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From Clan Manners to Ethical Obligation and Righteousness: A New Interpretation of the Term yi1

  • Jinhua Jia and Kwok Pang-Fei

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Yi, a term denoting one of the primary concepts of Confucian ethics, has proven to be one of the most difficult terms to interpret and translate. It has been rendered as ‘righteousness’, ‘rightness’, ‘right conduct’, ‘propriety’, ‘justice’, ‘morality’, ‘duty’, ‘sense of duty’, ‘obligation’, and so forth. The aim of this article is to open new avenues to discuss the original and extended meanings of yi by the means of paleographic, archaeological, and socio-cultural studies.

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We would like to thank Professor Li Zehou and the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions that helped to strengthen many arguments in this work.

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1 We would like to thank Professor Li Zehou and the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions that helped to strengthen many arguments in this work.

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From Clan Manners to Ethical Obligation and Righteousness: A New Interpretation of the Term yi1

  • Jinhua Jia and Kwok Pang-Fei

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