The practice of Jen

Philosophy East and West 49 (3):298-316 (1999)
Under Mencius' influence jen has been regarded as part of a theory of nature. As such, commentators have had difficulty resolving the apparent paradox in "Analects" 9.1 that Confucius rarely talked about jen. No paradox arises if jen is seen as a practice involving self-cultivation as a never-ending task and the immediacy of ethical commitment where a cluster of emotions, attitudes, and values are expressed. Jen is an ethical orientation from which one speaks and acts--not particular qualities that one might enumerate and claim to possess. As such, the internal relation between jen and li does not amount to their being the same thing, as implied by some recent writers
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    May Sim (2004). Harmony and the Mean in theNicomachean Ethics and theZhongyong. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 3 (2):253-280.
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