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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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Mohism and Motivation

Mohism and Motivation

(p.83) 4 Mohism and Motivation
Ethics in Early China

Chris Fraser

Hong Kong University Press

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

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