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Dai Zhen on Human Nature and Moral Cultivation

  • Justin Tiwald
Chapter
Part of the Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy book series (DCCP, volume 1)

Abstract

Dai Zhen 戴震 (1724–1777) was a prominent philosopher in the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) and a highly influential critic of orthodox Neo-Confucian philosophy. The heart of his philosophical project was to restore feelings and sophisticated faculties of judgment to their proper place in moral cultivation and action. He argued for a more robust form of moral deliberation, one which gives greater deference to both cognitive and affective capacities, and which requires us to examine and often reconsider our spontaneous moral intuitions. He also aimed to broaden the scope of desires that could play a legitimate role in a good and virtuous life. Dai used his considerable philological skills to demonstrate (convincingly, for many) that his Neo-Confucian predecessors had read the Confucian classics through Daoist and Buddhist lenses, which he faulted for many of the errors he found in their moral thought.

Keywords

Human Nature Moral Judgment Moral Deliberation Evidential Analysis Moral Cultivation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

My thanks to Philip J. Ivanhoe and Bryan W. Van Norden for their comments on an earlier draft of this essay.

Bibliography

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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