Mencius (Mengzi) on morality and human nature

Author: Pamela Lee  (University of Ottawa)

Mencius (372-289 B.C.E.), a philosopher of the“Warring States” period of Chinese history, is the most influential Confucian to take up Confucius’theory of morality and humanist vision for a flourishing society. He developed a sophisticated moral psychology as an elaboration of Confucius’ ethic of benevolence (ren) and account of the virtuous sage. He is known for his argument that human nature is innately good because of the existence of moral sprouts (duan)—inborn moral preferences or inclinations. He argued that moral virtue or proficiency could be cultivated through the nurturing of these ‘sprouts’through moral reflection (si), a process of analogical ‘extension’ from paradigmatic moral situations to novel ones. Continue reading “Mencius (Mengzi) on morality and human nature”

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Dalai Lama, Ethics for the New Millennium

Author: Anna Lännström (Stonehill College)


In Ethics for the New Millennium, the Dalai Lama argues that modern industrialized society tends to lead to excessive individualism and reduced dependence on others which in turn leads to isolation and neglect of our spiritual dimension, making us less happy despite our improved material situation.  He argues for a solution, a “spiritual revolution” which involves finding a way of caring for our inner dimension.  Crucial components of such care includes developing inner peace and a deeper compassion for other, and learning to focus less on ourselves.

Continue reading “Dalai Lama, Ethics for the New Millennium”