Naturalizing mencius

Philosophy East and West 61 (3):492-515 (2011)
Abstract
In a recent paper titled “Mencius and an Ethics of the New Century,” Donald J. Munro argues that recent theories in the evolutionary sciences regarding the biological basis of altruism and infant bonding might lend credence to Mencius’ philosophy of human nature.1 Such theories, says Munro, support Mencius’ contention that certain moral concepts derive from something that is inborn. What such naturalistic theories do not address, however, is whether or not these moral concepts are also “founded on something transcendental,” and by this Munro is referring to the suggestion that “human nature” (renxing 人性) is derived from “Heaven” (tian 天).2 Munro suggests that contemporary philosophers who draw inspiration from ..
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James Behuniak (2002). Mencius on Becoming Human. Dissertation, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Mencius (2009). Mencius. Columbia University Press.
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