The chinese traditional classification resulted from the social and political solutions in a certain historical situation. Since Confucius attribute ethical(moral) importance to names, the chinese traditional expression and classification is based on the morality. Following Confucius, among names, words, rites and music, punishments, and people’s stability arise close relationships.
Especially Xunzi荀子 refines the relationship between the names and the rites and music. According to Xunzi’s saying, it is the rites and music that makes the people know the reasoning of classifying the names and the way of living harmoniously together. Being asked what the rites and music originate from, Xunzi says; the quarrel will be inevitable, if the people, who have desires(who desire something), are banned without knowing the limitation and classification. so they established the regulations contained within ritual and moral principles in order to apportion things. The distinction between nobility and baseness(貴賤), old and young(長幼), poverty and wealth(貧富), and insignificance and importance(輕重) represent the classification by names according to the ritual and moral principles.
In the late Warring States age, Xunzi’s thoughts based on the rites and music becomes the basic theory of classification. All the writings dealing with the category(classification), from Yueji(樂記) in Liji(禮記), Dongzhongxu(董仲舒)’s Chunqiufanlu(春秋繁露) and Lishu(禮書) in Shiji (史記), to Liyuezhi(禮樂志) in Hanshu(漢書), succeed the Xunzi’s classification based on the rites and music. And again it gives the basis for Jicizhuan(繫辭傳) in Book of Changes(易), and, at last, reveals the diverse and concrete classification in the form of ideographic characters in Shuowenjiezi(說文解字).