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Chinese Philosopher Confucius About Human Nature

One of the distinctive features of Confucius's teaching is the confidence that he expressed that human beings are essentially alike by nature.

One paragraph from Analects of Confucius 論語 reads -

[17-2] 性相近也、習相遠也。子曰、唯上知與下愚不移。

[17:2] The Master said: “People are similar by nature, but through habituation become quite different from each other.” Confucius said: “Only the most wise and the most foolish do not change.”

Confucius’ timely distant disciple Mencius had similar comments on human nature -


“The tendency of becoming good in human nature is like water flowing downward by itself.”

While it sounds logically ambiguous, Mencius statement indicates that human nature has the tendency or potential of being good and benevolent.

Is human nature innately good? Neither Confucius nor Mencius said so. The common trait shared by Confucius and Mencius on human nature is changeable, or plastic in psychology or neuroscience. In other words, education is the vital key in shaping our matured human nature.

Confucius Quotes about life :

- Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

- By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.

- Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.

-------------------------------------------------------- [27.05.2016]
Chinese Philosopher Confucius About Human Nature
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