Xin , trust, and confucius' ethics

Philosophy East and West 61 (3):516-533 (2011)
Confucius uses the term xin 信 in about twenty passages in the Analects. The frequency of his usage would suggest that xin has a significant place within his ethics. The main aim of this essay is to offer an account of the roles played by xin within the ethics of Confucius. To have a clear understanding of these roles, however, we need first to understand what is encompassed within his notion of xin. This essay thus begins with an attempt to delineate the Confucian conception of xin, as it is presented in the Analects. The notion of xin is frequently taken to be largely isomorphic with the notion of trust, and passages involving xin are commonly translated in terms of “trust” (and its cognates). This essay ..
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