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Confucius and Mencius on the Motivation to Be Moral

Confucius and Mencius on the Motivation to Be Moral Abstract: Focusing on the Analects and the Mencius, this article attempts to provide a Confucian answer to “why be moral?”—a question about the motivation to be moral that is neither tautological nor self-contradictory, as some philosophers claim. The Confucian answer to this question is that to be moral is joyful. While one may find joy in doing non-moral and even immoral things, one ought to seek joy in being moral or at least in being not immoral, as being moral is uniquely human. As the Confucian motivation for being moral is joy and therefore appears to be egoistic, Confucian joy lies in practicing the four cardinal virtues and so is altruistic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Confucius and Mencius on the Motivation to Be Moral

Philosophy East and West , Volume 60 (1) – Jan 24, 2009

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
ISSN
1529-1898
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Focusing on the Analects and the Mencius, this article attempts to provide a Confucian answer to “why be moral?”—a question about the motivation to be moral that is neither tautological nor self-contradictory, as some philosophers claim. The Confucian answer to this question is that to be moral is joyful. While one may find joy in doing non-moral and even immoral things, one ought to seek joy in being moral or at least in being not immoral, as being moral is uniquely human. As the Confucian motivation for being moral is joy and therefore appears to be egoistic, Confucian joy lies in practicing the four cardinal virtues and so is altruistic.

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 24, 2009

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