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Confucius and Thoreau

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发表于 2021-4-10 22:00:40 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Confucius (BC. 551 – BC. 479) and Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) were both concerned about humanity and the relationship between humans and nature. Moreover, both pursued the goal of understanding life through an introspective approach. Whereas Thoreau is a deist and transcendentalist, however, Confucius’ view of mind and nature can be characterized by the idea of “returning the whole world to benevolence” (天下归仁). Despite this difference, in this presentation I will argue that they shared much in common: the mutuality between nature (heaven) and humans (天人相感); the emphasis on human subjectivity; care for living creatures, ahimsa; simplicity of lifestyle; cultivation of virtue; the pursuit of learning; justice and human rights; as well as opposition to instrumentalist and hedonistic views.
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