180F07-5 - Hsn Tzu and Legalism Class Objectives Examine...

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Hsün Tzu and Legalism
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Class Objectives Examine Hsün Tzu’s claim that human nature is “evil” Discuss relationship between theories of human nature and political authority Contrast Confucianism and Legalism
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Hsün Tzu (c.313-c.238 BCE) Lived during Warring States period, and immediately before Book Burning Not a Legalist, but teacher of founder of Legalist School, Han Fei Tzu Common idea with Legalism: human nature is evil
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“That the Nature is Evil” “That the nature is evil; the good which it shows is fatctitious.” (49a) What is meant by “good”? What by “evil”? Evil: “Love of gain;” “envy and dislike;” sensual pleasures Good: Propriety, righteousness, order, self-denial
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Rejection of teachings of Mencius Mencius -- human nature is good. what he required of ruler was benevolence and efficiency Hsün Tzu: Mencius misunderstands “natural” seeing and hearing are “natural”, learning to act well is not
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course PHIL 180 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '07 term at Kansas.

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180F07-5 - Hsn Tzu and Legalism Class Objectives Examine...

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