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The Modern Formation of Early Mohism: Sun Yirang’s Exposing and Correcting the Mozi 

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This essay shows the historical contingency of the currently dominant portrayal of early Mohism in the field of Chinese philosophy. It documents the emergence of this portrayal in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by reconstructing, first, Mozi’s supposed promotion of ten core ideas and, second, the increasingly positive appreciation of his thought after centuries of rejection. The essay focuses on the book Exposing and Correcting the Mozi (Mozi jiangu) by the Qing scholar Sun Yirang, which was a milestone in the renaissance of Mozi studies. This book not only contributed to these two changes but also documents the major steps taken by Sun’s predecessors toward the formation of the current portrayal.
Cet article met en évidence la contingence historique de la représentation du moïsme ancien actuellement dominante dans le champ de la philosophie chinoise. Il décrit l’émergence de cette représentation aux xviiie et xixe siècles en reconstituant, d’abord, la prétendue promotion de dix idées essentielles par Mozi, et ensuite, l’évaluation de plus en plus positive de sa pensée après des siècles de rejet. L’auteur se concentre sur l’ouvrage Exposition et rectification du Mozi (Mozi jiangu) de Sun Yirang, un érudit de l’époque des Qing, qui a marqué un jalon dans la renaissance des études sur le Mozi. Outre qu’il a lui-même contribué à ces deux évolutions, Sun décrit les principales étapes suivies par ses prédécesseurs, débouchant sur la représentation actuelle. 

Affiliations: 1: KU Leuven, University of Leuven


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