Confucianism and Moral Intuition

william A. Haines

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:
Confucianism and Moral Intuition

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Looking mainly at the Analects, the Lǐjì, and the Mencius, this chapter argues that early Confucianism has much to show about such mechanisms. The early Confucians developed, engaged in, and promoted a set of practices meant to improve their sensibility about the world around, centering on matters of moral importance and on what to do. Central among these practices was what the Confucians called “ritual” or . The early Confucians were not, however, theorists. Their focus was instead the practical work of developing and using ritual, a body of largely nonlinguistic signs. Most of the Confucians' speech and writing aimed not at theory but at other supports and extensions of ritual, such as poetry, rules and records, terse but persuasive conversation, and pithy sayings designed to focus various people's practical attention.

Keywords: Analects; Lǐjì; Mencius; Confucianism; nonlinguistic signs

Chapter.  7136 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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