UGA 2150 L3 - Mohism

UGA 2150 L3 - Mohism - UGA 2150 Lecture 3 1 Mohism o o...

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UGA 2150 Lecture 3 1 Mohism Analects: Problems about (1) normative standards and (2) justification (1) What are the right norms, and are we following them correctly? - Need objective standards to distinguish what is/isn’t rén r L ǐ n provide one kind of standard But how should we interpret l ǐ n ? Ostensive teaching by experts How do we know the experts are right?
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2 (2) How do we know these norms are right? How do we justify them? - How do we justify taking traditional l ǐ n as a guide to rén r ? Analects: Main focus is moral psychology - Less attention to normative and justificatory questions - Why? May assume moral consensus among “gentlemen” (r & )
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3 Not clear that the writers recognize the difference between traditional customs or teachings and morality
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4 M ò z ǐ ± - Early to mid 5 th century BC? - Craftsman? - Paired with Confucius as great moral teacher of pre- Han period - Mohist movement: Craft and military classes? Merchants? Training for office, service, warfare (social mobility again) Defensive warfare Logic, science, engineering
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5 Mohism r & r & - Moral disagreement is common (“Conforming ) - Without government and education, people have different yì n (morality, moral standards) People naturally do what they think is yì n Result: disputes and social disorder ( lùan n ) - Tradition (and traditional l ǐ n ) not always a reliable guide to morality ( Mozi, 25.10 and 4.2) - Objective moral standards needed to guide and justify action
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6 Search for objective standards a major theme “Conforming Upward”——achieve social order ( zhì n ) by unifying morality through “conforming upward” to example of use set by social superiors and tiān n Models and Find noble, reliable moral examples, standards, or models ( f ǎ n ), and model ourselves on them Reliable f ǎ n provide objective justification for judgment and action
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7 Argument against custom or tradition as standard of conduct (25.10; 49.7) Against cultural relativism “Traditional” not enough to show something’s “right” Need objective reasons to show it’s rén r and yì n Need theory of what rén r and yì n are seek explicit normative theory - Systematic explanation of moral norms and the reasons that justify moral judgments and actions
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8 - First in Chinese tradition to develop a normative theory normative theory - ) or utilitarianism (r & & &r r & & &) - Several basic goods or values jointly constitute welfare (r& ) - Benevolence (r & ) and impartiality (r & ) or fairness (r & )
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9 Instead of act consequentialism or rule consequentialism, a kind of “practice consequentialism” or “ dào r consequentialism”
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10 - Core claim: Rén r and yì n are determined by norms or practices— dào r that tend to promote
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This note was uploaded on 05/18/2010 for the course GENERAL ED UGA 2150B taught by Professor Prof.c.fraser during the Spring '07 term at CUHK.

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UGA 2150 L3 - Mohism - UGA 2150 Lecture 3 1 Mohism o o...

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