Why We Say Human Nature is Originally Good： Liu Xianxin's Elaboration on the Traditional Theory of the Original Goodness of Human Nature in Modern Terms
Traditional Chinese philosophy emphasizes the way of being human， and thus pays attention to human nature and takes as its mainstream the Theory of Original Goodness of Human Nature. Since late Qing Dynasty， when western learning was introduced into China， the Theory had been paid less attention. Liu Xianxin， a Confucian scholar in modern time who was not only well-versed in the learning of both ancient and modern times but also are erudite in western and Chinese cultures， summarized and elaborated profoundly of the Theory. He advocated sheng (literally means life and its unfolding and realization) as the absolute value and the ultimate measurement to distinguish between the good and the evil； meanwhile， he carried forward the traditional assumptions stated in the YiCommentariss-The supreme virtue of heav- en and earth ss the fulfilling of life ， and sheng-sheng ss called yi. He insisted that since nature itself is good， the nature of human and all other beings should be good as well. Moreover， among all other llving things， human inherits the essence of H(principle) and qi(material force) from heaven and earth， thus possessing a supreme nature which s the most precious and ingenious. Furthermore， Liu Xianxin made a major breakthrough in the field of methodology by presenting the argument of zi-dang-yi-ii (unity of Is and Ought). The argument comprises three assertions： firstly， Ought(goodness) derives from nature； ought s the affirmation， unfolding and fulfilment of nature； and what s against nature s certainly not good； secondly，evll s the denial and alienation of nature， and thus evll (Ought not) s not natural； thirdly， good(Ought) and evll (Ought not) are not two things that coexist but two forms of one thing， namely， its normality and aberrance. Knowing this， we would tell that evll s against nature， hence against human nature.
|關鍵詞||刘咸圻、性善论、自当一体、两端相对、正负相对、Liu Xian-xin、Theory of Original Goodness of Human Nature、unity of Is and Ought、ei-ther-or、both ends|