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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