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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DOI 10.1007/s11712-010-9202-1
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References found in this work BETA

Mencius.D. C. Lau - 2005 - Penguin Classics.
Mengzi and Xunzi: Two Views of Human Agency.Bryan W. Van Norden - 1992 - International Philosophical Quarterly 32 (2):161-184.
The Therapy of Desire in Early Confucianism: Xunzi.T. C. Kline - 2006 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 5 (2):235-246.
Evil and Human Nature.Roy W. Perrett - 2002 - The Monist 85 (2):304-19.

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Citations of this work BETA

Early Confucian Philosophy and the Development of Compassion.David B. Wong - 2015 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (2):157-194.
Yu in the Xunzi: Can Desire by Itself Motivate Action?Winnie Sung - 2012 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (3):369-388.

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