Sentimental Education in Chinese History: An Interdisciplinary Textual Research on Ming and Qing Sources

Series: Sinica Leidensia (60)
This is the long-awaited first book-form result of the author's pioneering interdisciplinary research on a key problem for understanding Chinese texts, and, therewith, China: its ways of expression of emotions and states of mind. Relying on his immense database on (mostly) Ming and Qing sources, the author here presents the first truly solid, source-based survey on the subject. After analysing the methodological problems involved, the volume focuses on contradictions between official values on the one hand, and practical compromises between individual appetitive energies and personal tendencies for wealth and gratification of desires on the other hand. It analyses the negotiating process between the rigid ethical codes and dynamic social changes, as well as how social control influences the cognitive elements of emotions, both in restraining personal passions and promoting the virtuous sentiments .