Educating human nature: 'nature' and 'nurture' in early Confucian moral education

Journal of Moral Education 41 (4):509-527 (2012)

Abstract
This study examines early Chinese moral education?its curriculum, objectives and the philosophical assumptions underlying them?in its classical Confucian expression. It analyzes early Confucian debates on moral psychology, the Confucian moral curriculum consisting of model emulation, cultural practices and canonical instruction, and the methods and aims of Confucian statecraft. The study reveals how ancient Confucians integrated these components into a coherent discourse on moral education and its implementation for the related purposes of cultivating virtuous people and benevolent rulers. It explains why different early Confucians argued that ?nature? and ?nurture? must interrelate suitably not only for people to develop morally and prosper collectively, but also to moderate the ruler?s power by subjecting it to alternative sources of authority. This examination demonstrates that, contrary to modern criticisms of traditional Confucian culture and unlike contemporary uses of moral education in China, classical Confucian moral education was understood to serve aims quite different from either bolstering an autocracy or political indoctrination
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DOI 10.1080/03057240.2012.721759
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The Huainanzi.An Liu, John S. Major, Sarah Queen, Andrew Seth Meyer & Harold D. Roth (eds.) - 2010 - Columbia University Press.
Custom and Human Nature in Early China.Mark Edward Lewis - 2003 - Philosophy East and West 53 (3):308-322.

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