In traditional Chinese society, there existed different opinions on the nature of "talent", holding that it was either positive, negative or neutral. However, the view that valued "talent" less than "virtue" proved to be relatively consistent, "talent" has always occupied a position subordinate to "virtue". Hence, although the famous proverb "A lack of talent is a virtue in women" did not appear in print until the Ming Dynasty, it has ideological background for its emergence. Beginning in the Tang Dynasty, there was continued discussion as to whether talented women tended to have less "virtue", and it became a debating issue during the period 1644-1795. Some conservatives argued that women's "talent" would endanger their chastity, and in order to prevent such undesirable things from happening, it was better to have women remain unlettered. However, at the same time other intellectuals had brought forward the importance of female "talent" in various writings. Therefore, regarding the issue of women's "talent" versus "virtue", we may find scholars at both extreme.
|Translated title of the contribution||"Talent" vs "Virtue": A Study of the Traditional Chinese Attitudes, with Special References to the Discussions on Women (1644-1795)|
|Original language||Chinese (Traditional)|
|Number of pages||34|
|Publication status||Published - 1988|