UGA 2150 L4 - Mengzi

UGA 2150 L4 - Mengzi - UGA 2150 Lecture 4 1 Mencius ( Mngz...

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Unformatted text preview: UGA 2150 Lecture 4 1 Mencius ( Mngz & ) Background- Concern with sociopolitical situation: Bad rulers, poor people- Defense of Ru u tradition against Mohists and others (Yang Zhu o & ) Blame their teachings for social, ethical disorder?- Focus on moral psychology vs. normative theory Not What is right? but What are people like? Key claim: All have capacity to be good 2 Problem: How to apply or develop this capacity Vs. Mohists: Knowledge of unified moral norms Assumes moral consensus? (Conservatism?) Focus on big, easy issues (starvation, etc.) on which all agree? Resistance to general normative theory Failure to grasp issues? Practical prioritymoral coaching more important? Uninterested in questions of justification? Possible belief that normative theory not needed? 3 Tin u (nature, heaven) provides us with untutored moral urges that lead us to act morally Morality guided and justified by such urges, not by explicit theory 4 Characteristic Mencian doctrines- Benevolent rule o & , protecting the people o &- The four beginnings o &- Native dispositions are good o &- Theory of moral improvement Filling out o and extension o Use of the heart-mind ( xn u )- Naturemakes things one rooted o G & G &- Discretion ( qan o ): Reject systematic, explicit moral standards in favor of situational discretion 5 Politics: Benevolent rule o &- Ruler responsible for peoples welfare (o& ) Policy advice: agricultural policy, land tenure, taxation, famine relief, crime, education (see 1A/3, 1A/5, 1B/5, 2A/5, 3A/3) Policy advice focuses on interests of the people (o ), not ruler (benevolent) (also, often on elderly and solitary) Ruler permitted to enjoy his wealth, but only if he shares his enjoyment (o ) with the people Peoples wrongdoing is due to difficult conditions and failure of moral leadership 6- Role of the people Welfare and approval of people are signs of benevolent government, thus political legitimacy Peoples welfare indicates good government Survival during famine Enough material goods Peoples approval also indicates good government Welcome benevolent ruler Approve and share his enjoyment 7 Welcome rescue by good ruler from bad ruler 8 But: People are still passive and subordinate Subject to moral education by rulers No role in criticizing or formulating policy, overthrowing bad ruler Hierarchical system, absolute monarchy 9- Rulers political aims Attract people to support his rule, move to his state Advisors, ministers, merchants, farmers Mencius: Attract by good government Expand state, rule the world (o & ) Mencius: Political and military success will follow from benevolent rule Benevolent ruler will attract people; those in other states will welcome him to invade and rule them 10- Politics and morality: Politics about morality, not...
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UGA 2150 L4 - Mengzi - UGA 2150 Lecture 4 1 Mencius ( Mngz...

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