Human nature and moral cultivation in the Guodian (Chinese source) text of the Xing Zi Ming Chu (Chinese source) (Nature Derives from Mandate)

Shirley Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The debate over whether human nature is good or bad and how this is related to self-cultivation was central in the minds of traditional Chinese thinkers. This essay analyzes the interrelationship between the key concepts of xing (Chinese source) (human nature), qing (Chinese source) (human emotions/feelings), and xin (Chinese source) (heart-mind) in the Guodian text of the Xing Zi Ming Chu (Chinese source) (Nature Derives from Mandate) discovered in 1993 in Hubei province. The intellectual engagements evident in this Guodian text emerge as more syncretic and dynamic than those that can be found in the discourse of any single tradition, such as Gaozi, Mencius, or Xunzi. Its thesis on human nature and moral cultivation reveals the existence of a possibly more diverse intellectual discourse from which the different foci of philosophical debate represented by later thinkers developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-382
Number of pages22
JournalDao
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

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