Rectification of names

An important tenet of Confucian philosophy, especially as it applied to political leadership. The rectification of names is simply the argument that everything should be known by its proper name. When words are misused, only confusion and incorrect action result, and people might begin to feel resentment with their leaders, who they might feel are trying to mislead and manipulate them. Furthermore, Confucius argued, when words are not applied properly, this shows a lack of logic and clear thinking which is also harmful to social order. Rulers, he said, must be rulers, ministers must be ministers, and subjects must be subjects, and the precise meanings of those terms should be commonly understood and applied. Likewise, politics must remain politics and religion religion, and the separate spheres of the two should not be confused. SEE ALSO: Confucianism; Five Classics; li The Rectification of Names: Palin’s Late Style: He Knows the Main … .

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