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“Learning to Be Human” as Moral Development—A Reconstruction of Mengzi’s Views on the Heart-Mind

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Learning to be human is a highly important concern in Confucian philosophy. This paper is intended to provide a special perspective on this theme through an attempt to reinterpret Mengzi’s views on the heart-mind (xin 心) as “learning to be human” and to reconstruct these views into a multi-staged process of moral development. Through an intentional interpretation of various arguments advanced by Mengzi, we seek to justify that his views on the heart-mind and moral virtues can be seen as a learning process and that he subjects the inborn beginnings of goodness to a delicate development before they can actually qualify a person as fully human. Having examined the three dimensions of Mengzi’s learning, the intellectual, the practical and the spiritual, we will come to the conclusion that whether innate or a posteriori, initial good senses and knowledge require a moral and spiritual process of learning to develop which is, to Mengzi, crucial for one to become a genuine human being.

Affiliations: 1: School of PhilosophyRenmin University of China Beijing 100872ChinaE-mail: yao.xinzhong@ruc.edu.cn

10.3868/s030-007-018-0015-7
/content/journals/10.3868/s030-007-018-0015-7
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/content/journals/10.3868/s030-007-018-0015-7
2018-09-06
2018-10-21

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