Throughout much of Chinese history, Mencius (372-289 BC) was considered the greatest Confucian thinker after Confucius himself. Following the enshrinement of the Mencius (an edited compilation of his thought by disciples) as one of the Four Books by Sung neo-Confucianists, he was studied by all educated Chinese. This book begins a reassessment of Mencius by studying his ethical thinking in relation to that of other early Chinese thinkers, including Confucius, Mo Tzu, the Yangists, and Hsün Tzu. The author closely examines (...) his ethical concepts and terms, showing how they were used in the Mencius and other texts. (shrink)
The origin, content, argumentative basis, practical implication, and influence of Mencius' views of mind-heart and human nature are discussed. While the differences between Confucius and Mencius are acknowledged, it is argued that Mencius' view that human nature is good is consistent with and is a further development of basic ideas in Confucius' thinking. The basis of Mencius' view is not empirical generalization but inner reflection and personal experience, which reveal a shared natural endowment in human beings with a transcendental source. (...) In addition to a discussion of Mencius' views, the development of his ideas in the Sung and Ming and by contemporary Neo-Confucians is also considered. (shrink)
The philosophical study of Confucian thought seeks to both understand the nature of Confucian thought in its historical and cultural context and relate it in an intellectually fruitful manner to contemporary philosophical discourse. Someone engaged in such a study will be pulled inward toward approximating the perspectives of the Confucian thinkers set in the context of their concerns and activities, and pulled outward away from the Confucians’ world of ideas to relate them to our present concerns and interests, specifically those (...) that characterize contemporary philosophical discourse. These two psychological forces, the inward pull and outward pull, can be combined in different ways in the psychological orientation that underlies such a study. This essay presents and discusses the merits of an approach that it describes as “studying Confucian thought from the inside out.” On this approach, the inward pull is maximally dominant, and even as the outward pull leads us to move beyond the Confucians’ own perspectives to relate their ideas to our present concerns and interests, we at the same time seek to do so in a way that is maximally continuous with their perspectives. Such an approach helps draw out the distinctive characteristics and insights of Confucian thought, and also furthers a direction of inquiry that the Confucian thinkers themselves advocate. (shrink)
The use of the term hsing in the Meng-tzu is discussed, along with Mencius' views on jen-hsing. It is argued that while the use of hsing need not connote something unlearned and shared, Mencius did view jen-hsing in terms of certain unlearned emotional predispositions shared by all jen. He regarded jen as a species distinguished from other animals by its capability of cultural accomplishment, and felt that it is the presence of the emotional predispositions that makes this possible.
The article discusses Dai Zhen's views on pattern. For Dai, pattern has to do with ensuring that the means by which one attains one's emotional propensities and satisfies one's desires will not prevent others from doing the same. The heart/mind has the capacity to know pattern on such basis and such knowledge will guide action. Ethical failure is due to a deficiency in knowledge, and self-cultivation involves developing one's capacity to know so that one can grasp the pattern in any (...) affair one encounters. (shrink)
The Chinese ethical tradition has often been thought to oppose Western views of the self as autonomous and possessed of individual rights with views that emphasize the centrality of relationship and community to the self. The essays in this collection discuss the validity of that contrast as it concerns Confucianism, the single most influential Chinese school of thought. Alasdair MacIntyre, the single most influential philosopher to articulate the need for dialogue across traditions, contributes a concluding essay of commentary. This is (...) the only consistently philosophical collection on Asia and human rights and could be used in courses on comparative ethics, political philosophy and Asian area studies. (shrink)
This dissertation is an investigation of the philosophic psychology of Mengzi , a Chinese Confucian of the 4th century B.C. As such, it is concerned with the role of desires, emotions, and practical reasoning in Mengzi's conception of self-cultivation and ethical flourishing. In chapter 1, I discuss why Mengzi is still worth studying by philosophers, certain hermeneutic issues, and the historical factors that account for some of the characteristic differences between Chinese and Western philosophy. ;In chapter 2, I proceed to (...) problems of philosophic psychology, examining Mengzi's views on desire and its role in both the perfected and developing moral agent. I also contrast Mengzi's attitude toward the role of desires with that of Xunzi in order to bring out what is distinctive of both views. ;Chapter 3 discusses the role of practical reasoning in the Mengzi. I first critique one important interpretation of the role of practical reasoning in the Mengzi--that of Kwong-loiShun. Shun, developing some ideas implicit in the work of David S. Nivison, argues that Mengzi emphasizes analogical reasoning and consistency in ethical deliberation, but I attempt to demonstrate that the text will not support Shun's reading. I then proceed to offer my own view of Mengzian practical reasoning. I conclude that Mengzi is a sort of intuitionist, but of an interestingly different kind from classic Western intuitionists such as Sidgwick, Moore, and Prichard. ;Finally, in my appendix, I translate and comment upon some quotations which are attributed to Mengzi, but which are not found in the text of the Mengzi as it has come down to us. (shrink)
This study examines the relationship between procedural justice and employee job insecurity, and the boundary conditions of this relationship. Drawing upon uncertainty management theory and ethical leadership research, we hypothesized that procedural justice is negatively related to job insecurity, and that this relationship is moderated by ethical leadership. We further predicted that the moderating relationship would be more pronounced among employees with a low power distance orientation. We tested our hypotheses using a sample of 381 workers in Macau and Southern (...) China. The results support all of our hypotheses. The implications of these results for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
This study examines the impact of attitude toward piracy on intention to buy pirated CDs using Chinese samples. Attitude toward piracy is measured by a multi-item scale that has been shown to have a consistent factor structure with four distinct components, namely, social cost of piracy, anti-big business attitude, social benefit of dissemination, and ethical belief. Our findings reveal that social benefit of dissemination and anti-big business attitude have a positive relationship with intention to buy pirated CDs while social cost (...) of piracy and ethical belief have a negative relationship. Among these components, ethical belief tends to most strongly predict intention to buy pirated CDs. Demographic variables such as gender and age also help explain the respondents' intention to buy pirated CDs. In addition, those respondents with experience of buying pirated CDs would tend to be more likely to buy pirated CDs than those without such experience. The results are discussed with a view to helping copyright businesses to effectively suppress piracy, and directions for future research are suggested. (shrink)
This paper challenges T. S. Gendler's notion of aliefs, a novel kind of mental state which she introduces to explain a wide variety of belief-discordant behaviors. In particular, I argue that many of the cases which she uses to motivate such a mental state can be fully explained by accounts that make use only of commonplace attitudes such as beliefs and desires.
On one hand, Chinese consumers are well known for conspicuous consumption and the adoption of luxury products and named brands. On the other hand, they also have a bad reputation for buying counterfeit products. Their simultaneous preferences for two contrasting types of product present a paradox that has not been addressed in the literature. This study attempts to present an explanation of this paradox by examining the effects of traditional Chinese cultural values and consumer values on consumers' deontological judgment of (...) pirated CDs and the amount of social benefits they perceive they gain from them. We interviewed 300 Hong Kong Chinese consumers, and found that face consciousness increased materialism and risk aversion, thereby producing a favorable deontological judgment of pirated CDs. Face consciousness also has a direct effect on the amount of social benefits perceived in pirated CDs. Both favorable deontological judgment and perceived social benefits contributed to a strong intention to buy pirated CDs. The results are discussed in a cultural perspective. (shrink)
Open-mindedness is generally regarded as an intellectual virtue because its exercise reliably leads to truth. However, some theorists have argued that open-mindedness’s truth-conduciveness is highly contingent, pointing out that it is either not truth-conducive at all under certain scenarios or no better than dogmatism or credulity in others. Given such shaky ties to truth, it would appear that the status of open-mindedness as an intellectual virtue is in jeopardy. In this paper, I propose to defend open-mindedness against these challenges. In (...) particular, I show that the challenges are ill-founded because they misconstrue the nature of open-mindedness and fail to consider the requisite conditions of its application. With a proper understanding of open-mindedness and of its requirements, it is clear that recourse to it is indeed truth-conducive. (shrink)
Is open-mindedness a moral virtue? Surprisingly, this question has not received much attention from philosophers. In this paper, we fill this lacuna by arguing that there are good grounds for thinking that it is. In particular, we show that the extant account of open-mindedness as a moral virtue faces an objection that appears to show that exercising the character trait may not be virtuous. To offset this objection, we argue that a much stronger argument can be made for the case (...) that open-mindedness is a moral virtue by appealing to the notion of moral understanding. Specifically, we provide a new rationale as to why we should exercise open-mindedness and offer several arguments to allay the concern that doing so can at times cause us to be in an epistemically and morally weaker position. (shrink)