Is mencius' doctrine of 'commiseration' tenable?

Asian Philosophy 11 (2):73 – 84 (2001)
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Abstract

Mencius regards the 'heart of commiseration' as the 'beginning of humaneness', so as to set up a universal and sufficient foundation for the Confucian ideal of humane love in the human 'heart-nature'. Through a close and critical analysis of the very text of the Mencius, however, this essay tries to show that if in the light of the fundamental spirit of Confucianism, especially in the light of the principles of 'one root' and 'love with distinctions' advocated by Mencius himself in his criticisms on Moist school, this doctrine is not tenable exactly within the Confucian framework, with the result that the ideal of humane love is always rootless in Confucian theory.

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