Mengzi’s Maxim for Righteousness in Mengzi 2A2


Authors
Dobin Choi
University of Iowa
Abstract
In this essay, I argue that in Mengzi 2A2 Mengzi 孟子 proposes his method for cultivating righteousness by showing that on the way of achieving yi, such topics as the unperturbed hearts, cultivating courage, Gaozi’s 告子 maxim, and the flood-like qi 氣 ultimately converge. Toward this aim, first, I argue that Mengzi’s short remark “bi you shi yan er wu zheng, xin wu wang, wu zhu zhang 必有事焉而勿正, 心勿忘, 勿助長” can be read as his maxim for achieving yi that structurally parallels with the preceding maxim of Gaozi that Mengzi quoted. It tells us that neither our blind obedience to the words nor our impetuous boost of qi is helpful for achieving yi; instead we should concentrate on the heart’s moral sentiments and perform righteous actions. Second, I argue that Mengzi believes that qi is crucial in one’s proper self-cultivation. The centrality of moral sentiment in his teaching redirects our attention to qi’s positive aspects—exemplified by the flood-like qi—though qi’s impulsivity often makes it appear negative. If the four sprouts are to accompany the spontaneous movement of qi, it can be said that properly expressed qi signals the moral health of one’s heart. Moreover, I show that strong positive qi not only constitutes moral sentiment that serves as a fair standard for self-examination but also leads the will to perform moral actions without delay.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11712-019-09671-6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,780
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Moral Artisanship in Mengzi 6A7.Dobin Choi - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (3):331-348.
Mencius.D. C. Lau - 1972 - Philosophy East and West 22 (1):113-114.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Moral Artisanship in Mengzi 6A7.Dobin Choi - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (3):331-348.
The Heart of Compassion in Mengzi 2A6.Dobin Choi - 2019 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 18 (1):59-76.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Heart of Compassion in Mengzi 2A6.Dobin Choi - 2019 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 18 (1):59-76.
Mengzi’s Moral Psychology, Part 1: The Four Moral Sprouts.John Ramsey - 2018 - 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology.
Moral Artisanship in Mengzi 6A7.Dobin Choi - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (3):331-348.
Emotion and Judgment: Two Sources of Moral Motivation in Mèngzǐ.Myeong-Seok Kim - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (1):51-80.
Mengzi’s Moral Psychology, Part 2: The Cultivation Analogy.John Ramsey - 2018 - 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology.
Wisdom, Agency, and the Role of Reasons in Mengzi.John Ramsey - 2015 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 42 (3-4):300-317.
Mengzi, Strategic Language, and the Shaping of Behavior.Steven F. Geisz - 2008 - Philosophy East and West 58 (2):190-222.
Mengzi and the Archimedean Point for Moral Life.Xinyan Jiang - 2014 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 41 (1-2):74-90.
A Right of Rebellion in the Mengzi?Justin Tiwald - 2008 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7 (3):269-282.
Inference in the Mengzi 1A:7.Koji Tanaka - 2011 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38 (3):444-454.
Essays on the Moral Philosophy of Mengzi.Xiusheng Liu & Philip J. Ivanhoe (eds.) - 2002 - Hackett Publishing Company.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-07-16

Total views
44 ( #189,553 of 2,265,040 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
44 ( #18,036 of 2,265,040 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature