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ShiziChina's First Syncretist$
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Paul Fischer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159067

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159067.001.0001

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(Guang 廣)

(p.100) 10. Broad-mindedness
Paul Fischer
Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses broad-mindedness as a virtue that a ruler must have in order to govern well. A ruler needs to be able to judge objectively between various arguments presented to him by his ministers. He also needs to keep the welfare of all his subjects always in mind. The theme of broad-mindedness fits well with Shizi's emphasis on objectivity. The chapter links public-mindedness to knowing cultural relativity and compares narrow-mindedness to the field of vision available to one in a well. It argues that “being selfish-minded is (like) being in a well, while being public-minded is (like) being on a hilltop…wisdom conveyed in selfishness knows but little, while wisdom conveyed in public-mindedness knows much.” It also considers how philosophers valued broad-mindedness using different terms.

Keywords:   broad-mindedness, ruler, Shizi, objectivity, public-mindedness, cultural relativity, narrow-mindedness, wisdom, selfishness, philosophers

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