Mencius’ Theory of the Innate Goodness of Human Nature


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Essay #: 066564
Total text length is 9,530 characters (approximately 6.6 pages).

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The beginning:
Mencius' Theory of the Innate Goodness of Human Nature
The concept of virtue has been much debated from the point of view of Chinese philosophy, ranging from the ephemeral notion of physical beauty, which is always subjective, to a more substantive definition that connects human beings to everlasting positive forces of nature and the immortal construction of the sublime and moral, which is innately objective. Mencius’ perspective on virtue is that it is something that is contained within every person. In this way, Mencius argues that human nature, which is also referred to as renxing, is innately good. This essay explores what Mencius means by this assertion that human beings are essentially good within the context of the idea of virtue....
The end:
.....meone in a position of power. As a result, knowing oneself and one’s capacity for good was the means by which people might seek enlightenment. In other words, the very act of feeling and having empathy for others is a fundamental part of who we are as human beings. The fact that we have these feelings makes us good on an essential level, and creates opportunity for positive change. References
Asian Studies 372. (2011). Lecture Notes.
Chan, A., ed. (2002). Mencius: Contexts and Interpretations. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
Legge, J. trans. (1970). The Works of Mencius. New York: Dover Publications.
Yearley, Lee H. (1990). Mencius and Aquinas: Theories of Virtue and Conceptions of Courage. Albany: State University of New York Press.