First-Year Award Winner
Mozi (c. 480-390 B.C.E.) was a Chinese philosopher from the Warring States period in early Chinese history whose utilitarianism contrasted with Confucian and Daoist thought. Through reading the Mohist text in translation, I examined the relationship between two central principles in Mozi’s philosophy: Heaven’s standard universal love and human action. Mozi builds his arguments in the framework of a sociopolitical hierarchy that incorporates utilitarian analyses of customs, morality, and beliefs in ghosts and spirits. By comparing secondary sources in English and Chinese, reading different translations, and learning from graphical analysis of the text’s key terms’ original Chinese ideographs, I concluded that in Mozi’s philosophy, human action is the necessary agent to carry out Heaven’s will of universal love for the ultimate goal of benefitting all people.
Wang, Yuxi (Candice), "Mozi: Universal Love and Human Agency" (2016). 2016 Claremont Colleges Library Undergraduate Research Award. Paper 1.