“Mengzi argues that we can actually become better people through various activities, and that a kind of ethical transformation is possible.”
Bryan Van Norden, Philosopher
“He is clearly seen as brilliant, someone whose philosophy is extraordinarily powerful, and yet the text will—despite having been written by his own disciples—present him as sometimes failing. It’s part of the power of the text that it shows someone trying, on a daily basis, to live up to his own philosophy and, at times, failing to do so, and then learning from that.”
Michael Puett, Historian
“Mencius believed that we are born good. He had a fairly optimistic view of human nature as well as the view that the government should rely upon informal means of social control rather than harsh punishment as a way of securing social order and harmony.”
Daniel A. Bell, Philosopher
“Mencius gives the example of a child falling down a well. He says, ‘When a child falls down a well, what do people do? They don’t just run away, they run towards it.’ They almost can’t help themselves–it’s something they just do. And he observes this and builds part of his moral philosophy on it.”
Andrew Copson, Nonprofit Leaders & Activist
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