Chinese philosopher Xunzi.


(c. 300 BC - 230 BC)

Confucian thought largely owes its survival to the work of Xunzi, one of the three great Confucian philosophers of China’s classical period. Xunzi was the first great Confucian philosopher to write in the essay form, instead of relying on pithy epigrams or dialogues. Living during the Warring States period, he concluded that “the nature of man is evil; his goodness is only acquired training.” His essays make the point that religious fictions, while useful as an emotional outlet, should not be considered true by educated people.

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Quarreling must lead to disorder, and disorder exhaustion.

—Xunzi, c. 250 BC

Pride and excess bring disaster for man.

—Xunzi, 250 BC

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