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[Vol.31 (2019)] Mengzi’s Philosophical Scheme of Human Nature
Author : LEE Young-Yun
Date : 19.03.05
Page : 1-14
Keyword : Confucianism, Mengzi (Mencius), human nature, philosophical scheme, cosmology, sagehood
Abstract :

This paper argues that Mengzi’s 孟子 view on human nature should be understood not as an empirical observation but as a philosophical scheme. It should be noted that Mengzi is the first philosopher in Chinese history who contended that every human being is born with innate goodness and the potential to become a sage. Mengzi’s contention can be viewed as a Copernican revolution within the Chinese intellectual tradition in that he switched the focus of self-cultivation from external effort (i.e., to learn one’s intellectual heritage) to internal effort (i.e., to cultivate one’s inner potential for goodness or sagehood). This means that Mengzi’s view on human nature can be understood as an effort to pave the road to a universal and easy attainment of the highest level of self-cultivation. It is also postulated that Mengzi’s critical approach to Tian (Heaven) can be viewed as a framework to support his philosophical plan; that is, all human beings are equipped with the seeds of moral perfection.

Attachments : LEE Yong-Yun(1-14).pdf

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