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Chinese Literature
Gongsun Nizi 公孫尼子 "Master Gongsun Ni"


The Gongsun Nizi 公孫尼子 "Master Gongsun Ni" was a Confucian treatise written by the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE) philosopher Gongsun Ni 公孫尼. The imperial bibliography Yiwenzhi 藝文志 in the official dynastic history Hanshu 漢書 says that the book was 28 chapters long, and remarks that Gongsun Ni was one of the seventy disciples of Confucius. In later bibliographies the book is listed with a length of 1 juan "scroll". Gongsun Ni lived earlier than Mengzi 孟子, but later than Li Ke 李克. His concept of the human character is similar to that of the philosophers Mizi 宓子 and Qidiaozi 漆雕子 and more flexible than that of Mengzi who says that man is good by nature. The Southern Dynasties period 南朝 (420~589) scholar Shen Yue 沈約 has found out that the treatise on music Yueji 樂記, which is part of the ritual classic Liji 禮記, quotes from the Gongsun Nizi, yet the words in the received version of the Yueji are not identical with those that the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Ma Guohan 馬國翰 has collected. Ma has also found fragments of the Gongsun Nizi in the books Chunqiu fanlu 春秋繁露 and Lunheng 論衡 and the encylopedias Beitang chuchao 北堂書鈔, Chuxueji 初學記 and Taiping yulan 太平御覽. The surviving parts are included in Ma Guohan's collectaneum Yuhan shanfang jiyi shu 玉函山房輯佚書.

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1606. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

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September 7, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail