Mencius and xunzi both follow confucian philosophy yet have a dramatically different understanding of human nature additionally, the two philosophers make their arguments in strikingly different literary methods. The two confucians mencius and xunzi held opposing views about human nature mencius believed that human nature is good every person is born instilled with four main virtues righteousness, ritual property, wisdom and benevolence. Jiaxin xu ealc final paper instructor: hayden id: 5769233021 april 30th, 2014 xunzi's different understanding of human nature from mencius's - from a historical perspective in the traditional chinese culture with a long-standing history, the importance of confucianism influence cannot be ignored.
Thus the claims about human nature made by mencius and xunzi are like ships passing in the night so the fundamental difference between mencius and xunzi on this point concerns their definitions of the word xing , which lead them to look for psychological traits fitting different criteria. Explores xunzi's thought in relation to the early chinese philosophical context that relied on the natural world xunzi, one of the founders of confucianism, is often compared to aristotle in the sense that xunzi is a great synthesizer as well as an original thinker in his own right. Xunzi challenged mencius' positive concept of human nature as fundamentally good xunzi themes reaffirm confucian values-learning, culture, human perfection. Because xunzi's position on human nature created a sharp contrast with mencius, it became usual in traditional china to picture the two as adversarial approaches to the confucian message (they are sometimes pictured as the chinese equivalent of plato and aristotle.
Mencius and xunzi both follow confucian philosophy yet have a dramatically different understanding of human nature additionally, the two philosophers make their arguments in strikingly different literary methods mencius believes that the goodness of human nature is like the downward course of. Against mencius, xunzi defines human nature as what is inborn and unlearned, and then asks why education and ritual are necessary for mencius if people really are good by nature whereas mencius claims that human beings are originally good but argues for the necessity of self-cultivation, xunzi claims that human beings are originally bad but. The mencius ( chinese : 孟子 old chinese : mˤraŋ-s tsəʔ pinyin : mèngzǐ ) is a collection of anecdotes and conversations of the confucian thinker and philosopher mencius on topics in moral and political philosophy, often between mencius and the rulers of the various warring states.
Brief lives xunzi (c320-235 bce) dale debakcsy thinks diligently about xunzi's psychological confucianism one of the intellectual crutches you're first given as a western student of chinese philosophy is the idea of confucius as socrates, mencius as plato, and xunzi as aristotle. Two great followers of confucius offer contrasting views of human nature that explain their different ideas about government. Human nature is fundamentally good how did confucius view the class distinctions that existed in chinese society he believed intelligence was skill could elevate a person socially. Xunzi openly refers to mencius by name and his theory that human nature is good and says that mencius is wrong xunzi argues that mencius is confusing human nature with the results of conscious human activity and development.
This is the first complete, one-volume english translation of the ancient chinese text xunzi, one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and elegant works in the tradition of confucian thought through essays, poetry, dialogues, and anecdotes, the xunzi articulates a confucian perspective on ethics. According to hsun tzu and mencius, human beings give birth to their children with a sense of an inherent reaction to life the mencius-xunzi debate in early. Living a generation after mencius, xunzi lived through the final, brutal wars which ended with the state of qin absorbing and unifying all the chinese feudal states xunzi was a. In xunzi, human nature is evil is framed as an argument with mencius (who was probably long dead), and takes the view that the xing of human beings is the very opposite of shan, namely e.
For mencius, ethically cultivating human nature is like encouraging the innate tendency of a sprout to grow to maturity for xunzi, humans require ethical cultivation just as crooked wood must await steaming and straightening on the shaping frame, and only then does it become straight. Mencius and hsün tzu on human nature i mencius' claim regarding the goodness of human nature 2a6 mencius said, all men have the mind which cannot bear [to see the suffering of] others. ~by p arrington mengzi (aka mencius), the greatest confucian thinker after confucius himself, was born in the 4 th century bce his great influence survives to this day, particularly in conservative ideological movements of chinese contemporary culture that emphasize a revaluing of traditional chinese ideas about human nature and relationships. Xun zi openly refers to mencius by name and his theory that human nature is good and says that mencius is wrong xun zi argues that mencius is confusing human nature with the results of conscious human activity and development.
Xunzi is closer to confucius on learning than mencius is the doctrine of the four sprouts allows mencius to overemphasize our intuitive capacities to be moral because of this mencius thought that learning was easy, while confucius and xunzi would say that it is very difficult. Xún zǐ (wade-giles: hsün tzu) (chinese: 荀子) (c310- 237 bce) was a chinese philosopher whose notoriety is derived mainly from his contentious thesis that human nature is evil, and, resultantly, that people require the positive influence of teachers and ritual praxis to become functioning and productive members of society. Mencius and xunzi both think there are built-in elements-cognitive and affective abilities-tied to being human, that are at least necessary to moral development so in that sense i think both of them believe in an analog to universal grammar.