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[Vol.29 (2018)] How to Interpret Mencius’ Concept of “Xing” 性?: The Debate in Western Sinology and Its Current Signi
Author : HAN Zhenhua
Date : 19.03.25
Page : 91-112
Keyword : Mencius, theory of human nature, conscience, the grace of God, process philosophy, sociobiology
Abstract :

Two ardent debates over the Mencian theory of human nature were launched by sinologists in the late nineteenth century, a period of missionary sinology, and in the late twentieth century, a period of professional sinology. In the first debate, James Legge articulates the value of the Mencian theory of human nature from Bishop Butler’s view of conscience. He interprets Mencius’ “goodness of human nature” as “human nature towards good.” However, Davelle Sheffield criticizes that Mencius and Legge both deny the grace of God. The second debate focuses on the divergence between Roger T. Ames’ culturalism and Irene Bloom’s theory of common human nature. Such divergence is deeply rooted in both sides’ differing attitudes towards democracy and human rights. Despite different strategies and tactics, the two debates are closely related to each other in terms of their core concepts, which can be traced back to the Catholic churches’ different understandings of Mencius’ conception of human nature over 400 years ago.


Attachments : 5. HAN.pdf

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