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Title: Xunzi and the essentialist mode of thinking about human nature
Authors: Chong, Kim-Chong
Keywords: Xunzi
Human nature
Chinese philosophy
Good and bad
Issue Date: Sep-2005
Citation: (1) International Conference on Confuncianism: Retrospect and Prospect. University of Toronto, Canada, September 1-2, 2005. (2) Conference on Chinese Philosophy in Analytical Perspectives, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan, September 16-17, 2005
Abstract: In his essay “Philosophy of Human Nature,” Antonio Cua argues that the term “bad” in Xunzi’s statement that “Human nature is bad” is to be taken in a consequential sense. This goes against a common tendency to read the Xunzi in what I refer to as the essentialist mode of thinking. In this paper, I show how it is that the consequential reading of “bad” and other features that Professor Cua describes offer a significant understanding of Xunzi’s position as a non-essentialist one.
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