Review: Confucius and Mozi

Review: Confucius and Mozi
• Psychology part of law argument
• theory of人性
• Human nature mixed social (not Good)
• Interpretive argument applies to 禮liritual
• 正 名zheng-mingrectify names detail
• Guides application of 禮liritual in action
• Requires 仁renhumanity in sage (and us?)
• Or guides in wrong way
Debate With Mozi
• Tradition can be wrong
• Argument by example
• Presupposing Confucian attitudes
• Therefore need a standard to select
• Implies following tradition is natural
• Question is which tradition? Modified?
• Non-social Standard
• (otherwise could leave)
• Inference to 天 tiannature:sky standard
• Natural guide to prefer 利 to 害 li-haibenefitharm
No quiz this week
Coffee Tutorial today
Result: Utilitarianism
• Test of a dao is general well being
• Utility an anti-tradition morality
• Same in the West—diff tradition
• Implies moral judgments that
conflict with conventional norms
• Pre-marital sex, recreational drugs,
prostitution, homosexual acts
• Kill poor people (more avg happiness)
• No birth control (more total happiness)
Moral Reform Impasse
• Your standard must be wrong
• It implies immoral actions are
• No, it shows they are immoral
• Traditionalist begs the question
at issue
• What is the correct morality
Partial Solution
• Collectively self-defeating moralities
• The soldier story:
• Confucian morality recommends universal
(utilitarian) attitudes in others
• Cannot recommend itself as the public collective
• Western Hobbes parallel
• Egoism is a self-defeating morality
• I would be worse off as an egoist if everyone had
my moral attitudes
• Weakness like Socratic method
• Only tells what is wrong, not what is right
• Premise: existing attitude
• Conclusion: different attitude
Yang Zhu 楊朱
• Ethical egoism
•Distinguish psychological egoism
and ethical egotism
•No psychological egoism in ancient
• 天Tian nature:sky's mandate in our
•氣qibreath medical theory?
• Mencius 辯 (disputes) to answer
Ethics: Sub-fields (for Mencius)
• Divisions:
•Epistemology, semantics, objectivity of
•Moral psychology
•Tendency to be ethical, selfish, religious,
•Normative theory
•Systematic answer to "what should I do“
• The highest “should” premise from which all
moral conclusions follow
• Twin challenge of Yang and Mo
•Otherwise would not 辯 biandistinction
•Adapts Yang Zhu's idea to answer
•Alternative account of “natural will”
• Inborn human dispositions/tendencies 性
•Shares the authority of天tiannature:sky
• Derivation from inborn capacity
Strategy: Rituals as Natural
•Origin of burial 禮liritual story
•Spontaneous (unsocialized)
•禮 liritual conventions emerge
from natural responses
•天 tiannature:sky given patterns
•Where? Born in the 心 xinheart-mind
Four Beginnings 端
•The心 xinheart-mind has four
impulse patterns
•Lead to the four classic virtues
•側隱compassion 仁
•羞惡shame 義 yimorality
•辭 讓deference  禮liritual
•是非shi/feithis:right/not this:wrong 智
• Child by the well and 仁renhumanity
•Problems as answer to Mozi
•Problems as a defense of
• Strong and Weak versions
•Weak is probably shared by Yang-Mo
•Strong is implausible for禮liritual – where
it is needed
•Mozi's influence --仁renhumanity 義yimorality
•Interesting problem for義yimorality
Developmental Innatism:
• Plant analogy
• Morality not fully known at birth
• Soil = economic climate
• Water + nourishment = selfreflection
• Valuing one’s inclination
• Seed = innate tendencies
• The spontaneous, pre-social
• Sprout = beginning reactions
• Weeds = selfish desires
• Problem of evil
Sagehood Ideal
• Banyan tree = sagehood
•Universal concern
•Flood-like浩 然之氣qibreath
• Heart and智zhiwisdom
•Language too coarse, imprecise
• Situational shi-feithis-not this是 非
•Combine judgment and inclination
•Spontaneous and natural
•氣qibreath link ? Unclear
Two Principles
• Link fact & duty:
• "Is-ought": “is” does not imply “ought”
• Undermines appeal to nature
• "Ought-can:" ought implies can
• Is moral reform possible
• Can't get an 'ought' from an 'is'
• Why follow the heart? Why follow天
• Distinguishing feature
• Health (like finger)
Mencius and Daoism
• Prefers not to 辯 biandistinction dispute
• Doesn’t like language
• Doesn’t need language: intuition
• Foolish man and plants
• Don’t force growth with theory (language and
Daoism: Early History
• Hermits and Yang Zhu 楊朱: No
theory of道
• First theoretical Daoist: Shen Dao慎
• Natural performance daoguide道
• Sum of all actual performance 道
daoguides is the great dao 大 道
• You will follow大 道—no knowledge of

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