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Full Access Xunzi: A Paradigm of Rationalistic Virtue Ethics in Early Confucianism

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Xunzi: A Paradigm of Rationalistic Virtue Ethics in Early Confucianism

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Against the background of modern academic study, this article consciously uses Aristotle’s virtue ethics as a tool to theoretically analyze Xunzi’s ethical philosophy. This article tries to briefly analyze the basic structure of Xunzi’s moral philosophy and to reveal its unique rationalist theoretical character by exploring the following three topics: “the understanding of human beings,” “the establishment of a moral foundation,” and “the accomplishment of virtue in practice.” From the perspective of comparative philosophy, this article can also be viewed as a model for bringing about communication and synthesis between two philosophical traditions, namely Confucian ethics and Western virtue ethics.


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