Confucius and the Effortless Life of Virtue

History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (1):1-16 (2010)
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Abstract
Natural talent and diligent practice regularly lead to effortless virtuosity in many fields, such as music and athletics. Can the same be true of morality? Confucius’s wonderfully terse autobiography in the Analects suggests that, given the right starting materials and an appropriate curriculum of study, a program of moral self-cultivation can indeed lead to effortless moral virtuosity. But can we make sense of this claim from a contemporary perspective? This paper evaluates the plausibility of the moral ideal in the Analects using resources from contemporary moral psychology.
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Archival date: 2019-04-05
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2010-09-23

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