CONFUCIUS AND MENCIUS ON THE MOTIVATION TO BE MORAL

Philosophy East & West, Vol. 60, p. 65-87.

 By Yong Huang

Focusing on the Analects and the Mencius, this article attempts to provide a Confucian answer to "why be moral?"—a question about the motivation to be moral that is neither tautological nor self-contradictory, as some philosophers claim. The Confucian answer to this question is that to be moral is joyful. While one may find joy in doing non-moral and even immoral things, one ought to seek joy in being moral or at least in being not immoral, as being moral is uniquely human. As the Confucian motivation for being moral is joy and therefore appears to be egoistic, Confucian joy lies in practicing the four cardinal virtues and so is altruistic.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 by cait
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