Asian Philosophy 9 (2):123 – 133 (1999)

David Soles
Wichita State University
This, paper argues that the debate between Mencius and Xunzi, as to whether human nature is intrinsically good or evil, represents not so much a disagreement as to the empirical facts of human nature as a disagreement over the nature of morality. Specifically, it argues that Mencius holds a virtue-theoretic conception of morality while Xunzi subscribes to a rule-based conception of morality. These differences in their conceptions of morality lead the two philosophers to radically different evaluations of human nature although they are in substantial agreement as to the empirical facts of human nature.
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DOI 10.1080/09552369908575494
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Confucius and the Role of Reason.David E. Soles - 1995 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 22 (3):249-261.

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