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Persons in Chinese History - Fu Gu 傅嘏

Periods of Chinese History
Fu Gu 傅嘏 (209-255), courtesy name Lanshuo 蘭碩 or Zhaoxian 昭先, was a thinker and writer of the Wei period 曹魏 (220-265). He hailed from Niyang泥陽 in the commandery of Beidi 北地 (today's Yaoxian 耀縣, Shaanxi) and served the Wei dynasty as clerk of the Minister of Works (sikong yuan 司空掾), secretarial court gentleman ( 尚書郎), and attendant of the Palace Gate (huangmen shilang 黃門侍郎). He left official service because of differences with Cao Shuang 曹爽 and He Yan 何晏, but was willing to enter the service of the regent Sima Yi 司馬懿 as palace attendant (zhonglang 中郎). When the latter had executed Cao Shuang, Fu Gu became an adherent of the rising Sima family. He was metropolitan magistrate ( 河南尹), Vice Director of the Imperial Secretariat (shangshu puye 尚書仆射), and was enfeoffed as Marquis within the Passes (guanneihou 關內侯), later promoted to Neighbourhood Marquis of Wuxiang 武鄉亭侯. His participation in Sima Shi's 司馬師 campaign against Guanqiu Jian 毌丘儉 and Wen Qin 文欽 earned him the title of Township Marquis of Yangxiang 陽鄉侯. He was posthumously given the title of Chamberlain for Ceremonials (taichang 太常), and his posthumous title of nobility is Marquis Yuan 陽鄉元侯.
In his writings he often discussed the talent and character of man (caixing 才性). In a critique to Liu Shao's 劉劭 regulation on the examination of candidates for state offices, Kao ke fa 考課法, Fu Gu explained that the ancient kings had selected talented persons even from among the lowest people. If their behavior was excellent, they were "worthies" (xian 賢), and if they had cultivated the Way (dao 道), they were "competent" (neng 能). It had been custom that the older people of the communities recommended such talented ones to the king, and the latter accordingly took them into his service. Examinations (kaoke 考課), as suggested by Liu Shao, would not be a sufficient means of recruiting the best. Fu Gu was also known as a representant of the school of dialecticians (ming li zhi xue 名理之學) discussing the relation between designations and reality. He was of the opinion that talent and character were in fact the same (cai xing tong 才性同, cai xing he 才性合). Human character was an expression of his inner talents, and not a basic part of personal nature (xing wu ben ti 性無本體). He thus stood in opposition to He Yan and Xiahou Xuan 夏侯玄.
Of the collected writings Fu Gu ji 傅嘏集 just a few pieces are transmitted (Nan Liu Shao kaoke fa 難劉劭考課法, Zheng Wu dui 征吳對, Huangchu song 皇初頌, Qing li guibin wei huang biao 請立貴嬪為皇表).


Sources: Liu Wenying 劉文英 (ed. 1987), Zhexue baike xiao cidian 哲學百科小辭典 (Lanzhou: Gansu renmin chubanshe), p. 208. ● Yi Xingguo 衣興國 (ed. 1988), Shiyong Zhongguo mingren cidian 實用中國名人辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), p. 233. ● Chen Ying 陳瑛, Xu Qixian 許啟賢 (ed. 1989), Zhongguo lunli da cidian 中國倫理大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), p. 647. ● Chen Yinpiao 陶銀驃, Wu Min 武斌, Wang Juzhong 王舉忠 (ed. 1989 ), Zhong-wai zhexuejia cidian 中外哲學家辭典 (Xi’an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), p. 486. ● Zhang Kai 張凱, Xia Qiang 夏強 (ed. 1990), Zhong-wai zhexue renwu cidian 中外哲學人物辭典 (Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe), p. 500. ● Liu Weihua 劉蔚華 (ed. 1990), Shijie zhexuejia cidian 世界哲學家辭典 (Chongqing: Chongqing chubanshe), p. 90. ● Zhuang Hanxin 莊漢新, Guo Juyuan 郭居園 (ed. 1991), Zhongguo gujin mingren da cidian 中國古今名人大辭典 (Beijing: Jingguan jiaoyu chubanshe), p. 725. ● Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽 (ed. 1992), Sanguozhi cidian 三國志辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), p. 499. ● Feng Kezheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升 (ed. 1996), Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典 (Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe), p. 74.

June 1, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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