Published below are extracts from a letter by the Chinese thinker Cai Yuanpei (Ts'ai Yuan-pei; 1863-1940) which first appeared in Correspondance, the journal of the International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation, in 1933. In the letter Cai Yuanpei discusses what he regards as the regrettable propensity to dissociate private morality from public morality and to demand of the individual the kind of rational and altruistic behaviour that is not expected of the state.
To the Chairman of the International Committee of Intellectual Co-operation
Academia Sinica (Shanghai)
In the book Ta Hsueh ("The Great Learning") we find a unifying conception of world order which seeks to lay its foundations in the psychology of the individual.
This book was written two thousand years ago by Tseng Ts'an, a disciple of Confucius, later incorporated in the Li-Ki by the Han scholars, and finally chosen, as one of the Four Books to be studied by every schoolboy, by the …