Is there no distinction between reason and emotion in Mengzi?

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The aim of this essay is to investigate what role emotions play in moral judgment in Mengzi's ethical thought. What is meant by 'moral judgment' here is basically a judgment of what is morally right and wrong in a broad sense, and this essay specifically tries to answer the question of whether ethical emotions like compassion, respect, and shame would constitute the sole source of moral judgment in Mengzi's thought. The formulation of my leading question this way both is informed by and responds to the recent trend in Mengzi scholarship that emphasizes the positive roles emotions play in one's ethical life. This essay critically examines David Wong's thesis that there is no distinction between reason and emotion in Mengzi, and it alternatively argues that moral emotions in Mengzi provide an important but only partial basis for all-things-considered ethical judgment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-81
Number of pages33
JournalPhilosophy East and West
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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