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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2018, Vol. 13 Issue (2) : 194-206
Orginal Article |
“Learning to Be Human” as Moral Development—A Reconstruction of Mengzi’s Views on the Heart-Mind
YAO Xinzhong()
School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
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Learning to be human is a highly important concern in Confucian philosophy. This paper is intended to provide a special perspective on this theme through an attempt to reinterpret Mengzi’s views on the heart-mind (xin心) as “learning to be human” and to reconstruct these views into a multi-staged process of moral development. Through an intentional interpretation of various arguments advanced by Mengzi, we seek to justify that his views on the heart-mind and moral virtues can be seen as a learning process and that he subjects the inborn beginnings of goodness to a delicate development before they can actually qualify a person as fully human. Having examined the three dimensions of Mengzi’s learning, the intellectual, the practical and the spiritual, we will come to the conclusion that whether innate or a posteriori, initial good senses and knowledge require a moral and spiritual process of learning to develop which is, to Mengzi, crucial for one to become a genuine human being.

Keywords learning to be human      Mengzi      moral development     
Issue Date: 28 June 2018
 Cite this article:   
YAO Xinzhong. “Learning to Be Human” as Moral Development—A Reconstruction of Mengzi’s Views on the Heart-Mind[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2018, 13(2): 194-206.
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