Metaphysical Foundation of Mencius’s Political Theory


Although pre-Confucianism had witnessed the presence of religion as a justification for the legitimacy of the ruling power but without any presence of it among members of the public, Confucius was careful to exclude any presence of religion in his philosophical construction and also to be able to build a human being on cognitive, moral and predominantly pragmatic essentials. To Confucius, there is no assumption of any supernatural power intervening in the human world .Things had gone this way until Mencius introduced the theoretical basis for engaging religion –particularly in its metaphysical sense – to influence both the cognitive and moral reality of people .It seems as if he has turned religion from being an element exploited by the ruling dynasties to consolidate their supremacy to cognitively and morally influence the public. This cast some metaphysical dimensions on the Confucian mode of thinking and led to differences in the perception of human nature for Confucius and Mencius. To Confucius, the human nature is flexible and capable of taking on shape according to an individual's ability of learning, whereas it is a pre-defined nature reducing the possibility of any movement among humans, according to Mencius. This transformation has led to this kind of static policy and caused Confucianism itself to bear the consequences of this political nature with all its repercussions, the most important of which is that it became a hindrance to the development of the Chinese mind because of its autocratic nature.

Author Information
Hala Aboulfoutoh, Cairo University, Egypt

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2015
Stream: Philosophy - Philosophy and Religion

This paper is part of the ACERP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon