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Hermeneutics of Understanding the Confucian Idea of Truth: Junzi 君子 as a Truth-bearer in the Lunyu 論語

Zbigniew Wesołowski


In order to work out the hermeneutic and methodological horizon to look at the idea of truth in classical China (i.e., before the influence of Buddhism there), the first part of the present contribution contains hermeneutic and methodological problems, such as the historicity of understanding as the first hermeneutic rule, authentic existence as a “shared meaning” in quest for existential truth within a spiritual tradition etc. In the second part, on the basis of the Lunyu, the author explores the Confucian idea of junzi 君子 (the noble people) as the Dao-truth bearers. What we deal here with is first of all the correspondence theory of individual and moral truth, i.e., a junzi as being in a compliance with ren 仁-humanity (human nature) and li 禮-ritual (the appropriate expression of ren-humanity and other moral attitudes in a society) as well as with the correspondence theory of social and political truth, i.e., as being in compliance with Tiandao 天道 – the Heavenly order.


Truth; The correspondence theory of truth; Hermeneutic rules; Lunyu; Junzi

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