Reproduction, familiarity, love, and humaneness: How did confucius reveal “humaneness”? [Book Review]

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (4):506-522 (2010)
This article draws out the subtle connections among the various sorts of categories— sheng 生 (reproduction), qin 亲 (familiarity), ai 爱 (love), and ren 仁 (humaneness) —focusing on the following: Confucius found the original significance of reproduction to be sympathy between males and females, and upon further study he found it extended to the.affinity of blood relations, namely familiarity. From familiarity he came to understand love that one generates and has for people and things beyond one’s blood relations, in other words, the empathic heart or the feeling of empathy itself. From here he anticipated rende 仁德 (the humane and virtuous) level of fan’ai zhong 泛爱众 (universal love for all people) or fan’ai wanwu 泛爱万物 (universal love for all creatures). The article further makes the point that in order to meet the conditions for the perfection of humaneness which has neither any excesses nor any deficiencies, Confucius ultimately developed a means, that is, the golden mean, which indicates that his ancient understanding of life and growth produced in Confucius a profound shift in the focus of human concern from ming 命 (fate) to Dao 道 (the Way).
Keywords humaneness  reproduction  familiarity  love  Way
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DOI 10.1007/s11466-010-0112-4
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