Resenting Heaven in the Mencius: An Extended Footnote to Mencius 2B13

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 20 (2):207-229 (2021)
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Abstract

It is widely accepted among Mencius scholars that for Mencius, the junzi 君子 is the kind of person who accepts Heaven’s will and never resents Heaven. There are, however, several passages where resentment seems to be presented as a quality that the junzi possesses. In particular, Mencius 2B13 has been the subject of much contention. In Section 1, I will discuss various interpretations of 2B13, building on and updating Philip Ivanhoe’s helpful 1988 survey. In Section 2, I will present an argument for resentment against Heaven in the Mencius. I argue from passages in the Mencius and its relationship with the Shijing 詩經 that we have good reason to think that, under certain circumstances, the junzi ought to resent Heaven. In Section 3, I will develop a theory of resentment from the Mencius and demonstrate how 2B13 can be understood in the larger context of this theory.

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Daryl Ooi
National University of Singapore

Citations of this work

A Mencian Account of Resentment.Daryl Ooi - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (9):e12870.

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