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On Luo Congyan’s Ethics

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image of Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Luo Congyan put forward the idea that benevolence is the substance while righteousness is its function, which placed the intrinsic value of human beings on a more fundamental position and affirmed the unity of benevolent principle and universal norms from the perspective of the relationship between substance and function. The unity of benevolence and righteousness involves the connection between value and norms, and the latter relate to the relationship between morality and law in the broader sense. On the basis of the idea of using both benevolence and righteousness, Luo Congyan examined the relationship between morality and law. Corresponding to the emphasis on the role of both law and political power, Luo Congyan concerned himself with how to establish rational interpersonal relationships in various ways. Furthermore, Luo Congyan emphasized the significance of behavior in everyday life, while he affirmed that the universal principle should be followed. In this way, he developed the earlier Confucian thought.


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