The conception of Ming in early confucian thought

Philosophy East and West 46 (4):567-581 (1996)
Various interpretations of the role that ming ("fate") plays in early Confucian thought are examined. An interpretation is advanced which argues that early Confucians saw reality as being bifurcated into two distinct realms--"inner" and "outer"--and that ming refers to unpredictable forces in the outside realm, which are beyond the bounds of proper human endeavor. The vagaries of ming are not the concern of the gentleman, whose efforts and worries are to be focused on the cultivation of the self: the inner realm where "seeking helps one to get it." It is argued that a sense of "interiority" is present in early Confucianism, and an attempt is made to distinguish the world-view of Confucius and Mencius from that of later Neo-Confucian interpreters
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DOI 10.2307/1399496
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