David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (2):117-131 (2009)
In both content and historical position, the “ Xing Zi Ming Chu ” is of obvious significance for understanding the development of classical Chinese philosophy, particularly Confucian moral psychology. This article aims to clarify one aspect of the text, namely, its account of human motivation. This account can be divided into two parts. The first describes human motivation primarily in passive terms of response to external forces, as emotions arise from our nature when stimulated by things in the world. The second comes from the role of the heart, which takes a more active role in shaping our responses to the world. This article focuses on the role of the heart. At stake is the status of human agency, in particular, the degree to which the heart, through the formation of a stable intention, allows us to go beyond being simply pulled along by external forces.
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