Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 1986
  • Online publication date: March 2008

15 - Confucian, Legalist, and Taoist thought in Later Han

The history of Han Confucianism is a history of the development of the variegated cross-currents of Confucian, Legalist, and Taoist thought in Han times. The triumph of Han Confucianism, unlike the triumph of Ch'in Legalism, was accompanied not by an outright suppression of the other schools of thought, but by a subtle promotion of learning and education that coincided with the basic Confucian concerns. The Confucians in the middle of the first century BC probably had good reason to believe that their doctrine had prevailed. The failure of Wang Mang evoked a critical and discriminating spirit in the thinkers of Later Han. Yang Hsiung elevated spiritual intelligence, the power of cognition that implied human intelligence, to be coefficient with the great mystery. The concept of fate or mandate, advanced by Su Ching, Pan Piao, and Pan Ku, was greatly extended by Wang Ch'ung.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge History of China
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054737
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Dubs, Homer H. The History of the Former Han dynasty. 3 vols. Baltimore: Waverly Press, 1938–55. [abbreviation: HFHD]
Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. The aristocratic families of early imperial China: A case study of the Po-ling Ts'ui family. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1978. [abbreviation: Aristocratic families]
Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. “Estate and family management in the Later Han as seen in the Monthly instructions for the four classes of people”. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 17 (1974). [abbreviation: “Estate and family management”]
Bielenstein, Hans. The bureaucracy of Han times. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1980. [abbreviation: Bureaucracy]
Hervouet, Yves. Le Chapitre 117 du Che-ki (Biographie de Sseu-ma Siang-jou); traduction avec notes. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1972.
Hervouet, Yves. Un poète de cour sous les Han: Sseu-ma Siang-jou. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1964. [abbreviation: Un poète de cour]
Bielenstein, Hans. “Lo-yang in Later Han times.Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, 48 (1976). [abbreviation: “Lo-yang”]
Mather, Richard B., trans. Shih-shuo hsin-yü: A new account of tales of the world. By I-ch'ing., Liu, commentary by Chun, Liu. Translated with introduction and notes. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1976.
Munro, Donald J. The concept of man in early China. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 1969.
Wallacker, Benjamin E.Han Confucianism and Confucius in Han.” In Ancient China: Studies in early civilization, eds. Roy, David T. and Tsien, Tsuenhsuin. Hong Kong: Chinese Univ. Press, 1978.
Chen, Chi-yun (Ch'en Ch'i-yün). “A Confucian magnate's idea of political violence: Hsün Shuang's (128–190) interpretation of the Book of changes,” T'oung Pao, 54 (1968).
Ch'en, Ch'i-yün. Hsün Yüeh and the mind of Late Han China: A translation of the Shen-chien with introduction and annotations. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1980. [abbreviation: Hsün Yüeh and the mind of Late Han China]
Chiang, Jun-hsün Wei-liang, Ch'en, and Ping-liang, Ch'en Chia I yen-chiu. Hong Kong: Ch'iu-ching Yin-wu Kung-ssu, 1958.