XUN ZI - 荀子

Xun Zi 荀子 (Master Xun) is a Confucian text of the late Warring States period (310-210BCE). It is not rated as a classic because it contains unorthodox philosophical ideas. It is mostly a Confucian text but on certain points it is more Daoist or legalist. Xun Qing wrote that man was inherently evil, which differed from Mencius and later Confucian scholars. For example: he held that through ritual and education man became good.

“Xunzi was one of the three great Confucian philosophers; the other two were Confucius and Mencius. Many who have studied Xunzi are convinced that he was one of the greatest thinkers who ever lived.” (From Knoblock's translation)


Knoblock, John, trans. Xunzi: A Translation and Study of the Complete Works. Stanford; Stanford University Press: 1988.

other translation

Watson, Burton, trans., Hsün Tzu: Basic Writings. New York: Columbia University Press, 1963.

online resources

For the Original Chinese text

ctext.org ›

From the Chinese Text Project, under Pre-Qin and Han - Confucianism

Other Resources

   China Knowledge has a description of the text and sections of the Chinese with Burton Watson’s English translation : chinaknowledge.de ›