Human Nature Is Good: Mengzi And Rousseau

1208 Words5 Pages
Eric Li
Phil 511
Prof. Tiwald

Human Nature is Good

Human nature are hard to define, even philosophers are divided by it. In both eastern and western philosophy we have philosophers, Mengzi and Rousseau, who argued for human nature being good, and we have philosopher, Yang Zhu, who argues that human nature is bad. Mengzi in the bce taught that human nature is good, but people stray from it because they do not reflect on the four virtues they are born with. In addition, Rousseau, who is born after the bce, writes that human nature is good, but because of the development of society people have changed. Finally, Yang Zhu, who has been arguing with Mengzi, taught that human nature is bad because people are selfish and only will help if there is self-interest. Comparing Yang Zhu argument with Mengzi and
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Mengzi’s view on human nature is that we are born good, but it can be altered if we do not continue to practice the four virtues derived from his teachings. Mengzi studied Kongzi work and has given his own spin on what he had learned. He offers more detailed instruction on how to perform certain deeds like how a ruler should rule his subjects. One of his lessons according to the book Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy are that profits should not be the main focus of a ruler, but instead provide enough where the people can practice the four virtues: which are divided into two primary benevolence and
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