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Ethics in Early ChinaAn Anthology$
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Chris Fraser, Dan Robins, and Timothy O'Leary

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028931

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028931.001.0001

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Confucianism and Moral Intuition

Confucianism and Moral Intuition

Chapter:
(p.217) 11 Confucianism and Moral Intuition
Source:
Ethics in Early China
Author(s):

william A. Haines

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888028931.003.0012

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

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