The missing link: An investigation of Moism, the School of Names, and the School of Diplomats, and their place in the history of ancient Chinese psychology

Principal Investigator
Grant Awarding Body
Research Grants Council
Grant Type
Faculty Development Scheme
Project Code
Amount awarded
Funding Year
Duration of the Project
24 months
Start date
Completion Date
The proposed study will be a historical study examining the contribution of Moism (¾¥®a), the School of Names (Mingjia¦W®a) and the School of Diplomats (ZhonghuangjiaÁa¾î®a) to psychology in Warring States (ca. 475-221 BC) China. Overcoming the seemingly esoteric and mystic layout of the texts of these schools of thought, the study will provide a new deciphering of three difficult texts, the Mozi, the Gongsunlongzi and the Guiguzi, based on the perspective of psychology. By applying Kurt Danziger's method of identifying psychological objects (Danziger, 2003), in combination with techniques for the cross-validation of texts (Wang, 2008), the study will unveil the psychological constructs adopted by Moism, the School of Names and the School of Diplomats, and uncover ancient empirical approaches to psychology and the psychological techniques used to train spies and diplomats, namely, mnemonics, guided imagery, eloquence training, humour training, drama training, voice training, and attention training. The findings of the study will be beneficial in expanding the curriculum of the history of psychology in Chinese communities, and will open up possibilities for the generation of new ideas about indigenous psychology.