Mengzi on Nourishing the Heart by Having Few Desires

Philosophy East and West 71 (2):393-413 (2021)
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This article reconstructs grounds for Mengzi's view that moral self-cultivation, or the process of "nourishing the heart" (yangxin 養心), depends largely on minimizing the desires of the senses. I argue that these desires are detrimental for the growth of the heart in two different ways: directly, by distorting or desensitizing the heart's moral perception, and indirectly, by depriving it of its nutrients, that is, of the exercise of moral actions.



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David Machek
University of Bern

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