This chapter focuses on Xunzi, regarded as one of the classic Masters for almost two millennia. Even though he was not chosen by the great Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi for inclusion in Zhu's highly selective Four Books, which later became canonical, Zhu's own curriculum included him as one of the Masters, along with Laozi, Zhuangzi, and Han Feizi. Xunzi is a Confucian in all key respects: he understands the importance of self-cultivation; the need for sustained and systematic learning in the arts of civilized life; the crucial role of ritual as a vital element in the learning process and in the ordering of society; and, in the end as in the beginning, the prime value of the cultivated human person as the keystone of human flourishing.
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