Lecture%2014 - Lecture 14 Xunzi Undoing Fixation"Human...

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Lecture 14: Xunzi: Undoing Fixation
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“Human Nature Is Bad”--Main Points, II The sage and the gentleman have exactly the same evil nature as everybody else does. Ivanhoe, p. 301. The sage and the gentleman are those who are able to establish deliberate effort and transform their nature. The deliberate efforts of the sage and the gentleman produce rituals and standards of righteousness which could help transform people’s original bad nature. How could the sage and the gentleman engage themselves in “deliberate efforts”? The answer resides in Xunzi’s conception of xin , the mind-and-heart.
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Two Conceptions of Xin within Confucianism: Mengzi’s vs. Xunzi’s, I Points common to both Mengzi and Xunzi: Xin is what differentiates humans from animals. Xin is what enables humans to become perfect. Mengzi’s conception: xin is understood mainly in terms of its moral intuitions (the four sprouts). Xunzi’s conception: xin is basically just a cognitive faculty. It has the ability to perceive and understand clearly, and to make rational distinctions and choices.
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