Chapter

Mohism and Motivation

Chris Fraser

in Ethics in Early China

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9789888028931
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209800 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028931.003.0005
Mohism and Motivation

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The purpose of this chapter is to elucidate the Mohist view of motivation and to defend it against this criticism. It shows that, in fact, the Mòzǐ presents a rich, nuanced picture of a variety of sources of moral and prudential motivation which the Mohists can reasonably view as sufficient to guide people to practice the core tenets of their ethics. The widespread opinion to the contrary is probably due mainly to two factors. One is a misunderstanding of just what Mohist ethics demands. The other is a failure to understand the Mohist conception of action and motivation. As this chapter shows, however, once the Mohists' conception of action and motivation is elucidated, they can be seen to have a sophisticated, defensible approach to motivation.

Keywords: Mohist view; Mòzǐ; Mohist ethics; Mohist conception; Motivation

Chapter.  9868 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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