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Extra resources for BBC Wildlife (November 2011)
Here we may have both a factual generalization, and an implicit value judgment about the undesirability of Z, and we should ask for evidence for the former and for reasons for the latter. The objectivity of value judgments is, of course, one of the fundamental questions of philosophy, and I am not prejudging it here. I am just pointing to the need for this kind of clarifying question when discussing human nature. 2 Analytic Statements There is a second, quite different, way in which a statement may be impregnable to contrary evidence, and that is if it is a matter of definition.
2). The core of Mencius's theory about innate human nature relates to his understanding of the human heart. 15). "This is what defines our essential humanness and sets us apart from animals. Specifically, the heart is a receptacle of four incipient tendencies or "seeds," as Mencius calls them. 6). If unobstructed and nurtured carefully, these seeds sprout into the four virtues so greatly prized by the Confucian tradition, as lofty trees grow naturally from small seeds. 6). 6). For Mencius, our original heart identifies us all as potential sages.
The name implies certain attitudes and responsibilities essential to harmonious existence. Moreover, without the connection between word and actuality there is no genuine trust. This is the definition of a lie. After hearing Confucius's remark on good government, the duke exclaimed: "Splendid! " That is, the word "grain" and the availability of grain are two different things. If there is no connection between them, then one may go hungry because of a locked, or perhaps even empty, granary. Words are easy to produce; if a person or government uses them to conceal the truth, then social chaos ensues.