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Politics and Interest in Early Confucianism

Politics and Interest in Early Confucianism Abstract: This essay investigates the “morality of interest” in classical Confucianism by examining the philosophical thoughts of Mencius and Xunzi. It argues that despite many differences, Mencius and Xunzi strove to (re-)construct a civil political order that could best serve the welfare of the people by rejecting the stringent dichotomy of morality and interest and attempted to reinvent interest enlightened by ren (benevolence) and yi (righteousness) and harnessed by li (Confucian rituals). Examining Mencius’ advocacy of a creative entwinement between the Kingly Way and interest and his unarticulated idea of positive Confucian moral politics, it is shown how Xunzi brought Mencius’ nascent idea of positive Confucian moral politics to full fruition by, ironically, criticizing him. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Politics and Interest in Early Confucianism

Philosophy East and West , Volume 64 (2) – Apr 14, 2014

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: This essay investigates the “morality of interest” in classical Confucianism by examining the philosophical thoughts of Mencius and Xunzi. It argues that despite many differences, Mencius and Xunzi strove to (re-)construct a civil political order that could best serve the welfare of the people by rejecting the stringent dichotomy of morality and interest and attempted to reinvent interest enlightened by ren (benevolence) and yi (righteousness) and harnessed by li (Confucian rituals). Examining Mencius’ advocacy of a creative entwinement between the Kingly Way and interest and his unarticulated idea of positive Confucian moral politics, it is shown how Xunzi brought Mencius’ nascent idea of positive Confucian moral politics to full fruition by, ironically, criticizing him.

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Apr 14, 2014

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