Analysis of “in the Idealist Wing of Confucianism: Mencius”

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Analysis of “In The Idealist Wing of Confucianism: Mencius” “In The Idealist Wing of Confucianism: Mencius”, Fung explains the theories that Mencius developed and how it could be beneficial to a society. Mencius believed that all humans are born good and that they are also born with the “four beginnings” which are wisdom, propriety, righteousness, and human heartedness instilled in them. Fung compares Mencius to other philosophers of the time to allocate the differences between their theories. His comparisons were biased in the way that he always thought of Mencius’ theories to be better than others which was not always true.

Fung’s book provides the historical background of Mencius and how his ideas became so influential. He begins by stating Mencius’ origin which is a native state of Tson and that he was linked to Confucius while studying after a disciple named Tzu-ssu (Fung 68). The article then goes on to account the creation of Mencius, which is a book composed by him and his disciples that recorded the information held between him and the feudal lords. His book later became part of the “four books” that formed the basis of Confucian education. Further understanding of the philosophers of the time is essential for one to grasp the concepts of Mencius’ theories. Fung did so by providing brief descriptions of other major philosophers. He first begins by saying that Confucianism held the theory that every human should do what is right without hesitation, but Confucius failed to explain why humans should act that way (Fung 69). Thus, this led to Mencius creating his theory that all humans are born good. Another group of philosophers known as the Mohists believed the idea that one should love everyone equally (Fung 72). Mencius opposed that idea because it went against his belief of filial piety which is to love and respect your parents. If one loves all people equally, then the love of parents is not put before the love of everyone else. Therefore, one can...
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