substantial planes. Both re?ect levels in the rational organization of texts, offering some basic criteria for identifying historical texts. According to these criteria, the organizing level of the Shang-Chou texts of the Documents is much more complex than the historical texts uncovered by archaeological inquiry into the material of the same period. Thus, the texts of the Documents are much richer at both the formal and substantial levels than texts found on divinatory bones and memoir vessels. This fact indirectly proves that the texts of the Documents are not original. As we pointed out before, the most convincing refutation of the originality of the texts of the Documents is obtained by examining the texts of the Hsia which pretend to be the earliest. According to the above criteria, the complexity of the texts is even greater than those of subsequent dynasties. If this is so and includes extreme examples of fabrication, it is natural to guess that other texts could to a lesser degree have been similarly constructed for the same reason.
 
5. The Ideological Role of the Three Main Falsi?ed Texts
 
There are three historiographically falsi?ed texts in the Documents which play a leading ideological role. Despite their falsity, they have had a tremendous in?uence in Chinese intellectual history because of their nationalist coloration. If the historical fabrications are regarded as legends, their meaning will be different. In the Five Classics, however, they are supposed to portray historical reality.
 
1) The Canon of Yao
 
The ?rst article in the book is about the legendary ?rst emperor Yao, who lived about 2300 B.C. This text has great signi?cance in the book, because it introduces all the other articles. It has been proved by Ku Chieh-kang to be a product of the imperial expansionism of the late Chou. The article became a “manifesto” of the imperial lineage and the spirit of an expanded “larger China” (ta chung-kuo). Ku asserts that there are three successive versions of the article and that the last one was ?nished in the Wu-ti period, immediately before Ssu-ma’s Records of History. (Ku 1990, v. 3, 1344) Fu Ssu-nien points out that the geographical and administrative descriptions in the text of the last version of the Han conform with the Han situation; the content is highly consistent with the events of the Han Wu-ti. (Fu 1980, 360) Ku also points out that the article could be regarded as “a program of the State Reconstruction” of the Wu-ti emperor. (Ku 1990, v. 3, 1406) Wu-ti hoped this program would become a canon for all subsequent generations. (ibid., 1417)
This general program of a great Han-nationalist empire was begun by the ?rst Ch’in emperor but was only completed by the Han Wu-ti emperor. The expansionist voice of the nation was initially raised by the legendary ?rst emperor said to have been the founder of the ?rst Chinese dynasty Hsia. The original expansionist desires were eventually realized in the Han-Wu-ti. The article Canon of Yao-Hsia became a symbol of the Wu-ti’s ambition. The text praises the great virtues of Yao, the principles he followed, his political ambition and achievements and his concern about his successor, Shun, the legendary second great emperor in the lineage invented in the late Chou. While we should be cautious in guessing the rationale of the article, its evident emphasis lies on the great mission of the ?rst Chinese emperor and the historical realization of the ?xed lineage. All subsequent emperors shared in and identi?ed themselves with the same lineage. Wu-ti was an orthodox successor of the lineage and also the second and most successful emperor—the ?rst Ch’in emperor. His task was one of changing the political system established by the Ch’in emperor according to the commonly accepted lineage. Thus, the same lineage presents different historical phases realizing the original canon. Accordingly, peaceful transition was replaced by military annexation for the same aim of maintaining the lineage. The ancient Chinese rulers were all fascinated with the same positive presentation of historical processes. What happened in the past was a justi?ed fact in the lineage of power. The political lineage represents the temporal link of different historical powers inlaid in an objective framework of justi?cation and authority.
Liao P’ing, a Ch’ing historical critic, said, “The meaning of the Book of Documents can be suf?ciently represented by the single article Canon of Yao the remaining 27 pieces are only detailed unfoldings and elaborations of this ?rst article.” (Cf. Ku 1990, v. 5, 3678) As the ?nal work completed,[3] the Canon of Yao, according to Ku, can be regarded as the summary of an ancient political theory or the general program for the nationalist uni?cation of the Han empire designed by Wu-ti. The fragmented historical documents were used to “prove” the authenticity of a theory invented later.
 
2) The Tribute of
 
Another Hsia text, the “Yü kung” (the Tribute of Yü), is apparently geographical in nature, employing the name of the third legendary Chinese emperor Yü, who was also the ?rst emperor of the Hsia Dynasty. The ?rst three original emperors were almost contemporaries, each recommending his successor. The commonly recognized ?rst Chinese dynasty began with Yü, from whom subsequent emperors claimed to have obtained authority through the patriarchal system. Compared with the ?rst two legendary emperors, Yü seems to be historically more acceptable. His legendary achievement was the controlling of ?oods in mainland China. The article uses his story as a narrative background for the notion of an imaginary expanded China. China’s territory was de?ned and enumerated, forming a comprehensive if geographically inaccurate picture. The main content of the article includes Yü’s demarcation of nine Chinese provinces, his descriptions of mountains and rivers, his plan for ?ood control and lists of people and minorities along with their possible contributions to the court. Because of its evident historical and geographical mistakes, the authenticity of the text has been rejected, but it played a lasting historical role. The geographical descriptions connected with the achievements of King Yü were physical symbols and blueprints of the uni?ed empire.
 
3) The Great Plan
 
Another important falsi?cation is the Chou text “the Great Plan.” While the former two texts about the major programs should be appreciated in connection with the entire book, this one should be regarded as a separate masterpiece. It was an independent program of Chinese philosophy and politics. The “plan” refers to the set of basic principles mandated by Heaven and handed down to the Chou prince from Kie Tzu the last of?cial of the destroyed Shang dynasty. Through learning from the last of?cial of the Shang, the Chou Prince inherited Heaven’s mandate and its instruction, along with the correct principles and methods for ruling the country. The legend accords with the spirit of the Documents, with the Chou prince being the key ?gure in the formation of Chinese civilization. The plan comprises nine sections, including 1) the Five Elements; 2) the ?ve good manners; 3) the eight of?ces; 4) the ?ve seasonal jobs; 5) the royal doctrine as the center of the Great Plan; 6) the three major virtues; 7) the examination of doubt (deciding by dint of divination); 8) observing meteorological changes to aid correct management of the government; and 9) control over people through reward and punishment. The nine sections of governing principles include various ?elds ranging from the metaphysical to the political. Among the articles in the Documents, this one, which was included in its entirety in the Records of History, became particularly in?uential in the Ch’in-Han period.
The ideas of the Great Plan express the predominant thought of the late Chou time and do not constitute an original system. As Ku suggests, “through combining the ancient divinatory crafts and the Five Elements theory of the Warring-States period, it elaborates the theory of the Heaven-Man correlation.” (Ku 1990, v. 8, 6288) While the Canon of Yao is the spiritual guide of the book of the Documents, the Great Plan is the ideological guide of Han Confucianism, with its strategic theory of universalism and expansionism of Han-Wu-ti’s regime.
 
6. Ideological Manipulation in the Documents
 
Among the system of the Five Classics the Documents is a typical work of historiographic ideology.
 
1) The Formation of the Documents
 
Following the ?rst compilation of the book in the Han, there were three different versions, each of which includes a different number of articles. The 28 articles of the main part functioned in the same way as many other compiled texts in Chinese classics, containing the following essential elements: the representative texts of the three dynasties; the guiding thought expressed in several fabricated articles added in later generations; and short prefaces added to all articles ?nished in the later generations. Both the total content and the combination of texts symbolize the original voices of the ancient national kings during their mythical communication with Heaven. The combination of texts also indicates the political lineage of the kings. The lineage itself became the basis of dei?cation. In ancient times, doubts about the authenticity of some texts did not lead to complete denial of the value of the book. Some original portions of the texts support the ideological reconstruction of the book. The rationale of the book lies not in its historiographic authenticity, but rather in its potential to stimulate belief in the imperial lineage.
 
2) The Presumed Authorship of the Chou Prince and Confucius
 
The most important texts are those about the Chou Prince and his words and deeds at the beginning of the Chou dynasty. There are 12 texts indicating the basic systems and rules which he established. This set of texts was also regarded as the codex of the Chou cultural system. The organization of the book with these achievements at the center highlights the central position of the Chou Prince in the formation of Chinese civilization and political lineage. As Ku points out, 12 articles about the Chou Prince in the document led to his becoming the central ?gure in the Chinese political lineage. (Ku 1991, v. 5, 3677) The texts became positive evidence for the existence of the Chou prince, his achievements and his position in Chinese history. The Chou prince never formally occupied the position of king, he only played the role of arch-sage. There was a two-fold system of the glori?cation of authority: besides the political king there was a spiritual king (sage). They complemented each other. The Chou Prince was a unique model combining the position of king and the identity of sage. When Confucianism was established in the middle Han, the ideological pattern of Chinese history was revised. A double system consisting of the Chou prince and Confucius was formally recognized. The former was taken as the founder of the lineage and the tradition and the latter as the key transmitter of the spiritual tradition.
The ideological trick lies in the fact that the special mixture of fragmented original documents and systematic modern teachings led to two results: the credibility guaranteed by the originality of inserted material and the political rationality of current thought. In fact, the three main articles work in a complementary way. People might have concluded that 1) there were voices and instructions of the old kings mandated by Heaven; 2) the ?rst instructions were given by the ?rst Chinese emperor, Yao; 3) the original national mission was designed by the ruler Yü of the ?rst Chinese dynasty, the Hsia; 4) the systematic principles of life and politics in China were established by the ?rst great sage, the Chou prince, on the basis of the mandate of Heaven; and 5) the book of the Documents and the three articles were recon?rmed by the second great sage,Confucius, through his compilation and prefaces.
 
3) The Special Introduction Fabricated for the Documents
 
As is the case with other classics, an evident ideological role is played by a special introduction to the book. This is the notorious text “The General Preface of the Documents” traditionally ascribed to Confucius. This article enumerates 100 texts and gives the leading idea of all of them, including the lost texts. According to Kang You-wei, it was fabricated by Liu Hsin, but Ku assumes that it was produced only in the late Han. (Ku 1990, v. 3,1307) It is possible that the preface in Confucius’ name underwent several revisions in the Han. This article attempts to intellectually unify all of the documents into a single line of thought. It has been extensively doubted and even dismissed since the Sung, but it played an active role in gaining acceptance for the ideology of the book in the late Han. Despite a general disregard for its historiographic signi?cance in modern times, we should examine its ideological role. With respect to its historical con?rmability, the Book of the Documents is more important than all other classics because it contains the words and deeds of the early kings as represented by the alleged original historical remnants.
 
4) The Temporal Order of Historical Powers
 
Although we cannot con?rm Ku’s surmise about the date of the ?rst article in the book, its compilation must have begun earlier than the Wu-ti, perhaps in the very beginning of the Han. The order of the texts re?ects the accepted imperial lineage: the Hsia, the Shang and the Chou. The order indicates an historical evolution which was strengthened after the early Han. The insertion of additional fabricated texts and introductions further uni?ed the historical narrative. The arrangement of chapters indicates the genealogy of the original power of the ?rst three dynasties.
 

 
5) The Historiographical Indication of the National Origin
 
The historical order supports the national origin identi?ed with the ?rst dynasty and the ?rst emperor. Because of the mythical nature of the legend of the Hsia and Yao, the insertion of the ?rst text, regardless of its date of composition, indicates the ideological motive of the editor of the book. The fabricated words of the ?rst emperor purport to reveal a uni?ed historical evolution. In addition, the textual existence of the historical remnants itself plays a direct role. Despite the inclusion of earlier pre-Chou legends in the book, the Chou documents are reliable and convincing. They compose the “physical” skeleton containing “historical textual relics” for evoking belief in their veracity. It is thought that “there is something true implied in the historical texts.”

 
 

 

[1] Chang K.C. notes, “Traditionally, the Hsia dynasty is placed between 2205 and 1766 B.C. I am among the many who believe in the essential validity of the historical records concerning the Hsia, although archaeologists have as yet been unable to identify any Hsia ruins despite many attempts to do so.” (Chang 1976, 47)
[2] Much later, Ku inserted a more critical remark about the article in his notebook. According to inscriptions on bones and tortoise-shells records, the Shang called themselves simply “Shang.” Only the subsequent Chou called the Shang the “Yin.” In this article assumed to have been written in the Shang dynasty, the Shang also refer to themselves as the “Yin.” This further evidences its fabrication, apart from “a lack of historical detail in the text.” (Ku 1991, 7776)
[3] The ?nal version of the article could be the result of several fabrications since the late Chou. Ch’ien Mu also recognized that the article was produced in the later Chou like the book Chou li. (Chien 1958, 302) Concerning the entire book available today, Ku concluded that there were four stages of falsi?cation covering a long period from the later Chou to the Eastern Chin.