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Chapter One

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a short survey of some preliminary questions concerning concepts that are strictly associated with the notion of personality. Such concepts contribute to understand it, and to define the way personal qualities are constructed and expressed, described and perceived, and the borders of the notion of personality with the physical and social environment. The images of personalities of any writings could hardly escape from the Confucian practice of resorting to positive and negative exemplars, as didactic paragons in the formation of students and subjects. On the concepts related to the notion of personality, the chapter briefly discusses some of its facets, using modern western concepts but taking into consideration the categories used in Chinese texts, from 'body-self' to other terms than can be considered analogous to 'complexion', 'temperament', and 'second nature'.

Keywords: body-self; complexion; human personality; personal qualities; temperament

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