Please wait a minute...

Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2017, Vol. 12 Issue (4) : 515-532
Orginal Article |
Moral Falsity in the Eyes of the Superhuman: The Cases of Socrates and Mozi
Yumi Suzuki()
Department of Philosophy, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Download: PDF(410 KB)  
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks

Both Socrates and Mozi are said in Plato’s dialogues and in the Mozi respectively to have claimed that they are living a sort of life following superhuman “intention”: Socrates according to the Delphic oracle, and Mozi the intention of heaven. Some modern philosophers show discomfort with their “superstitious” attitudes, taking the claims literally as a kind of groundless devotion, while others conjecture “sensible” purposes to understand the mystic elements as providing moral lessons. This paper, by responding to these modern revisions of their doctrines, aims at highlighting the necessity of their (re-)introductions of superhuman perspectives to their inquiries. Through examining the similarities in Plato’s and Mohists’ demonstrations, the suggestion made will be that despite countless incommensurable features, heaven’s intention for Mohists offers a fundamental philosophical basis which enables them to develop arguments by means of sharp dichotomies, what is right or wrong, in the same way that Socrates in the Apology and in the Hippias Minor does for the development of Plato’s constructive endeavour beyond his Socratic a/euporetic legacy. Not only are their practices dependent on the presupposition of the existence of a perspective beyond humans, but also the reality of that perspective is established though their own investigative practices.

Keywords Plato      Socrates      Mozi      god      heaven      moral philosophy     
Issue Date: 11 January 2018
 Cite this article:   
Yumi Suzuki. Moral Falsity in the Eyes of the Superhuman: The Cases of Socrates and Mozi[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(4): 515-532.
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
Yumi Suzuki
Related articles from Frontiers Journals
[1] YANG Tongjin. Is There an Identity Crisis in Environmental Ethics?[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(2): 195-206.
[2] ZHANG Weite. Descartes’ Metaphysical Doubts about Clear and Distinct Perception[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(1): 151-181.
[3] WANG Xiaowei. A Human Right to Internet Access: A Gewirthian Approach[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2016, 11(4): 652-670.
[4] DING Sixin. A Study of the Key Concepts “Heng ” and “Hengxian ” in the Hengxian on Chu Bamboo Slips Housed at the Shanghai Museum[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2016, 11(2): 206-221.
[5] Teun Tieleman. The Early Stoics and Aristotelian Ethics[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2016, 11(1): 104-121.
[6] LUO Songtao. Adorno’s View of Life[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(3): 444-456.
[7] Eva Kit Wah Man. A Cross-Cultural Reflection on Shusterman’s Suggestion of the “Transactional” Body[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(2): 181-191.
[8] WANG Xiaona. Leibniz and Clarke in Conflict: The Role of “Force” and the Nature of God’s Providence[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(2): 287-297.
[9] CHU Zhaohua. On the Constitution and the True Aim of “The Joy of Heaven” and “Non-Speech”: A Reinterpretation of the Debate at the Dam over the Hao River[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2014, 9(4): 555-569.
[10] John Sallis. Effacements of Form[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(4): 641-654.
[11] CHEN Yuehua. Principle, Knowledge, and Personality: Some Reflections on “the Good” according to Plato[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(4): 585-606.
[12] LIU Wei. Plato’s Attempts at Defining Sophistry[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(4): 566-584.
[13] Olof Pettersson. Plato on Necessity and Disorder[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(4): 546-565.
[14] Thomas M. Robinson. Plato the Democrat? Some Thoughts on the Politics of the Laws[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(4): 530-545.
[15] GUO Qiyong. On Confucian Political Philosophy and Its Theory of Justice[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(1): 53-75.
Full text