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“After-sage” life pursuits: The ethical meaning of Feng Youlan’s Xin Shixun

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Feng Youlan’s Xin Shixun 新世训 (New Treatise on the Way of Life) written in the late 1930s differed from traditional moral teachings because it focused on nonmoral life lessons and how to “virtuously” pursue success. It advanced an interpretation of traditional virtues as life lessons for young people, so that these virtues could transform an individual life in modern society. Thereby the morals of ancient sages could transfer to the modern, individual, and morality. The problem is just how the ideals of traditional Chinese culture have adjusted themselves to modern society. Following the phrase “after-virtue”, this effort can be called a pursuit of “after-sage”.


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