Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Individualism in Early ChinaHuman Agency and the Self in Thought and Politics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Erica Fox Brindley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833862

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833862.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 November 2017

Servants of the Self and Empire

Servants of the Self and Empire

Institutionally Controlled Individualism at the Dawn of a New Era

Chapter:
(p.104) Chapter Five Servants of the Self and Empire
Source:
Individualism in Early China
Author(s):

Erica Fox Brindley

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833862.003.0005

This chapter examines writings from the third through second centuries BCE that idealize both the natural, internal sources of authority and institutional, external controls in society. By adapting the demands of individualistic trends to those of the centralizing state or to Ru ritual norms, many writers of the third and second centuries BCE promoted individual agency and achievement while also providing a mechanism of external control over individual agency. These writings, namely the Zhong yong (“Centering on the Commonplace”) and passages from certain later chapters of the Zhuangzi, assume that the inherent agency of humans is highly deterministic yet not entirely positive when taken on its own. Each text thus demonstrates the necessity of using both internal and external sources of power and authority to attain one's ideals. Each text also reflects the varied ways in which authors wished to incorporate individualistic conceptions of power and authority into the state system in early imperial times.

Keywords:   individual agency, human agency, individualism, external control, Zhong yong, Zhuangzi

Hawaii Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.