An explanation of the Confucian idea of difference

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Author: LI Xiangjun
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Difference is a category of relationship lying between identity and non-identity, and equality and inequality. This concept is both the Confucian reflection of the real relationship between things in the world and the value ideal of Confucianism. The Confucian idea of difference, embodied in the view of human relationships, of world, and of nature, seeks to build a rational order based on difference, so as to reach a harmonious, united and ideal state. Confucians in the past dynasties continually interpreted difference and raised it to the level of ontology, enriching the system of Confucianism.

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