Mou Zongsan’s view of interpreting Confucianism by “moral autonomy”

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (3):345-362 (2007)
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Abstract

Mou Zongsan uses the highest moral principle “autonomy” to interpret Confucius’ benevolence and Mencius’ “inherent benevolence and righteousness”, focuses on the self-rule of the will. It does not do any harm to Mencius’ learning, on the contrary, it is conducive to the communication between Chinese and Western philosophies. If we stick to Kant’s moral self autonomy and apply it to interpreting Zhu Xi’s moral theory, similarly we will discover the implications of Zhu Xi’s “autonomy” in his moral learning. Therefore, it is inappropriate for Mou Zongsan to say that Zhu Xi’s ethics belongs to the autonomous one.

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