The Common Good in Moism: A Reconstruction of Mozi’s Ethics of “Inclusive Care” and “Reciprocal Well-Being”

Ellen Ying Zhang

    Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Moism (aka, Mohism, Mojia 墨家) refers to an influential philosophical, social, and religious school that flourished during the Warring States era (ca. 475–221 BCE). As a major philosophical work embodying the Moist thought and responding to the increasing dominance of the Ru School/Confucianism (Rujia, 儒家), the Mozi (《墨子》) presents a moral vision and political doctrine quite different from that of the latter. Moism, among all philosophical schools of pre-Han China under the name “One Hundred Schools” (Baijia, 百家), was engaged in rational debate, which covered a wide range of topics from politics, ethics, and law, to economics, government, and warfare. Although Moism once emerged and flourished in the intellectual history of China, and Moist communities under their Master were quite influential through the fourth and third centuries BCE, they lost their vitality after the Han. The Mozi and Moist philosophy have been neglected over two millennia in China in the sense that there is neither a surviving commentary tradition, nor a revival of Neo-Moism, as we see in other schools such as Confucianism and Daoism. Then why should I bother studying a philosophical/ethical tradition that died a long time ago?
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Common Good
    Subtitle of host publicationChinese and American Perspectives
    EditorsDavid Solomon, Ping Cheung Lo
    PublisherSpringer, Dordrecht
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Electronic)9789400772724
    ISBN (Print)9789400772717, 9789402400731
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2013

    Publication series

    NamePhilosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture
    ISSN (Print)0928-9518

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Common Good
    • Filial Piety
    • Confucian Ethic
    • Divine Command
    • Philosophical School


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