371-289 BCE “second sage” of Confucianism contemporary of Zhuangzi. Mencius. 孟子. The Internal Confucian Debate on Human Nature. Mengzi / Meng-tzu : humans as moral agents Xunxi / Hsün-tzu : human nature equated with self-interest. Early Chinese Views of Human Nature.
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
“second sage” of Confucianism
contemporary of Zhuangzi
Water flowing west Water flowing east
Does water flow east “naturally”? What is the analogy to human nature?
Does water flow down “naturally”? What is the analogy to human nature?
Water flowing down Water flowing down
Can water flow up? What is the analogy to human nature?
Human nature Willow tree
Human nature Willow tree
惻隱 cè yǐn Compassion – Concern (Commiseration)
羞惡 xiū è Disdain for evil -- Shame
恭敬 gōng jìng Respect – Yielding (Deference)
是非 shì fēi Approval and disapproval -- Judgment
This is from ch. 6
This is from ch. 2
“Righteousness and virtue delight my heart just like meat delights my mouth!”
悅 yuè to please(like food, or music, or beauty)
Van Norden: “and not because one would dislike the sound of the child’s cries”
II.A.6 The Sprouts of Virtue
The heart of compassion
The heart of disdain
The heart of deference
The heart of approval and disapproval
…an “unperturbed mind” (不動心) (2A2)
…and “floodlike qi” (浩然之氣) – which Mengzi is especially good at “cultivating” (2A2) with “righteousness”; without righteousness, it “starves” – yet, in cultivating it, one cannot “force” it (the foolish farmer of Song)
So for Mengzi, does “life” = “nature”?
(Zhuangzi’s swimmer 《達生》)
“Xing is not a superordinate and univocal principle that inheres in all human beings at brith. While there is a givenness to xing as an inherent organizing structure that persons in general develop after conception, it also suggests the dynamic process of becoming human” (p. 189)
1.concern gives rise to ren (co-humanity)
2. shame gives rise to yi (righteousness)
3. yielding gives rise to li (propriety)
4. judgment gives rise to zhi (wisdom)
惻隱之心 ， 仁
羞惡之心 ， 義
辭讓之心 ， 禮
是非之心 ， 智
(Discussing evil kings with Gaozi): “As for their essence, they can become good. This is what I mean by calling their natures good. As for their not becoming good, this is not the fault of their potential.” (6.A.6)
Like planting barley (6A7) – but not pulling it up (2A2)
If it gets nourishment, there is nothing that will not grow 苟得其養，無物不長 (6A8)
“Strictly speaking, a person is not a sort of being, but first and foremost a doing or making, and only derivatively and retrospectively, something done” (ibid., p. 190)
Every person has the natural inclination to do good, and this natural inclination is ren (perfect co-humanity)
“What I mean by saying it is good is that there is that in our nature which is spontaneously part of us and can become good. The fact that we can become bad is not a defect in our natural endowment.” (6.A.6. Eno translation)
“As for their essence, they can become good. This is what I mean by calling their natures good. As for their becoming not good, this is not the fault of their potential.” (Van Norden translation)
“To be human (人) is to be co-human (仁)”