This article presents a counterintuitive view that the rise of Confucianism in the Han dynasty is indebted to the Book of Lord Shang. It analyzes chapter 7, "Opening the blocked," and shows that the chapter can be read as promoting a combination of force and morality. The sophisticated historical view of this chapter solves apparent contradictions between societies based on family ties, meritocracy, and monarchic power by showing how new levels of social development inevitably open up when old paths are blocked. This dynamic view was abandoned by the followers of Shang Yang but was rediscovered by the Confucian scholar Lu Jia (ca. 2401-170 BCE) early in the Han dynasty. It is under the impact of this dynamic view that Lu Jia tried to convince the first Han emperor that one can attain the world from horseback but not rule it without an inspiring ideology. The dialectic historical approach presented in "Opening the blocked" chapter remains valid well into our days.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.
Translation of: 李存山. 《商君书》与汉代尊儒——兼论商鞅及其学派与儒学的冲突