FAH/PHIL Guest Lecture – “Tian Xia Da Tong – Harmony Under Heaven” by Prof. Alfredo P. Co, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines


Prof. Alfredo P. Co, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines


28 Mar 2017


14:30 - 16:00





Tian Xia Da Tong (天下大同 Harmony Under Heaven) takes on a very practical, social, and anthropocentric turn. It underscores that our political structure is actually an extension of the most basic familial relations. In this narrative on Chinese thought, one is immersed into a very concrete-immanent worldview that centers on the theme of individual moral cultivation. It is interesting to note that it does not leave the reader with empty proverbs and idealism about moral cultivation but attempts to account for the background of how such moralism is nurtured within a society. By considering issues that center on education and economic welfare, it sketches out the very Confucian manifestations of a benevolent government capable of supporting practical life. The discussion starts with the virtue of Ren 仁as the basic ontological character of human existence and proceeds in discussing how this is manifested within the wu lu無論 (Five Core Relationships). At the heart of this is the principle of zheng ming 正名 (Rectification of Names), which provides the injunction that every individual by virtue of his/her being a vital member of society is born with the responsibility to live up with his/her social appellation because it is only through this that a harmonious government can be actualized. Fulfilling thus, humans equal themselves with the constancy of Heaven and the generosity of the Earth. Such a world of moral humans brings about harmony under heaven.


All are welcome




Philosophy and Religious Studies Programme
Tel: (853) 8822 4768
Email: fah.philosophy@um.edu.mo