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L3.8 - Xunzi and the Debate on Human Nature

The major landmarks in the development of Confucian philosophy itself will be considered next. These include Mengzi (or more commonly, in English, Mencius) and Xunzi, and particularly the debate between them on human nature, which is philosophically significant and also sets the stage for the subsequent unfolding of Confucian philosophy. As Confucianism developed, interaction with the ideas of Daoism and Buddhism became increasingly important. Consequently, a new interpretation of Confucian philosophy came to dominate the Chinese scene from roughly the 12th century C.E. This has come to be known as “Neo-Confucianism.” We will discuss briefly some of its principal tenets.

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