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ep 18 The five virtues

ep 18 The five virtues


A few episodes ago (#14: Servitiude and patriarchy) the Three Character Classic (三字经) took what seemed like a detour from the natural world to discuss the ties between sovereign and subject (君臣义), father and son (父子亲), and husband and wife (夫妇顺). This part of the book appears to take a similar detour with a discussion of benevolence (仁), honor (义), courtesy (礼), wisdom (智), and truth (信). But rather than being detours, they’re included in the chapter on the order of the natural world because there was a belief that natural laws governed relationships and morality. The三字经 was written by the Song Dynasty (宋朝) scholar Wang Yinglin (王应麟). This 1,134 character text was one of the first textbooks used by students, and provided lessons on education, morality and ethics, science, literature, and history.

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