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Mencius and Xunzi on Cultivation
The first 200 words of this essay...
March 13, 2008
Cultivation and Transformation: Mencius and Xunzi on Human Nature
Confucius inspired a humanistic and ethical outlook that was developed further by prime disciples Mencius and Xunzi. This development took place amidst the background of arguments against other thinkers or in response to their criticisms of Confucianism. However, there was a disagreement within the Confucian school, as well, as shown by Xunzi's critique of Mencius. It may be perceived that Mencius has the dominant position in the Confucian tradition as Mencius's belief that human nature is originally good has often been interpreted into certain sayings of Confucius. Additionally, Xunzi's claim that human nature is "evil" and that people can be transformed to become good may be inconsistent, as they imply Mencius's claim that human nature is inherently good. For this reason, it is crucial to analyze both thinkers separately as integration of one thinker's original thought to another may obscure the important aspects of the assimilated thinker's position. Secondly, this method of analysis will show that the debate is not one conducted from extreme opposites as it may seem at first sight, for both Mencius and
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