The debate between mencius and hsün-Tzu: Contemporary applications

Journal of Chinese Philosophy 25 (1):31-49 (1998)
This article takes one of the richest historical debates, that of Hsun-Tzu and Mencius, as the contextual starting-point for the elaboration of human goodness. In support of Mencius, this article develops additional metaphysical and bio-social-evolutionary grounds, both of which parallel each other. The metaphysical analysis suggests that, in the spirit of Spinoza, an entity’s nature must necessarily include the drive toward its preservation. Likewise, the multi-faceted bio-social-evolutionary argument locates the fundamental telos of humanity in the preservation of social ties and species preservation, leading to a life-affirming philosophy and bio-psychological deduction of human emotions based on the primary emotion of love.
Keywords Hsun-Tzu   Xunzi  Mencius  Confucianism  Human Nature  Human Goodness  Good and Evil  Bio-Social-Evolutionary Theory  Bio-Psychological Deduction of the Emotions  Self-Preservation as Essence  Primacy of Love
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DOI 10.1111/j.1540-6253.1998.tb00497.x
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