Mencius, Hume and the Foundations of Ethics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mencius, Hume and the Foundations of Ethics

1st Edition

By Xiusheng Liu


216 pages

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pub: 2017-03-31
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What is the most distinctive feature of human nature? Does human nature play any significant role in explaining ethical objectivity? How do we arrive at moral judgments? What is the relationship between moral judgments and moral motivation? In answering these questions, this book defends a naturalist, realist and internalist theory of the foundations of ethics. This theory, grounded on a particular concept of humanity, combines insights from Mencius and David Hume. The views of each show how important features left underdeveloped by the other can be supplemented and refined. The unified theory that results is a robust contender among current ethical theories. This illuminating book, relating Chinese and Western philosophical traditions, presents a unique account of the unity of the virtues in Mencius, breaks new ground in Hume studies through its discussion of the concept of sympathy in Hume's theory, and brings combined insights to bear on contemporary analytical theories of ethics.


'… Liu's book is a high-quality, analytic piece in comparative studies and ethics. It is clear, well argued, and original… It should be warmly welcomed and well received by both specialists and advanced students in comparative studies or ethics.' Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Sympathy, humanity and moral sentiment; Humanity, nature, and the unity of the virtues; Experience, sensibility, and moral objectivity; Reason, morality, and moral epistemology; Motivation, judgement, and Mencian internalism; Appendix: Aristotle on actuality and potentiality; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Ashgate World Philosophies Series

Ashgate World Philosophies Series
The Ashgate World Philosophies series responds to the remarkable growth of interest among English-language readers in recent years in philosophical traditions outside those of 'the West'. The traditions of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese thought, as well as those of the Islamic world, Latin America, Africa, Aboriginal Australian, Pacific and American Indian peoples, are all attracting lively attention from professional philosophers and students alike, and this Ashgate series provides introductions to these traditions as well as in-depth research into central issues and themes within those traditions. The series is particularly designed for readers whose interests are not adequately addressed by general surveys of 'World Philosophy', and it includes accessible, yet research-led, texts for wider readership and upper-level student use, as well as research monographs. The series embraces a wide variety of titles ranging from introductions on particular world philosophies and informed surveys of the philosophical contributions of geographical regions, to in-depth discussion of a theme, topic, problem or movement and critical appraisals of individual thinkers or schools of thinkers.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General