Mencius

Report
Pre-Chin Confucianism
II
Mencius and Xunzi
Outline
• I. Mencius孟子
• II. Xunzi荀子
I. Mencius (371-289?
B.C.)
• Believed to be a disciple of Confucius’ grandson,
Zisizi (子思子).
• Warring Period戰國時代,
• Like Confucius, traveled around various states
• for a few years, served as an official
• Disappointed, be a professional teacher.
• Criticizes Mozi墨子& Yangzhu楊朱
• Debates with Kaozi告子.
I.1 A Comparison of the
Teachings of Confucius and
Mencius
• derived from Confucius.
• of human nature: Mencius took a big
step forward.
• When Confucius no more than
implied that human nature is good
• Mencius declared definitely that it
is originally good.
I.2 The Teachings of
Mencius
• Since man is originally good, it follows:
• 1. that he possesses the innate knowledge of the
good and “innate ability” to do good.
• 2. that if one “develops his mind to the utmost,”
he can “serve Tian”天 and “fulfill his destiny.”
• 3. that evil is not inborn but due to man’s own
failures and his inability to avoid evil external
influences.
• 4. that serious efforts must be made to
recovered our original nature/ original heart-andmind本心.
• 5. that xue is none other than to “seek for the
lost mind.”
I.2 The Teachings of
Mencius (ren仁, yi義)
• human nature= good, love/ren = an inborn moral
quality.
• The practice of ren must start with the family
• opposed Mohist’s universal love兼愛 (love without
discrimination)
• First to advocate ren and yi (“righteous”) together:
– ren :to bind people together
– yi : to make distinctions.
• The first to raise yi to the highest level (as ren)
in moral values.
I.2 The Teachings of
Mencius
• In government, Mencius believed ren and
yi were the guiding principles.
• He strongly advocated “governing with
ren”/仁政 (Mencius 1A.1, 5; 2A.5; 3A. 3-4)
and he was the first one to use this term.
• He vigorously opposed yi to utility,
advantages and profit (利).
• He wanted to overcome the “way of force”
by the way of ren.
I.2 The Teachings of
Mencius
• *As ren and yi are inherent in every
human’s nature, every individual is
“complete” in himself.
• *Everyone is capable to become a
sage (Confucius thinks the same) if
he/she is willing to develop the
“seeds”/ “germs”端 of ren and yi.
I.2 The Teachings of
Mencius
• People =the most important factor in government,
They have the right to revolt.
• This idea of revolution = novel in Mencius
• The greatest advocate of political “democracy” in
Chinese history.
• He quoted from ancient text, The Shujing [Book
of Documents書經], “Tian sees as my people see;
Tian hears as my people hear”(天視自我民視,天聽自
我民聽)(M 12.15).
I.2 The Teachings of
Mencius
• Mencius: not just deviate from, but
elaborate Confucius’ teachings
• *Mencius = orthodox Confucianism.
I.3 The Book of Mencius
• Alogical and unsystematic.
• Passages are not long but much
longer than that in the Analects.
• Mainly consists of dialogues between
Mencius and various people.
I.4 Mencius’s Debate with
Kaozi: on Huamn nature
• Kaozi告子, a contemporary philosopher of Mencius, believed
that human nature is neither good or evil.
– It’s external (not innate) for human to be good/evil.
• (M 11.2) Kaozi said, “Human nature is like whirling water.
Give it an outlet in the east and it will flow east; give it an
outlet in the west and it will flow west. Human nature does
not show any preference for either good or bad just as
water does not show any preference for either for east or
west.”…
• “告子曰: ‘性猶湍水也,決諸東方則東流,決諸西方則西流.人性無分
於善不善也,猶水之無分於東西也.”
I.4 Mencius’s Debate with
Kaozi : on Huamn nature
• (M 11.2) “It certainly is the case,” said Mencius,
“that water does not show any preference for
either east or west, but does it show the same
indifference to high and low? Human nature is
good just as water seeks low ground. There is
no man who is not good; there is no water that
does not flow downwards…
• “孟子曰: ‘水信無分東西,無分於上下乎?人性之善也,
猶水之就下也.人無有不善,水無有不下…
I.4 Mencius’s Debate with
Kaozi : on Huamn nature
• … “Now in the case of water, by splashing it one
can make it shoot up higher than one’s forehead,
and by forcing it one can make it stay on a hill.
How can that be the nature of water? It is the
circumstances being what they are. That man can
be made bad shows that his nature is no different
from that of water in this respect.”
• “今夫水,搏而躍之,可使過顙;激而行之,可使在山.是豈
水之性哉?其勢則然也.人之可使為不善,其性亦猶是也.”
I.5.1 Passages from Mencius:
on Four germs四端
• (M 3.6) Mencius said, “No man is devoid of a heart
sensitive to the suffering of others . Such a
sensitive heart was possessed by the Former
Kings and this manifest itself in compassionate
government. With such a sensitive heart behind
compassionate government, it was as easy to rule
the Empire as rolling it on your palm…
• “人皆有不忍之心.先王有不忍之心,斯有不忍人之政矣.
以不忍人之心,行不忍人之政,治天下可運之掌上…”
I.5.1 Passages from Mencius:
on Four germs四端
• (M 3.6)… “My reason for saying that no man is devoid of a
heart sensitive to the suffering of othersis this. Suppose
a man were, all of a sudden, to see a young child on the
verge of falling into a well. He would certainly be ,moved to
compassion, not because he wanted to get in the good
graces of the parents, not because he wished to win the
praise of his fellow villagers or friends, nor yet because he
disliked the cry of the child… …The heart of
compassion is the germ of ren; the heart of
shame, of yi; the heart of courtesy and
modesty, of observance of li; the heart of
right and wrong, of wisdom/zhi.
I.5.1 Passages from
Mencius: on Four germs四端
• (M3.6) “所以謂人皆有不忍之心者,今人
乍見孺子將入井,皆有怵惕惻隱之心—非
所以內交於孺子之父母也,非所以要譽於
鄉黨朋友也,非惡其聲而然也… 惻隱之
心,仁之端也;羞恥之心,義之端也;辭讓
之心,禮之端也;是非之心,智之端也…
I.5.1 Passages from Mencius:
on Four germs四端
• (M 3.6) …Man has these four germs as he has
four limbs. For a man possessing these four
germs to deny his potentialities is for him to
cripple himself… If a man is able to develop all
these four germs that he possesses, it will be like
a fire starting up or a spring coming through.
When these are fully developed, he can tend the
whole realm within the Four Seas, but if he failed
to develop them, he will not be able even to serve
his parents.”
---Almost all later Confucianists have accepted the
Four Germs
I.5.1 Passages from Mencius:
on Four germs四端
• “…人之有是四端也,猶其有四體也.有是
四端而自謂不能者,自賊者也…凡有四端
于我者,知皆擴而充之矣,若火之始然,泉
之始達.苟能充匕,足以保四海;苟不充之,
不足以事父母.”
I.5.2 Passages from Mencius: on
the Original Heart-&-Mind本心
• Efforts would be needed to recover our original
heart-and mind (good nature).
• (M 11.8) Mencius said, “There was a time when
the trees were luxuriant on the Ox Mountain, but
as it is on the outskirts of a great metropolis, the
trees are constantly lopped by axes… People,
seeing only its baldness, tend to think that it
never had any trees. But can this possibly be the
nature of a mountain?...
• “孟子曰: ‘牛山之木嘗美矣,以其效於大國也,斧斤伐
之…人見其濯濯也,以為未嘗有材焉,此豈山之性也
哉?”…
I.5.2 Passages from Mencius: on
the Original Heart-&-Mind本心
• (M 11.8)… “Can what is in man be completely lack
in moral inclinations?... A man’s letting go his
heart is like the case of the trees and the axes…
Hence, given the right nourishment there is
nothing that will not grow, while deprived of it
there is nothing that will not wither away…
• “雖存乎故人者,豈無仁義之心哉?其所以放其良心者,亦
猶斧斤之於木也,旦旦而伐之,可以為美乎?...苟得其養,
無物不長;苟失其養,無物不消…”
I.5.3 Passages from Mencius :on
the Choice between Life & Yi
• (M 11.10) Mencius said, “Fish is what I want;
bear’s palm is also what I want. If I cannot have
both, I would rather take bear’s palm than fish.
Life is what I want; yi is also what I want. If
I cannot have both, I would choose yi rather
than life…On the one hand, though life is what I
want, there is something I want more than life.
That is why I do not cling to life at all costs. On
the other hand, though death is what I loathe,
there is something I loathe more than death.
That is why there are troubles I do not avoid…
I.5.3 Passages from Mencius :on
the Choice between Life & Yi
• (M 11.10)… “If there is nothing a man wants more
than life, then why should he have scruples about
any means, so long as it will serve to keep him alive?
If there is nothing a man loathes more than death,
then why should he have scruples about any means,
so long as it shows him the way to avoid trouble?
• “Yet there are ways of remaining alive and ways of
avoiding death to which a man will not resort. In
other words, there are things a man wants more
than life and there are also things he loathes
more than death. This is no attitude not confined
to the moral man but common to all men. The
moral man simply never loses it…”
I.5.3 Passages from Mencius :on
the Choice between Life & Yi
• (M 11.10)… “Here is a basketful of
rice and a bowlful of soup. Getting
them will mean life; not getting them
will mean death. When these are
given with abuse, even a wayfarer will
not accept them; when these are
given after being trampled upon, even
a beggar would not accept them.
I.5.3 Passages from Mencius :on
the Choice between Life & Yi
• “Yet when it comes to ten thousand
bushels of grain one is supposed to accept
without asking if it is in accordance with li
or if it is yi to do so. What benefit are
ten thousand bushels of grain to me? Do I
accept them for the sake of beautiful
houses, the enjoyment of wives and
concubines, or for the sake of the
gratitude my needy acquaintances will show
me?...
I.5.3 Passages from Mencius :on
the Choice between Life & Yi
• (M 11.10)… “What I would not accept in the first
instance when it was a matter of life and death I now
accept for the sake of beautiful houses; what I would
not accept when it was a matter of life and death I
now accept for the enjoyment of wives and concubines;
what I would not accept when it was a matter of life
and death I now accept for the sake of gratitude my
needy acquaintances will show me. Is there no way of
putting a stop to this? This way of thinking is known
as losing one’s original heart-and-mind.”
I.5.3 Passages from Mencius :on
the Choice between Life & Yi
• “魚,我所欲也,熊掌亦我所欲也;二者不可得兼,舍鱼而取熊掌也.生
亦我所欲也,義亦我所欲也;二者不可兼得,舍生而取義者也…生亦
我所欲,所欲有甚於生者,故不為苟得也;死亦我所惡,所惡有甚於死
者,故患有所不辟也.如使人之所欲莫甚於生,則凡可以得生者,何不
用也?使人之所惡莫甚於死者,則凡可以辟患者,何不為也?由是則
生而有不用也,由是則可以辟患而有不為也,是故所欲有甚於生者,
所惡有於死者.非獨賢者有是心也,人皆有之,賢者能勿喪耳.一簞食,
一豆羹,得之則生,弗得則死,嘑爾而與已,行道之人弗受;蹴爾而與
之,乞人不屑也;萬鍾則不辯禮義而受之.萬鍾於我何加焉?為宮室
之美,妻妾之奉,所識窮乏者得我與?鄉為身死而不受,今為宮室之
美為之;鄉為身死而不受,今為妻妾之奉為之;鄉為身死而不受,今為
所識窮乏者得我而為之,是亦不可以已乎?此之謂失其本心.”
I.5.4 Passages from Mencius: on
the Distinction between Man & the
Brute人禽之辨
• (M 8.19) Mencius said, “Slight is the difference
between man and the brutes. The common man
loses this distinguishing feature, while junzi
retains it. King Shun understood the way of
things and had a keen insight into human
relationships. He followed the path of ren and yi.
He did not just put ren and yi into practice.”
• “人之所以異於禽獸其幾希, 庶民去乞,君子存之. 舜明
於庶物,察於人倫,由仁義行,非行仁義也.”
I.5.5 Passages from
Mencius
• (M 11.15) Gongduzi said, “We are all human
beings. Why is that some men become
great and others become small?”
• Mencius said, “Those who follow the
greatest qualities in their nature become
great men and those who follow the
smaller qualities in their nature become
small men.”
• “But we are all human beings. Why is it
that some follow their greater qualities
and others follow their smaller qualities?”
I.5 Passages from Mencius: on
Noble & Small Part大體,小體
• (M 11.15)… Mencius replied, “When our senses of sight and
hearing are used without thought and are thereby
obscured by material things, the material things act on
the material senses and lead them astray. The function
of the mind is think. If we think, we will get them. If we
do not think, we will not get them. This is Tian has given to
us. If we first build up the nobler part of our nature,
the inferior part cannot overcome it. It is simply this
that makes a man great.
• “耳目之官不思,而蔽於物.物交物,則引之而已矣.心之官則思,思則
得之,不思則不得也.此天之所與我者. 先立乎其大者,則其小者不
能奪也.此為大人而已矣.”
I.6 On Filial
The Story of King Shun舜 in the
Mencius 9.1-3
• (M 9.1)… “Shun toiled in the fields for he was
disliked by his parents, though distressed, he
must not bear them any grudge/ anger.
• … “Shun also wept and wailed, calling upon
merciful Tian and calling upon father and mother
because he did not think that a son should be so
complacent as to say, “all that is required of me is
that I should do my best in tilling the fields and
discharge the duties of a son, and if my parents
do not love me, what is that to me?”…
I.6 The Story of King Shun
(舜) in the Mencius 9.1-3
• … “The Emperor Yao sent his nine sons and two
daughter, together with the hundred officials,
taking with them the full quota of cattle and
sheep and provisions, to serve Shun in the fields.
• … “Most of the junzi of the Empire placed
themselves under him, and the Emperor was about
to hand the Empire over to him. But because he
was unable to please his parents, Shun was like a
man in extreme straits with no home to go back to.
I.6 The Story of King Shun
in the Mencius 9.1-3
• … “Every man wants to be liked by the junzi of
the Empire, yet this was not sufficient to deliver
him from anxiety; beautiful women are also
something every man desires, yet the bestowal of
the Emperor Yao’s two daughters on Shun as
wives was not sufficient to deliver him from
anxiety; wealth is something every man wants, yet
the wealth of possessing the whole Empire was
not sufficient from anxiety; rank is something
every man wants, yet the supreme rank of the
Emperor was not sufficient to deliver him from
anxiety…
I.6 The Story of King Shun
in the Mencius 9.1-3
• … “None of these things was sufficient to deliver
him from anxiety which the pleasure he yearns
for his parents; when he begins to take an
interest in women, he yearns for the young and
beautiful; when he has a wife, he yearns for his
wife; when he enters public life he yearns for his
prince and become restless if he is without one.
• … “A son of supreme dutifulness yearns for his
parents all his life. In Shun I have seen an
example of a son, who, even at the age of fifty,
yearned for his parents.” (M 9.1)
I.6 The Story of King Shun
in the Mencius 9.1-3
• (M 9.2) … “Why then did Shun marry
without telling his parents?”
• “Because he would not have been allowed
to marry if he had told him. A man and
woman living together is the most
important of human relationships. If he
had told his parents, he would have to put
aside the most important relationships and
this would sour relationships with his
parents. That ‘s why he did not tell them.”
I.6 The Story of King Shun
in the Mencius 9.1-3
• … “The reason why Shun married without telling
his parents is now clear to me. But why did the
Emperor give Shun his daughter in marriage
without telling his parents?”
• … “The Emperor also aware that telling them
would have prevented the marriage from taking
place.”
• … “Shun’s parents sent him to repair the barn.
They removed the ladder and the Blind Man set
fire to the barn. They sent Shun to dig the well,
set out after him and blocked up the well over him.
I.6 The Story of King Shun
in the Mencius 9.1-3
• … “Hsiang象 (the brother of Shun, whom is the
favorite son of his parents) said, “The credit for
plotting against the life of Shun goes to me. The
cattle and sheep go to you, father and mother,
and the granaries as well. But the spears go to me
and the lute and bow as well. His two wives should
also be made to look after my quarters.” ”
• Hsiang went into Shun’s house and there Shun
was, seated on the bed playing on the lute.
Hsiang, in some embarrassment , said, “I was
thinking of you.”
I.6 The Story of King Shun
in the Mencius 9.1-3
• … “Shun said, ‘I am thinking of my subjects. You
can help me in the task of government.’ I wonder
if Shun was unwared of Hsiang’s intention to kill
him.”
• “ How could he be unwared? Hew was worried
when Hsiang was worried, and pleased when
Hsiang was pleased.”
• “In that case did Shun just pretend to be
pleased?”
• “No, Hsiang came as a loving brother, and so Shun
honestly believed him and was pleased…” (M 9.2)
I.6 The Story of King Shun
in the Mencius 9.1-3
• (M 9.3) “Hsiang devoted himself every day to
plotting against Shun’s life. Why did Shun only
banish him when he became Emperor?”
• “ He enfeoffed him,” said Mencius. “Some called
this banishment.”
• “Shun banished two wicked persons and the people
in the empire bowed to his will with admiration in
their hearts. This was because Shun punished the
wicked. Hsiang was the most wicked of all, yet he
was merely enfeoffed in Yu Pi. What wrong had
the people in Yu Pi done? …
I.6 The Story of King Shun
in the Mencius 9.1-3
• …“Is that the way a person of ren behaves?
Others he punished, but when come to his brother
he enfeoffs him instead.”
• “A person of ren never harbors anger or nurses a
grudge against a brother. All he does is to love
him. Because he loves him, he wishes him to enjoy
rank; because he loves him, he wishes him to enjoy
wealth. To place Hsiang in Yu Pi was to let him
enjoy wealth and rank. If as Emperor he were to
allow his brother to be a nobody, could that be
described as loving him?”…
I.6 The Story of King Shun
in the Mencius 9.1-3
• “May I ask what you meant by saying that some
called this banishment?”
• “Hsiang was not allowed to take an active part in
the government of his area. Shun appointed
officials to administer the fief and to collect
tributes and taxes. For this reason it was
described as banishment. Hsiang was certainly
not permitted to ill-use the people. Shun
frequently want ed to see him and so there was an
endless flow of tributes streaming in.” (M 9.3)
I.7 A Similar Theme
from the Analects
• (A 13.18) The Governor of She said to Confucius,
“In our village we have our Straight Body. When
his father stole a sheep, he the son gave evidence
against him.”(吾黨有直躬者,其父攘羊,而子證之.)
• Confucius answered, “ In our village those who are
straight are quite different. Fathers cover up
for their sons, and sons cover up for their
fathers. In such behavior is straightness to be
found as a matter of course.” (吾黨之直者異於是:
父為子隱,子為父隱.—直在其中矣)
I.7 Filial (the Analects)
• (A 13.18)
• 1. the most valuable/ lovable
relationship: father and son
• 2. this idea influences Chinese
culture
• 3. Is it good/ bad?
II. Xunzi/ Hsun Tuz荀子
(298-238 B.C.)
• a native of Chao趙 (N. China, modern
Shanzi 山西)
• Age fifty: went Chi 齊(Shantung山東),
where scholars congregated
– became the most eminent
• Eventually some people slandered him
– he went to Chu楚, became a magistrate
• later lost his position and became a
professional teacher till his death
II. Xunzi/ Hsun Tuz
(298-238 B.C.)
• A contemporary of Mencius (younger)
– the two never met.
– Xunzi critisized Mencius in his book
• His book, Xunzi :logical, selfcontained essays
II.1 A Comparison among
Xunzi, Mencius & Confucius
• Confucius: “Men are close to one another by
nature. They drift apart through behavior that is
constantly repeated”(性相近,習相遠) (A 17.2)
- that is, all men were alike in nature but
become difference concerning practice.
-Confucius does not deliberately discuss whether
human nature is good/evil.
II.1 A Comparison among
Xunzi, Mencius & Confucius
Mencius: “distinguishing element in
man”
• i.e. the slight difference between man &
animals
Xunzi: “naturalistic Confucianism”
• Xunzi: “natural desires” in man
• i.e. common in man & animals
• Mencius and Xunzi : 2 divergent
tendencies in Confucianism.
II.1 A Comparison among
Xunzi, Mencius & Confucius
• Mencius: the original good nature of man
– 人性本善
• Xunzi: the original evil nature of man
– 人性本惡
– Xunzi: necessary to control/discipline the original evil nature
through external law, xue, and rules of ritual propriety (li)禮.
• Confucius/Mencius/Xunzi:
– Every man can become a sage, a junzi, the idea of ren
and yi, in kindly government, and in xue (education)
II.1 A Comparison among
Xunzi, Mencius & Confucius
• Xunzi = more popular than Mencius through the
Han Dynasty (206B.C.-220A.D.)
• his naturalistic interpretation of Tian天, close to
Daoism.
• In his advocation of control, he contributed to
the authoritarianism that resulted in the
dictatorship of the Chin秦 (221-206B.C.)—as the
two most important ministers of Chin秦/ Legalists
法家, Han Feiz韓非子 and Li Su李斯, were his
pupils.
II.1 A Comparison among
Xunzi, Mencius & Confucius
• After Han Dynasty, Xunzi =largely neglected until
the 19th century.
• Then Mencius was regarded as in the
direct line of transmission from Confucius.
• No commentaries were written on Xunzi’s
work until the 9th century and very few
since then.
II.2.1 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“Tian”
• 1. Xunzi’s tian
• “Tian operates with constant regularity. It does
not exist for the sake of Sage Yao nor does it
cease to exist because of (wicked king) Chieh…If
dao is cultivated with deviation, then Tian cannot
cause misfortune. Therefore flood and drought
cannot cause a famine… But if the foundations of
living are neglected and used extravagantly, then
Tian cannot make the country rich…Tian does not
suspend the winter because men dislike cold…Tian
has its constant way, earth has its constant
dimensions; junzi has his constant demeanor…” (X
ch.17)
II.2.1 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“Tian”天
• “天行有常,不為堯存,不為桀亡…循道而不貳,則天不能
禍,故水旱不能使之飢渴…本荒而用侈,則天不能使之
富…天不為人惡寒也輟冬…天有常道矣,地有常數矣,
君子有常體矣…”
• Comment: Xunzi’s tian is purely Nature, i.e. a
naturalistic tian, so that the word can be
understood as nature, rather than purposive.
Though Xunzi accepted the daoistic naturalistic
view, he is not influenced by their intuitionism and
mysticism. In Xunzi, we have rationalism and
II.2.2 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“Emphasis Wisdom (zhi知)”
• “The sage purifies his natural ruler (heart-andmind control the five organs), sufficiently
provides for his natural nourishment, follows the
natural government, and nourishes his natural
feelings so as to bring to completion the work of
tian. In this way he knows what to do and what not
to do. Hence tian and earth too perform their
functions and all things serve him. His actions are
completely ordered; his nourishment of the people
is completely appropriate; his life is without
injury. This is what it menas to truly understand
tian. …”(Xunzi ch.17)
II.2.2 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“Emphasis Wisdom (zhi)”
• “聖人清其天君,正其天官,備其天養,順其天政,養其天情,
以全其天功.如是,則知其所為,知其所不為矣,則天地官
而万物役矣.其行曲治,其養曲適,其生不傷,夫是之謂知
天…”
• Comment: Most Confucianists either emphasizes
ren and wisdom equally or stressed ren. Xunzi,
yet emphasizes wisdom. Obviously, inborn ren
has no room in his theory of the innate evil nature
of man. As an acquired virtue (de), ren is valued.
But being a tough-minded realist, he relies on
wisdom (zhi) rather than such as idealistic quality
as ren.
II.2.3 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“Exclusion of Supernatural
Power”
• The influence of supernatural forces
over man is completely ruled out by
Xunzi.
• The important thing is one’s attitude,
especially sincerity, in the
performance.
• His attitude is close to Confucius’.
II.2.4 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“Rectification of Names
(zhengming正名)”
• (X ch.22)“When the kings set about regulating names, if the
names and the realities to which they apply are made fixed
and clear, so that he can carry out Dao and communicate his
intentions to others, then he may guide the people with
circumspection and unify them…Names have no intrinsic
appropriateness. One agrees to use a certain name and
issues an order to that effect, and if the agreement is
abided by and becomes a matter of custom, then the name
may be said to be appropriate, but if people do not abide by
the agreement, then the names cease to be appropriate.
Names have no intrinsic reality. One agrees to use a certain
name and issues an order that it shall be applied to a certain
reality, and if the agreement is abided by and become a
matter of custom, then it may be said to be a real name…”
II.2.4 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“Rectification of Names”
• “故王者之制名,名定而實辨,道行而志通,則慎率民而一
焉…名無固宜,約之以命,約定俗成謂之宜,異於約則謂
不宜.名無固實,約之以命實,約定俗成謂之實名.”
• Comment: The rectification of names was a
common topic among ancient Chinese thoughts.
Yet only in Xunzi, did it develop into some sort o
systematic logical theory. Whereas in other
schools the interest is chiefly social or moral, in
Xunzi it is predominantly logical. This is the
nearest approach to logic in ancient Chinese
philosophy.
II.2.5 Xunzi’s Teachings: “The
Nature of Man is Evil”性惡篇
• “The nature of man is evil; his goodness is the
result of his (artificial) activity. Now, man’s
inborn nature is seek for gain. If this tendency is
followed, strife and rapacity result and deference
and compliance disappear. By inborn nature one is
envious and hates others. If these tendencies
are followed, injury and destruction result and
loyalty and faithfulness disappear. By inborn
nature one possesses the desires of eye and ear
and likes sound and beauty. If these tendencies
are followed, lewdness and licentiousness result,
and the pattern and order of propriety and…
II.2.5 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“The Nature of Man is Evil”
• “righteousness disappear. Therefore to follow
man’s nature and feelings will inevitably result in
strife and rapacity, combine with rebellion and
disorder, and end in violence. Therefore there
must be the civilizing influence of teachers and
laws and the guidance of propriety and
righteousness, and then it will result in deference
and compliance, combine with pattern and order,
and end in discipline. It is clear that the nature
of man is evil and that his goodness is the result
of activity.” (Xunzi ch.23)
II.2.5 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“The Nature of Man is Evil”
• “人之性惡,其善者偽也.今人之性,生而有好利焉,
順是,故爭奪生而辭讓亡焉;生而有疾惡焉,順是,
故殘賊生而忠信亡焉;生而有耳目之欲,有好聲
色焉,順是,故淫亂生而禮義文理亡焉.然則從人
之性,順人之情,必出於爭奪,今於犯文亂理而歸
於暴.故必將有師法之化,禮義之道,然後出於辭
讓,合於文理而歸於治.用此觀之,然則人之性惡
明矣,其善偽也.”
II.2.5 Xunzi’s Teachings:
“The Nature of Man is Evil”
• Xunzi : li, xue, law= for external
control.
– li shifted from a means of personal
moral cultivation to social control.
• Confucius and Mencius: li, ren, yi
should be internalized

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