Show Summary Details

p. 484. Variety within early Confucianismlocked

  • Daniel K. Gardner

Abstract

‘Variety within early Confucianism’ considers two very different, early interpretations of the Confucian tradition that have influenced education, social practices, and intellectual tradition throughout imperial Chinese history: that of Mencius (fourth c.bce) and of Xunzi (third c.bce). Both followers of Confucius agree that: (1) man is morally perfectible; and (2) to achieve moral perfection man must undertake a self-cultivation process. But for Mencius, the source of man's moral potential is internal, found in man's nature itself; for Xunzi, man's nature is evil and he must look externally to his environment and culture to find moral resources to redirect his recalcitrant human nature.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.