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Exploring the Possibility of Moral Practice in Xunzi



Parallel abstracts

"Li" is regarded as an important concept in Confucianism. While the Analects and Mencius both regard li as a kind of external expression of inner morality, Xunzi proposes that "li is created by the sage", and is the result of the learning effort of human beings in response to the external context rather than a kind of inner virtue since Xunzi believes that human nature is evil. As a result, the pursuit of morality requires a conscious transformation of innate human nature by learning from ritual and self-reflecting the external impact, instead of a manifestation of inherent moral characteristics. Hence, Xunzi is always criticized that his theory of li is unable to be established since people are born lacking moral values. In this paper, I try to explain how moral conscience is possible by re-examining the self-cultivation process of sages and how morality could be possible within the framework of Xunzi.

Parallel keywords

Xunzi li-yi self-cultivation of Sage moral practice


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