Barnwell Essay on “De” Published

Scott Barnwell’s essay “The Evolution of the Concept of De 德 in Early China,” has been published, as Sino-Platonic Paper 235. (Direct link to PDF here.) Congratulations, Scott! Here’s the first paragraph:

The present research paper explores the semantic space occupied by the ancient Chinese concept of De 德 over time. As Confucius observed in the epigraph, few people seemed to understand it in his day and many still do not today. In this paper, we will examine the various connotations conveyed by the word in the earliest written material — bronze inscriptions from the eleventh century B.C.E. — to the Han Dynasty (漢, 202 B.C.E. – 220 C.E.): roughly the first one thousand years. As it is a research paper, there will be no sustained argument defending some thesis, as is expected in a philosophy paper. It is rather a comprehensive, exploratory, educational tour of the semantic field of De in early Chinese literature. The critical reader should adjust his expectations accordingly.

6 replies on “Barnwell Essay on “De” Published”

  1. Thanks for the promotion Steve. My gratitude (德) to Victor Mair and SPP for publishing the work of an autodidact without academic qualifications such as myself.

  2. the name of this website is also inspiring: the Confucian warp 經 and the Daoist wei 緯 make up the “way” 道 of China’s spiritual and social culture. Buddhism is like a set of sacred images painted on the surface of the fabric, “3 teachings, one culture” 三教歸依。

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