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[Vol.22 (2014)] On Mengzi’s Understanding of Nature
Author : ZHOU Junyong
Date : 19.04.03
Page : 153-168
Keyword : Mengzi, Good, Nature, Good nature, Complacent, Seamless Unity between Heaven and Man
Abstract :

For Mengzi, heaven had no supernatural qualities but referred instead to nature. However, this view of nature was not purely materialistic, but was an idea of nature which included or encompassed life. Such a concept of nature has not only materialistic properties but spiritual ones as well. Its essential goodness of nature is the true mechanism of endless creation. In such a view, human beings both originated from nature and are part of nature. While Mengzi did not ignore humans’ physical properties of humans, he paid more attention to their spiritual nature, frequently transforming the goodness of heaven or nature into the goodness of human nature. Mengzi held that goodness exists inherently inside the human body, and he interpreted the goodness of mind as the goodness of human nature. For Mengzi, goodness is something that the mind can learn, which clearly shows the goodness of human nature is a natural truth. This is one aspect of nature what Mengzi’s moral ontology refers to. In moral ontology, goodness refers to the roots of goodness. Goodness can be obtained in a very natural way, since the roots of goodness generate endlessly. This shows the characteristics of nature in Mengzi’s teaching of moral cultivation. Through moral cultivation human beings become one with nature, and heaven and man correspond and become one. Likewise, Mengzi’s understanding of nature has dialectical aspects.

Attachments : ART001902233.pdf

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