Xunzi and the Prudence of Dao : Desire as the Motive to Become Good

Abstract
Xunzi is often interpreted as offering a method for transforming our desires. This essay argues that, strictly speaking, he does not. Rather, Xunzi offers a method of developing an auxiliary motivational structure capable of overpowering our original desires, when there is a conflict. When one succeeds in transforming one’s overall character, original desires nevertheless remain and are largely satisfied. This explains why one may be motivated to follow the way even before one has developed noble intentions. On Xunzi’s view, following dao provides the best chance of satisfying one’s original desires, as well as fulfilling the more noble aspirations that arise from the process
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References found in this work BETA
D. C. Lau (2005). Mencius. Penguin Classics.
Citations of this work BETA
Winnie Sung (2012). Yu in the Xunzi: Can Desire by Itself Motivate Action? Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (3):369-388.
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