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  • Print publication year: 1986
  • Online publication date: March 2008

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

Summary
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.
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The Cambridge History of China
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054737
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521243278
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