Dao

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 231–250 | Cite as

Respect in Mengzi as a Concern-based Construal: How It Is Different from Desire and Behavioral Disposition

Article

Abstract

Previous scholars seem to assume that Mengzi’s 孟子 four sprouts are more or less homogeneous in nature, and the four sprouts are often viewed as some sort of desires for or instinctive inclinations toward virtues or virtuous acts. For example, Angus Graham interprets sìduān 四端 as “incipient moral impulses” to do what is morally good or right, or “spontaneous inclinations” toward virtues or moral good. However, this view is incompatible with the recently proposed more sound views that regard Mengzi’s four sprouts as a particular type of emotions or feelings having some “cognitive” or “rational” aspects. In this essay I develop this new approach to Mengzi’s four sprouts, and specifically argue that respect in Mengzi should be considered neither as a moral desire nor as a behavioral tendency to do deferential acts but as some sort of ethical sensibility that is responsive to the relevant features of a worthy person.

Keywords

Respect Mengzi Desire Behavioral disposition Concern-based construal 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Chan, Sin Yee. 2006. “The Confucian Notion of Jing 敬 (Respect).” Philosophy East & West 56.2: 229–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Darwall, Stephen L. 1977. “Two Kinds of Respect.” Ethics 88.1: 36–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ____. 2006. The Second-Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Graham, Angus C. 2002. “The Background of the Mencian [Mengzian] Theory of Human Nature.” In Essays on the Moral Philosophy of Mengzi, edited by Liu Xiusheng and Philip J. Ivanhoe. Indianapolis: Hackett.Google Scholar
  5. Hansen, Chad. 1992. A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought: A Philosophical Interpretation. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Hutcheson, Francis. 2008. An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.Google Scholar
  7. Kim, Myeong-seok 김명석. 2009. “Good and Bad, Desire and Aversion, and Evaluative Judgment in the Analects 선악, 호오, 가치판단 —『논어』를 중심으로.” In Various Philosophical Trends in Warring States China 제자백가의 다양한 철학흐름, edited by Song Young-bae and Shin Jung-geun. Seoul: Sahoe p‘yŏngnon 사회평론.Google Scholar
  8. ____. 2010. “What Cèyǐn zhī xīn (Compassion/Familial Affection) Really Is.” Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9.4: 407–425.Google Scholar
  9. Munro, Donald J. 1969. The Concept of Man in Early China. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Nivison, David S. 1996a. “Problems in the Mengzi: 6A3–5.” In The Ways of Confucianism: Investigations in Chinese Philosophy, edited by Bryan W. Van Norden. Chicago: Open Court.Google Scholar
  11. ____. 1996b. “On Translating Mencius.” In The Ways of Confucianism: Investigations in Chinese Philosophy, edited by Bryan W. Van Norden. Chicago: Open Court.Google Scholar
  12. Qián, Mù 錢穆. 1956. Chronological Studies of the Pre-Qin Masters 先秦諸子繫年. Běijīng 北京: Zhōnghuá Shūjú 中華書局.Google Scholar
  13. Roberts, Robert. 1988. “What an Emotion Is: A Sketch.” The Philosophical Review 97.2: 183–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Shun, Kwong-loi. 1997. Mencius and Early Chinese Thought. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Van Norden, Bryan W. 2000. “Mengzi and Xunzi: Two Views of Human Agency.” In Virtue, Nature, and Agency in the Xunzi, edited by Thornton C. Kline III and Philip J. Ivanhoe. Indianapolis: Hackett.Google Scholar
  16. ____. 2007. Virtue Ethics and Consequentialism in Early Chinese Philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Wong, David B. 1991. “Is There a Distinction between Reason and Emotion in Mencius?” Philosophy East and West 41.1: 31–44.Google Scholar
  18. Yáng, Bójùn 楊伯峻. 1960. Translation and Interpretation of the Mengzi 孟子譯注. Běijīng 北京: Zhōnghuá Shūjú 中華書局.Google Scholar
  19. ____. 1992. Translation and Interpretation of the Analects 論語譯注. Běijīng 北京: Zhōnghuá Shūjú 中華書局.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of East Asian StudiesSungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations