The Receptive Mode

  • Keping WangEmail author
Part of the Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture book series (KCCTC)


According to Confucius, the gentleman acts upon the principle of harmonization without being patternized, while the petty man upon the rule of patternization without being harmonized. The former principle is by nature inclusive and tolerant due to its being receptive and open to different but constructive components. By so doing does it hanker after unity in diversity while revolting against any hegemonic dominance of the one over the many. Conversely, the latter rule is factually exclusive and intolerant due to its non-receptive and closed tendency to no other factors than the absolutely similar ones. It therefore refuses to draw similarity from discrepancy, but clings to singular similarity alone.


Receptive mode of harmony The gentleman The petty man Harmonization without being patternized (harmony without uniformity) Similarity 

Copyright information

© Foreign Language Teaching and Research Publishing Co., Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chinese Academy of Social SciencesBeijingChina

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