It is just as bad to go beyond a given standard as to fall short of it. Confucian scholars use rites as the standards both for individuals’ words and actions, and for their relationship with everything in the world. They also judge people’s words or actions against the requirements of the rites to see whether they have gone too far or fallen short…

The term has two different meanings. One is an individual’s fine moral character, or his proper conduct in society. At first de (德) was only related to an individual’s behavior, referring to his external moral conduct. Later, it also referred to something that combined external behavior with internal emotions and moral consciousness. The other me…

The term has two meanings. First, it refers to all measures for governing a country. Zheng (政) stands for decrees, rules, and ordinances, and zhi (治) refers to their implementation, that is, the way in which the people are governed. Second, it refers to a state of stable and sound governance of the country, with an efficient and clean government, …

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