由“继善成性”到“成性存存”:试论儒家哲学“善”概念 的两层含义 = From the “experiential stage” to the “transcendent stage” of moral existence : a commentary on the multiple connotations of the “Shan” concept in confucian tradition
How, Zhan Jie
Date of Issue2013
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
“Shan” (Moral Goodness) is one of the most important and central concepts in Confucian moral philosophy, and in many ways constitute the pivot to Mencius’s discussions about human nature. National Taiwan University professor Fu Pei-Jen once defined "Shan" as "the implementation of appropriate relations amongst peoples". The advantages of this definition are its all-encompassing inclusion of other Confucian cardinal values such as Ren, I, Li, Zhi, Siao and Ti, and the fact that it is strongly supported by various Confucian texts. However, such a definition solely restricts Confucian moral ideals to an experiential landscape, and ignores the possible transcendent connotations of the "Shan" concept. For example, Confucian precepts and sayings found across "The Greater Learning", "Mencius" and "Confucian Analects" which set out to engage and communicate both the experiential and transcendent fields of morality, are not adequately addressed by the experiential paradigm that Fu's definition inspires. Therefore, we believe that the "Shan" concept should not be limited to its undeniable practical connotations, but should also incorporate some form of ontological moral discussion. This ontological moral discussion not only forms the basis of which the transcendent category in Confucian moral philosophy is centered, but also points towards the interminable and regenerative state of moral consciousness in Confucian orthodoxy.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University