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  1. Virtuous actions in the Mengzi.Waldemar Brys - 2023 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 31 (1):2-22.
    Many anglophone scholars take the early Confucians to be virtue ethicists of one kind or another. A common virtue ethical reading of one of the most influential early Confucians, namely Mengzi, ascribes to him the view that moral actions are partly (or entirely) moral because of the state from which they are performed, be it the agent’s motives, emotions, or their character traits. I consider whether such a reading of the Mengzi is justified and I argue that it is not. (...)
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  2. Knowing-to in Wang Yangming.Waldemar Brys - forthcoming - In Justin Tiwald (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Wang Yangming 王陽明 (1472 – 1529) is famously associated with the view that knowledge and action are unified (zhī xíng hé yī 知行合一). Call this the Unity Thesis. Given standard assumptions about what it means for a person to know, it may seem that the Unity Thesis is clearly false: I can know that p without currently acting in p-related ways, and I can know how to φ without currently φ-ing. My aims in this paper are, first, to draw on (...)
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  3. Target-Centred Virtue Ethics: Aristotelian or Confucian?Philippe Brunozzi & Waldemar Brys - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
    We raise the following problem for so-called target-centred virtue ethics. An important motivation for adopting target-centred virtue ethics over other forms of virtue ethics is its supposedly distinctive account of right action: an action is right if and only if and because it is virtuous, and what makes an action virtuous is that it hits the target of the virtues. We argue that the account is not distinctive of target-centred virtue ethics, because it is an account that is widely endorsed (...)
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  4. The Epistemology of Mengzian Extension.Waldemar Brys - 2021 - In Karyn Lai (ed.), Knowers and Knowledge in East-West Philosophy: Epistemology Extended. Springer Nature. pp. 43-61.
    In this chapter I give an account of the epistemology underlying the concept of “extension” in the Mengzi, an early Confucian text written in the fourth century BCE. Mengzi suggests in a conversation with King Xuan of Qi that a solution to the King’s problem of how one comes to act in a kingly manner is that one engages in “extension”. I argue that a long-standing scholarly debate on the exact nature of Mengzian “extension” can be resolved by closely investigating (...)
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  5. Extending Kindness: A Confucian Account.Waldemar Brys - 2023 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (3):511-528.
    The Confucian philosopher Mengzi believes that ‘extending’ one's kindness facilitates one's moral development and that it is intimately tied to performing morally good actions. Most interpreters have taken Mengzian kindness to be an emotional state, with the extension of kindness to centrally involve feeling kindness towards more people or in a greater number of situations. I argue that kindness cannot do all the theoretical work that Mengzi wants it to do if it is interpreted as an emotion. I submit that (...)
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  6. Epistemology in the Mencius.Waldemar Brys - 2023 - In Yang Xiao & Kim-Chong Chong (eds.), Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Mencius. Springer. pp. 491-514.
    This chapter examines Mencius’s views on knowledge and how they might contribute to contemporary debates in epistemology. For this purpose, I focus on three features that I take to be characteristic (although not exhaustive) of Mencian epistemology: first, Mencius’s views on knowing things; second, the role that wisdom or intellectual virtue plays in acquiring knowledge; and third, Mencius’s views on “knowing-to”, a kind of knowledge conceptually distinct from knowing-that and knowing-how. I argue that the views we find in the Mencius (...)
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  7. The Difference Between Ren and Yi: Mengzi’s Anti-Guodianism at 6A4-5.Waldemar Brys - forthcoming - Sophia:1-16.
    Passages from the recently excavated Guodian manuscripts bear a surprising resemblance to a position ascribed to Gaozi and his followers in the Mengzi at 6A4-5, namely that righteousness is “external.” Although such a resemblance has been noted, the philosophical implications of it for the debate between Gaozi and Mengzi and, by extension, for Mengzian ethics have been largely unexplored. I argue that a Guodian-inspired reading of 6A4-5 is one that takes the debate to be about whether standing in certain family (...)
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  8. Doing what you really want: an introduction to the philosophy of Mengzi. [REVIEW]Waldemar Brys - 2023 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 31 (1):137-140.
    A book review of Perkins (2022), "Doing what you really want: an introduction to the philosophy of Mengzi", Oxford University Press.
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