Mencius

Edited by Hagop Sarkissian (CUNY Graduate Center, Baruch College (CUNY))
Assistant editor: Andrew Lambert (College of Staten Island (CUNY))
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  1. Confucianism and Totalitarianism: An Arendtian Reconsideration of Mencius Vs. Xunzi.Lee Wilson - forthcoming - Philosophy East and West 71 (4).
    Totalitarianism is perhaps unanimously regarded as one of the greatest political evils of the last century and has been the grounds for much of Anglo-American political theory since. Confucianism, meanwhile, has been gaining credibility in the past decades among sympathizers of democratic theory in spite of criticisms of it being anti-democratic or authoritarian. I consider how certain key concepts in the classical Confucian texts of the Mencius and the Xunzi might or might not be appropriated for ‘legitimising’ totalitarian regimes. Under (...)
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  2. Emotional Attachment and Its Limits: Mengzi, Gaozi and the Guodian Discussions.Karyn L. Lai - 2019 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 14 (1):132-151.
    Mengzi maintained that both benevolence (ren 仁) and rightness (yi 義) are naturally-given in human nature. This view has occupied a dominant place in Confucian intellectual history. In Mencius 6A, Mengzi's interlocutor, Gaozi, contests this view, arguing that rightness is determined by (doing what is fitting, in line with) external circumstances. I discuss here some passages from the excavated Guodian texts, which lend weight to Gaozi's view. The texts reveal nuanced considerations of relational proximity and its limits, setting up requirements (...)
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  3. Correlative Reasoning About Water in Mengzi 6A2.Nicholaos Jones - 2016 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (2):193-207.
    Mengzi 孟子 6A2 contains the famous water analogy for the innate goodness of human nature. Some evaluate Mengzi’s reasoning as strong and sophisticated; others, as weak or sophistical. I urge for more nuance in our evaluation. Mengzi’s reasoning fares poorly when judged by contemporary standards of analogical strength. However, if we evaluate the analogy as an instance of correlative thinking within a yin-yang 陰陽 cosmology, his reasoning fares well. That cosmology provides good reason to assert that water tends to flow (...)
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  4. Recent Approaches to Confucian Filial Morality.Hagop Sarkissian - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (9):725-734.
    A hallmark of Confucian morality is its emphasis on duties to family and kin as weighty features of moral life. The virtue of ‘filiality’ or ‘filial piety’ (xiao 孝), for example, is one of the most important in the Confucian canon. This aspect of Confucianism has been of renewed interest recently. On the one hand, some have claimed that, precisely because it acknowledges the importance of kin duties, Confucianism should be seen as an ethics rooted in human nature that remains (...)
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  5. The Way of Heart: Mencius' Understanding of Justice.Huaiyu Wang - 2009 - Philosophy East and West 59 (3):pp. 317-363.
    Through a comparative study of the meanings and origins of justice symbolized in the Greek word dikē and the Chinese word yi 毅, this essay explores an alternative understanding of justice exemplified in Mencius' teaching and illuminates a possibility of social and political justice that originates in the human heart instead of reason. On the basis of a genealogical study of yi that identifies its root meanings as "the dignity of the self" and "amity and affinity," this study recovers and (...)
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  6. 先秦儒家关于“欲”的理论 (Pre-Qin Confucian Theory on Human Desires).Keqian Xu - 2006 - 中州学刊 (Academic Journal of Zhongzhou) 2006 (1):166-170.
    The theory about human desire is one important component in early Confucian theory of humanity. It is worth our attention that Pre-Qin Confucians never put human desire at the absolute opposite position to the Heavenly Principle, as their successors do. Contrarily, they generally believe that the desire is the inseparable property of normal human nature, and making efforts to satisfy the human desire is reasonable. Only in terms of reducing the conflicts between human desire and the limited resources they advocate (...)
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  7. Mengzi and Virtue Ethics.Bryan Van Norden - 2003 - Journal of Ecumenical Studies 40 (1-2):120-36.
    I want first to present an overview of what I take to be Mengzi's own systematic ethics, which I shall approach as a version of "virtue ethics," and second to examine some of the standard arguments against Mengzi's position. -/- .
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  8. Mencius on Moral Responsibility.Xinyan Jiang - 2002 - In The Examined Life: Chinese Perspectives: Essays on Chinese Ethical Traditions. Global Publications, Binghamton University. pp. 1--141.
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  9. Qing (情) and Emotion in Early Chinese Thought.Brian Bruya - 2001 - Ming Qing Yanjiu 2001:151-176.
    In a 1967 article, A. C. Graham made the claim that 情 qing should never be translated as "emotions" in rendering early Chinese texts into English. Over time, sophisticated translators and interpreters have taken this advice to heart, and qing has come to be interpreted as "the facts" or "what is genuine in one." In these English terms all sense of interrelationality is gone, leaving us with a wooden, objective stasis. But we also know, again partly through the work of (...)
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  10. Mencius on Human Nature and Courage.Xinyan Jiang - 1997 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 24 (3):265-289.
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  11. Mencius on Courage.Bryan W. Norden & Bryan Van Norden - 1997 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 21 (1):237-256.
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  12. A Hermeneutic Reconstruction of the Child in the Well Example.Robert E. Allinson - 1992 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 19 (3):297-308.
    This article draws on two Mencian illustrations of human goodness: the example of the child in the well and the metaphor of the continually deforested mountain. By reconstructing Mencius’ two novel ideas within the framework of a phenomenological thought-experiment, this article’s purpose is to explain the validity of this uncommon approach to ethics, an approach which recognizes that subjective participation is necessary to achieve any ethical understanding. It is through this active phenomenological introspection that the individual grasps the goodness of (...)
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