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  • Author or Editor: Chen Ming 陳明 x
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In: Imagining Chinese Medicine
In: Imagining Chinese Medicine
In: Imagining Chinese Medicine

Confucius and Mencius differ in many ways in describing and demonstrating benevolence. For Confucius, benevolence is a basic concept, with filial piety at its core, and entails socially and culturally regulated action; benevolence symbolizes self-perfection while sagacity symbolizes perfection of all things in the universe. In contrast, for Mencius, who transforms the Confucian universe of unending life into a philosophical universe and changes Confucian benevolence of familial respect into a universal and absolute moral sentiment or instinct, the universe is a basic concept. With the universe as the metaphysical core, Mencius changes benevolence from the fruit of intention to an object of thought, so it is no longer a relation between life and its projects but, rather, a relation between the mind and its cultivation. Confucius talks about benevolence through the individual and familial morality while Mencius does so through the universe and human nature. Distinguishing Confucian and Mencian benevolence has theoretical importance for Confucianism and practical importance in our lives.

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In: Journal of Chinese Humanities