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|Other Titles:||The “Reason” in the Tang Code|
National Taiwan Normal University Department of History
The word “Reason” appeared frequently in the Tang Code or Statues. It was discussed with a wide range of meanings regarding its usage as a legal term. Seen from the Tang Code, “reason” was in fact an alternative criteria for court judgment in addition to “code” and “regulation” (including rules and forms) with legal authority. It was designed to bring the criminals to justice. This arrangement of “reason” could be understood through the pre-Qin Classics, especially the Confucian cannons, combined with the discussion of the pre-Tang Confucianists. There was a “consensus” and shared upbringings among the Tang contemporaries regarding the “reason”. My understanding of the “Reason” in the Tang Code was that it was “the Way and Truth” in general and the “righteousness” in particular.The making of the Tang Code was based on “propriety”. Here the “propriety” could be interpreted from three ways: the rituals, the institutions and the righteousness. The “reason” of the Tang Code mostly was referred to the last meaning, ie, the righteousness of the propriety. It regulated the inter-personal relationships and social values. If one committed an act which was forbidden according to the “reason”, then he was considered as a criminal and would be brought to court and sentenced. This kind of practice had influenced the making of the legal code of the Ming and Qing dynasties and was a characteristic feature of traditional Chinese legal history. However, since the “reason” is very abstractive and has no fixed definition, it has been inevitably criticized and even denounced.
|Appears in Collections:||臺灣師大歷史學報|
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