Mencius and the tradition of articulating human nature in terms of growth

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Author: LIANG Tao
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This article analyses the tradition of “articulating xing in terms of sheng” and related other expressions, and also examines the debate between Mencius and Gaozi concerning “xing is known by sheng.” It claims that while Mencius’ “human nature is good” discourse is influenced by the interpretive tradition of “articulating xing in terms of sheng”, Mencius also transcends and develops this tradition. Therefore it is only when Mencius’ views about the goodness of human nature are understood in the context of this interpretive tradition that his ideas can be fully understood. Utilizing this framework, the Confucian understanding of rights is then explored.

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