An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Fuzi 傅子

Dec 30, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Fuzi 傅子 "Master Fu" is a Confucian treatise written during the Western Jin period 西晉 (265-316) by Fu Xuan 傅玄 (217-278, during the Qing period 清 called Fu Yuan 傅元, in order to avoid the personal name of the Kangxi Emperor 康熙帝, Xuanye 玄燁), courtesy name Xiuyi 休奕. Fu's original oeuvre comprised 120 juan, of which not much is left. The Fuzi is only 1-juan long, including 23 chapters, of which 12 are preserved in total, the others only in fragments. Apart from the book Fuzi, Fu Xuan wrote many rhapsodies, poems, essays, odes, inscriptions which were assembled in the collection Fu Xuan ji 傅玄集, which in turn only survived in a fragmentary form, namely the collection Fu Haogu ji 傅鶉觚集, compiled by Zhang Pu 張溥 (1602-1641), that is found in the collection Han-Wei-Liuchao sanbai jia ji 漢魏六朝百三家集.

The Fuzi stresses the moral values of Confucianism, as broad-mindedness, not be be selfish, to restrain oneself in one's desires, to rectify the heart, and to exert - as a ruler - a benevolent government. Fu Xuan also stresses that a ruler has to govern with both rewards and punishment, and to apply both in the right way, which is a legalist influence in his thinking. Sparingness and austerity in his thinking go back to the influence of Daoism.

For the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, a manuscript version of the Fuzi was used and printed by the printing shop of the Hall of Military Glory (Wuyingdian 武英殿) in the Imperial Palace. The Qing-period scholar Yan Kejun 嚴可均 (1762—1843) included the surviving fragments of Fu Xuan in the Quan Jin wen 全晉文. Ye Dehui 葉德輝 (1864-1927) revised this version and amended the errors. It was included in the series Baizi quanshu 白子全書 and printed in 1912. In was again published as part of the series Congshu jicheng 叢書集成.

Table 1. Contents of the Fuzi 傅子
正心 Zhengxin Rectifying one's heart
仁論 Renlun About kindheartedness
義信 Yixin Righteousness and trustfullness
通志 Tongzhi Penetrating one's will
舉賢 Juxian Promoting the worthies
重爵禄 Zhong juelu The importance of nobility and rank
禮樂 Liyue Rituals and music
貴教 Guijiao Esteeming studies
檢商賈 Jian shanggu Restricting merchants
校工 Jiaogong Inspecting labour
戒言 Jieyan Sparingly with words
假言 Jiayan False words
Fragmentary chapters
問政 Wenzheng Asking about government
治體 Zhiti The body of government
授職 Shouzhi Appointing to offices
官人 Guanren State officials
曲制 Quzhi Summary of regulations
信直 Xinzhi Trust and uprightness
矯違 Jiaowei Straightening out disobedience
問刑 Wenxing Asking about punishment
安民 Anming Appeasing the people
法刑 Faxing Standards and punishment
平役賦 Ping yifu Lowering corvée and taxes
鏡縂叙 Jingzongxu General discussion
48 further fragments
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.), Vol. 2, 1548.