Shang Fa Yang
Shang Fa Yang was an acclaimed plant scientist and a professor at the University of California, Davis. Yang was born in 1932 in Taiwan, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural chemistry at the National Taiwan University. After completing his master's degree, he went to the United States and completed his doctoral degree in plant biochemistry from Utah State University. After completing his PhD, he conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, New York Medical School, University of California, San Diego. After completing his postdoctoral research, he joined the faculty University of California, Davis in 1966. Yang was known for his research that unlocked the key to prolonging freshness in flowers, his research focused on how plants produce ethylene, important in regulating a host of plant functions, ranging from seed germination to fruit ripening. He studied the pathway of ethylene biosynthesis and proved unequivocally the central role of methionine as a precursor of ethylene.
He discovers that this process is cyclic and therefore receives the name "Yang Cycle". Ethylene represents one of the five major hormones affecting plant maturation, he was the first scientist to report S-adenosylmethionine as an intermediate in methionine conversion to ethylene. In 1979, he discovered aminocylopropane-1-carboxylic acid as an intermediate, his discovery of ACC-synthase opened the way to the understanding of the regulating process of ethylene biosynthesis. Yang received several honours for his research. In 1990, he was inducted into the U. S. National Academy of Sciences. In 1991, he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture "for his remarkable contributions to the understanding of the mechanism of biosynthesis, mode of action and applications of the plant hormone, Ethylene." In 1992, he was awarded the American Society of Horticultural Science Outstanding Research Award. Yang died on February 2007 in a Davis hospital from complications of pneumonia. IN MEMORIAM - Shang Fa Yang Plant Scientist Shang Fa Yang Dies The Wolf Prize in Medicine in 1991 CV of Shang Fa Yang
Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
Fajia or Legalism is one of Sima Tan's six classical schools of thought in Chinese philosophy. Meaning "house of Fa", the "school" represents some several branches of realistic statesmen or "men of methods" foundational for the traditional Chinese bureaucratic empire. Compared with Machiavelli, they have been considered in the Western world as akin to the Realpolitikal thought of ancient China, emphasizing a realistic consolidation of the wealth and power of autocrat and state, with the goal of achieving increased order and stability. Having close ties with the other schools, some would be a major influence on Taoism and Confucianism, the current remains influential in administration and legal practice in China today. Though Chinese administration cannot be traced to any one person, emphasizing a merit system administrator Shen Buhai may have had more influence than any other, might be considered its founder, if not valuable as a rare pre-modern example of abstract theory of administration.
Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel sees in Shen Buhai the "seeds of the civil service examination", and, if one wished to exaggerate, the first political scientist; the correlation between Shen's conception of the inactive ruler responsible for examination into performance and titles also informed the Taoist conception of the formless Tao that "gives rise to the ten thousand things."Concerned with administrative and sociopolitical innovation, Shang Yang was a leading reformer of his time. His numerous reforms transformed the peripheral Qin state into a militarily powerful and centralized kingdom. Much of Legalism was "principally the development of certain ideas" that lay behind his reforms, it was these that helped lead to Qin's ultimate conquest of the other states of China in 221 BC. Shen's most famous successor Han Fei synthesized the thought of the other "Fa-Jia" in his eponymous text, the Han Feizi. Written around 240 BC, the Han Feizi is thought of as the greatest of all Legalist texts, is believed to contain the first commentaries on the Tao te Ching in history.
The grouping together of thinkers that would be dubbed "Fa-Jia" or "Legalists" can be traced to him, The Art of War would seem to incorporate Taoist philosophy of inaction and impartiality, Legalist punishment and rewards as systematic measures of organization, recalling Han Fei's concepts of power and tactics. Attracting the attention of the First Emperor, It is said that succeeding emperors followed the template set by Han Fei. Calling them the "theorists of the state", sinologist Jacques Gernet considered the Legalists/Fa-Jia to be the most important tradition of the fourth and third centuries BC, the entire period from the Qin dynasty to Tang being characterized by its centralizing tendencies and economic organization of the population by the state; the Han dynasty took over the governmental institutions of the Qin dynasty unchanged. Endorsement for the "school" of thought peaked under Mao Zedong, hailed as a "progressive" intellectual current; the Zhou dynasty was divided between the hereditary noblemen.
The latter were placed to obtain office and political power, owing allegiance to the local prince, who owed allegiance to the Son of Heaven. The dynasty operated according to the principles of punishment; the former was applied only to aristocrats, the latter only to commoners. The earliest Zhou kings kept a firm personal hand on the government, depending on their personal capacities, personal relations between ruler and minister, upon military might; the technique of centralized government being so little developed, they deputed authority to feudal lords. When the Zhou kings could no longer grant new fiefs, their power began to decline, vassals began to identify with their own regions, schismatic hostility occurred between the Chinese states. Aristocratic families became important, by virtue of their ancestral prestige wielding great power and proving a divisive force. In the Spring and Autumn period, rulers began to directly appoint state officials to provide advice and management, leading to the decline of inherited privileges and bringing fundamental structural transformations as a result of what may be termed "social engineering from above."
Most Warring States period thinkers tried to accommodate a "changing with the times" paradigm, each of the schools of thought sought to provide an answer for the attainment of sociopolitical stability. Confucianism considered to be China's ruling ethos, was articulated in opposition to the establishment of legal codes, the earliest of which were inscribed on bronze vessels in the sixth century BC. For the Confucians, the Classics provided the preconditions for knowledge. Orthodox Confucians tended to consider organizational details beneath both minister and ruler, leaving such matters to underlings, furthermore wanted ministers to control the ruler. Concerned with "goodness", the Confucians became the most prominent, followed by the proto-Taoists and the administrative thought that Sima Tan termed the Fa-Jia, but the Taoists focused on the development of inner powers, both the Taoists and Confucians held a regressive view of history, the age being a decline from the era of the Zhou kings. A new type of ruler emerged intent on breaking the power of the aristocrats and reforming their state's bureaucracies.
Those that failed were deposed. As disenfranchised or opportunist aristocrats were attracted by the reform-oriented rulers, they brought with them philosophy concerned foremost with organi
Emperor Wen of Han
Emperor Wen of Han was the fifth emperor of the Han dynasty of ancient China. His personal name was Liu Heng. Liu Heng was a son of Emperor Gao of Han and Consort Bo empress dowager; when Emperor Gao suppressed the rebellion of Dai, he made Liu Heng Prince of Dai. After Empress Dowager Lü's death, the officials eliminated the powerful Lü clan, deliberately chose the Prince of Dai as the emperor, since his mother, Consort Bo, had no powerful relatives, her family was known for its humility and thoughtfulness, his reign brought a much needed political stability that laid the groundwork for prosperity under his grandson Emperor Wu. According to historians, Emperor Wen consulted with ministers on state affairs. Historians noted that the tax rates were at a ratio of "1 out of 30" and "1 out of 60", corresponding to 3.33% and 1.67%, respectively. Warehouses were so full of grain. Emperor Wen was said by Liu Xiang to have devoted much time to legal cases, to have been fond of reading Shen Buhai, using Xing-Ming, a form of personnel examination, to control his subordinates.
In a move of lasting importance in 165 BC, Wen introduced recruitment to the civil service through examination. Potential officials never sat for any sort of academic examinations, their names were sent by local officials to the central government based on reputations and abilities, which were sometimes judged subjectively. In 196 BC, after Emperor Gao defeated the Chen Xi rebellion in the Dai region, he made Liu Heng, his son by Consort Bo, the Prince of Dai; the capital of the principality was at Jinyang. Dai was a region on the boundaries with Xiongnu, Emperor Gao created the principality with the mind to use it as a base to defend against Xiongnu raids. For the first year of the principality's existence, whose army was defeated but who eluded capture, remained a threat, until Zhou Bo killed him in battle in autumn 195 BC, it is not known whether at this time Prince Heng, seven years old, was in Dai, but it seems because his brother Liu Ruyi was the only prince at the time explicitly to have been recorded to be remaining at the capital Chang'an rather than being sent to his principality.
In 181 BC, after Prince Heng's brother, Prince Liu Hui of Zhao, committed suicide over his marital problems, Grand Empress Dowager Lü, in effective control of the imperial government, offered the more prosperous Principality of Zhao to Prince Heng, but Prince Heng, judging that she was intending to make her nephew Lü Lu prince, politely declined and indicated that he preferred remaining on the border. The grand empress dowager made Lü Lu Prince of Zhao. During these years, the Principality of Dai did in fact become a key position in the defense against Xiongnu, Prince Heng became well-acquainted with Xiongnu customs and military strategies, although the extent of his own participation in military actions was unknown. In 180 BC, after Grand Empress Dowager Lü died and the officials made a coup d'etat against her clan and slaughtered them, after some deliberation, the officials offered the imperial throne to Prince Heng, rather than Prince Liu Xiang of Qi, the oldest grandson of Emperor Gao.
The key to their decision was that Prince Xiang's maternal clan was domineering and might repeat the behaviors of the Lü clan, while the clan of Prince Heng's maternal clan, the Bos, were considered to be kind and humble. After some hesitation, Prince Heng 23 years old, accepted the throne as Emperor Wen, his nephew, Emperor Houshao, viewed as a mere puppet of Grand Empress Dowager Lü and suspected of not being a son of Emperor Wen's older brother Emperor Hui, was deposed and executed. Emperor Wen showed an aptitude to govern the empire with diligence, appeared to be genuinely concerned for the people's welfare. Influenced by his wife Empress Dou, an adherent of Taoism, Emperor Wen governed the country with the general policies of non-interference with the people and relaxed laws, his personal life was marked by general willingness to forgive. He was very deferential to Zhou Bo, Chen Ping, Guan Ying, who were instrumental in his accession, they served as successive prime ministers. Examples of Emperor Wen's policies that showed kindness and concern for the people include the following: In 179 BC, he abolished the law that permitted the arrest and imprisonment of parents and siblings of criminals, with the exception of the crime of treason.
In 179 BC, he created a governmental assistance program for those in need. Loans or tax exemptions were offered to widowers, widows and seniors without children, he ordered that monthly stipends of rice and meat be given to seniors over 80 years of age, that additional stipends of cloth and cotton be given to seniors over 90 years of age. In 179 BC, he made peace with Nanyue, whose king Zhao Tuo Empress Dowager Lü had offended with an economic embargo and which therefore engaged in raids against the Principality of Changsha and the Commandery of Nan. Emperor Wen accomplished this by writing humble yet assertive letters to Zhao offering peace with dignity and by caring for Zhao's relatives remaining in his native town of Zhending. In 178 BC, after a solar eclipse, he requested that o
Xun Kuang widely known as Xunzi, was a Chinese Confucian philosopher who lived during the Warring States period and contributed to the Hundred Schools of Thought. A book known as the Xunzi is traditionally attributed to him, his works survive in an excellent condition, were a major influence in forming the official state doctrines of the Han dynasty, but his influence waned during the Tang dynasty relative to that of Mencius. Xunzi discusses figures ranging from Confucius and Zhuangzi, to Linguists Mozi, Hui Shi and Gongsun Long and "Legalists" Shen Buhai and Shen Dao, he mentions Laozi as a figure for the first time in early Chinese history, makes use of Taoist terminology, though rejecting their doctrine. Xunzi was born Xun Kuang; some texts recorded his surname as Sun instead of Xun, either because the two surnames were homophones in antiquity or because Xun was a naming taboo during the reign of Emperor Xuan of Han, whose given name was Xun. Herbert Giles and John Knoblock both consider the naming taboo theory more likely.
Nothing is known of his lineage, the early years of Xunzi's life are shrouded in mystery. Accounts of when he lived conflict; the Sima Qian records that he was born in Zhao, Anze County has erected a large memorial hall at his supposed birthplace. It is recounted that at the age of fifty he went to the state of Qi to study and teach at the Jixia Academy; the Shi Ji states that he became a member of the academy during the time of King Xiang of Qi, discounting the story of his being a teacher of Han Fei, but its chronology would give him a lifetime of 137 years. After studying and teaching in Qi, Xunzi is said to have visited the state of Qin from 265 BC to 260 BC, praised its governance, debated military affairs with Lord Linwu in the court of King Xiaocheng of Zhao. Xunzi was slandered in the Qi court, he retreated south to the state of Chu. In 240 BC Lord Chunshen, the prime minister of Chu, invited him to take a position as Magistrate of Lanling, which he refused and accepted. However, Lord Chunshen was assassinated In 238 BC by a court rival and Xunzi subsequently lost his position.
He retired, remained in Lanling, a region in what is today's southern Shandong province, for the rest of his life and was buried there. The year of his death is unknown, though if he lived to see the ministership of his supposed student Li Si, as recounted, he would have lived into his nineties, dying shortly after 219 BC. Xunzi witnessed the chaos surrounding the fall of the Zhou dynasty and rise of the Qin state which upheld "doctrines focusing on state control, by means of law and penalties". Like Shang Yang, Xunzi believed that humanity's inborn tendencies were evil and that ethical norms had been invented to rectify people, his variety of Confucianism therefore has a darker, more pragmatic flavour than the optimistic Confucianism of Mencius, who tended to view humans as innately good, though like most Confucians he believed that people could be refined through education and ritual. However, he believed, he adapted Confucianism to the ideas of the Legalists. Therefore, unlike other Confucians, Xunzi allowed that penal law could play a legitimate, though secondary, role in the state.
He rejects the Book of Lord Shang and Zhuangzi's claims that the way changes with the times, saying the way had been invented by the sages. To this end he seems to have taken up the Mohists' argumentative strategies and conception of models, saying "the Ru model themselves after the former kings". Unlike the Legalists, he places little emphasis on general rules, advocating the use of particular examples as models, he refused to admit theories of state and administration apart from ritual and self-cultivation, arguing for the gentleman, rather than the measurements promoted by the Legalists, as the wellspring of objective criterion. His ideal gentleman king and government, aided by a class of erudites, are "very close to that of Mencius", but without the tolerance of feudalism. Cua, A. S.. Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsün Tzu's Moral Epistemology. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-0942-4. Knechtges, David R.. "Xunzi 荀子". In Knechtges, David R.. Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature: A Reference Guide, Part Three.
Leiden: Brill. Pp. 1757–65. ISBN 978-90-04-27216-3. Loewe, Michael. "Hsün tzu 荀子". In Loewe, Michael. Early Chinese Texts: A Bibliographical Guide. Berkeley: Society for the Study of Early China. Pp. 178–88. ISBN 1-55729-043-1. Munro, Donald J.. The Concept of Man in Early China. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan. ISBN 978-0892641512. Schwartz, Benjamin I.. The World of Thought in Ancient China. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-96190-0. Xun Zi at Curlie Hsun Tzu historical information and writing excerpts Article from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Full text of the Xunzi Quotes by Xunzi “Tell me and I forget.
Gongsun Qiao, better known by his courtesy name Zichan, was a statesman of the State of Zheng during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. His ancestral surname was Ji, clan name Guo. A grandson of Duke Mu of Zheng, Zichan served as prime minister of Zheng from 544 BC until his death. Under Zichan, Zheng managed to expand its territory, a difficult task for a small state surrounded by several large states. Zichan reformed the government to emphasise the rule of law; as a philosopher, Zichan separated the domains of heaven and the human world, arguing against superstition and believing that humans should be grounded in reality. Zichan was responsible for many reforms. A realist, Zichan was involved in all aspects of the state, reforming agricultural and commercial laws, setting the borders, centralising the state, ensuring the hiring of capable ministers, changing social norms, he prohibited the hanging and deliver of pamphlets, but is recorded as having prevented other ministers from executing a man for criticising the government, arguing that it was in the best interests of the state to listen to the opinions of the common people.
Zichan reformed the government to emphasize the rule of law. In 543 BC, he had the state's code of law cast in a first among the Zhou states, he enacted harsh punishments for criminals. Because of his focus on laws, historians classify him as a Legalist; the Zuo Zhuan records. Zichan was highly skilled in state-to-state politics; when the State of Jin tried to interfere in Zheng's internal affairs after the death of a Zheng minister, Zichan was well aware of the danger, arguing that if Jin was allowed to determine the successor of the deceased minister in the state of Zheng, Zheng would have lost its sovereignty to Jin. He proceeded to convince Jin not to interfere in Zheng's internal politics. Walker, Robert Louis; the Multi-state System of Ancient China. 1953
Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang was the founder of the Qin dynasty and was the first emperor of a unified China. He was born a prince of the state of Qin, he became Zheng, the King of Qin when he was thirteen China's first emperor when he was 38 after the Qin had conquered all of the other Warring States and unified all of China in 221 BC. Rather than maintain the title of "king" borne by the previous Shang and Zhou rulers, he ruled as the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty from 220 to 210 BC, his self-invented title "emperor", as indicated by his use of the word "First", would continue to be borne by Chinese rulers for the next two millennia. During his reign, his generals expanded the size of the Chinese state: campaigns south of Chu permanently added the Yue lands of Hunan and Guangdong to the Chinese cultural orbit. Qin Shi Huang worked with his minister Li Si to enact major economic and political reforms aimed at the standardization of the diverse practices of the earlier Chinese states, he is traditionally said to have banned and burned many books and executed scholars, though a closer examination renders the account doubtful.
His public works projects included the unification of diverse state walls into a single Great Wall of China and a massive new national road system, as well as the city-sized mausoleum guarded by the life-sized Terracotta Army. He ruled until his death in 210 BC during his fourth tour of Eastern China, his achievements made him one of the most respected and influential individuals in world history, a legacy among the Chinese. Modern Chinese sources give the personal name of Qin Shi Huang as Ying Zheng, with Ying taken as the surname and Zheng the given name. In ancient China however the naming convention differed, Zhao may be used as the surname. Unlike modern Chinese names, the nobles of ancient China had two distinct surnames: the ancestral name comprised a larger group descended from a prominent ancestor said to have lived during the time of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors of Chinese legend, the clan name comprised a smaller group that showed a branch's current fief or recent title.
The ancient practice was to list men's names separately—Sima Qian's "Basic Annals of the First Emperor of Qin" introduces him as "given the name Zheng and the surname Zhao"—or to combine the clan surname with the personal name: Sima's account of Chu describes the sixteenth year of the reign of King Kaolie as "the time when Zhao Zheng was enthroned as King of Qin". However, since modern Chinese surnames use the same character as the old ancestral names, it is much more common in modern Chinese sources to see the emperor's personal name written as Ying Zheng, using the ancestral name of the Ying family; the rulers of Qin had styled themselves kings from the time of King Huiwen in 325 BC. Upon his ascension, Zheng became known as King Zheng of Qin; this title made him the nominal equal of the rulers of Shang and of Zhou, the last of whose kings had been deposed by King Zhaoxiang of Qin in 256 BC. Following the surrender of Qi in 221 BC, King Zheng had reunited all of the lands of the former Kingdom of Zhou.
Rather than maintain his rank as king, however, he created a new title of huángdì for himself. This new title combined two titles—huáng of the mythical Three Sovereigns and the dì of the legendary Five Emperors of Chinese prehistory; the title was intended to appropriate some of the prestige of the Yellow Emperor, whose cult was popular in the Warring States period and, considered to be a founder of the Chinese people. King Zheng chose the new regnal name of First Emperor on the understanding that his successors would be successively titled the "Second Emperor", "Third Emperor", so on through the generations; the new title carried religious overtones. For that reason, Sinologists—starting with Peter Boodberg or Edward Schafer—sometimes translate it as "thearch" and the First Emperor as the First Thearch; the First Emperor intended that his realm would remain intact through the ages but, following its overthrow and replacement by Han after his death, it became customary to prefix his title with Qin.
Thus: 秦, Qín or Ch‘in, "of Qin" 始, Shǐ or Shih, "first" 皇帝, Huángdì or Huang-ti, "emperor", a new term coined from 皇, Huáng or Huang "shining" or "splendid" and most applied "as an epithet of Heaven", the high god of the Zhou 帝, Dì or Ti, the high god of the Shang composed of their divine ancestors, used by the Zhou as a title of the legendary Five Emperors the Yellow EmperorAs early as Sima Qian, it was common to shorten the resulting four-character Qin Shi Huangdi to 秦始皇, variously transcribed as Qin Shihuang or Qin Shi Huang. Following his elevation as emperor, both Zheng's personal name 政 and its homophone 正 became taboo; the First Emperor arrogated the first-person Chinese pronoun 朕 for his exclusive use and in 212 BC began calling himself The Immortal. Others were to address him as "Your Majesty" in person and "Your Highness"
Wu wei is a concept meaning "without exertion". Wu wei emerged in the Spring and Autumn period, Confucianism, to become an important concept in Chinese statecraft and Taoism, was most used to refer to an ideal form of government including the behavior of the emperor. Describing a state of unconflicting personal harmony, free-flowing spontaneity and savoir faire, it also more properly denotes a state of spirit or mind, in Confucianism accords with conventional morality. Sinologist Jean François Billeter describes it as a "state of perfect knowledge of the reality of the situation, perfect efficaciousness and the realization of a perfect economy of energy", which in practice Edward Slingerland qualifies as a "set of dispositions... conforming with the normative order." Sinologist Herrlee Creel considers wu wei, as found in the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi, to denote two different things. An "attitude of genuine non-action, motivated by a lack of desire to participate in human affairs" and A "technique by means which the one who practices it may gain enhanced control of human affairs."The first is quite in line with the contemplative Taoism of the Zhuangzi.
Described as a source of serenity in Taoist thought, only do Taoist texts suggest that ordinary people could gain political power through wu wei. The Zhuangzi does not seem to indicate a definitive philosophical idea that the sage "does not occupy himself with the affairs of the world." The second sense appears to have been imported from the earlier governmental thought of "Legalist" Shen Buhai as Taoists became more interested in the exercise of power by the ruler. Called "rule by non-activity" and advocated by Han Fei, during the Han dynasty, up until the reign of Han Wudi rulers confined their activity "chiefly to the appointment and dismissal of his high officials", a plainly "Legalist" practice inherited from the Qin dynasty; this "conception of the ruler's role as a supreme arbiter, who keeps the essential power in his grasp" while leaving details to ministers, has a "deep influence on the theory and practice of Chinese monarchy", played a "crucial role in the promotion of the autocratic tradition of the Chinese polity", ensuring the ruler's power and the stability of the polity.
Only appearing three times in the first half of the Zhuangzi, early Taoists may have avoided the term for its association with "Legalism" before co-opting its governmental sense as well, as attempted in the Zhuangzi's latter half. Thought by modern scholarship to have been written after the Zhuangzi, wu wei becomes a major "guiding principle for social and political pursuit" in the more "purposive" Taoism of the Tao Te Ching, in which the Taoist "seeks to use his power to control and govern the world." Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel believed that an important clue to the development of wu wei existed in the Analects, in a saying attributed to Confucius, which reads: "The Master said,'Was it not Shun who did nothing and yet ruled well? What did he do? He corrected his person and took his proper position as ruler'"; the concept of a divine king whose "magic power" "regulates everything in the land" pervades early Chinese philosophy "in the early branches of Quietism that developed in the fourth century B.
C."Edward Slingerland argues wu wei in this sense has to be attained. But in the Confucian conception of virtue, virtue can only be attained by not consciously trying to attain it; the manifestation of Virtue is regarded as a reward by Heaven for following its will - as a power that enables them to establish this will on earth. In this more original sense, wu wei may be regarded as the "skill" of "becoming a realized human being", a sense which it shares with Taoism; this "skill" avoids relativity through being linked to a "normative" metaphysical order, making its spontaneity "objective". By achieving a state of wu wei Shun "unifies and orders" the entire world, finds his place in the "cosmos". Taken as a historical fact demonstrating the viable superiority of Confucianism, wu wei may be understood as a "realist" spiritual-religious ideal, differing from Kantian or Cartesian realism in its Chinese emphasis on practice; the "object" of wu wei "skill-knowledge" is the Way, – to an extent regardless of school – "embodying" the mind to a "normative order existing independently of the minds of the practitioners".
The primary example of Confucianism – Confucius at age 70 – displays "mastery of morality" spontaneously, his inclinations being in harmony with his virtue. Confucius considers training unnecessary if one is born loving the Way, as with the disciple Yan Hui. Mencius considered that men are good, need only realize it not by trying, but by allowing virtue to realize itself, coming to love the Way. Training is to come to spontaneously love the Way. Virtue is compared with the flow of water. Xun Kuang considered it possible to attain wu wei only through a long and intensive traditional training. Following the development of wu wei in a political sense by Shen Buhai, Mencius, the Zhuangzhi and Laozi turn towards an unadorned "no effort". Laozi, as opposed to carved Confucian jade, advocates a return to the primordial Mother and to become like uncarved wood, he condemns doing and grasping, urging the reader to cognitively grasp oneness, reduce desires and the size of the state, leaving human nature untouched.
In practice, wu wei is aimed at through behaviour modification.