Global Philosophy Group Talk (Winnie Sung, Nanyang Technological University)
Friday November 13, 2020, 9:00 am - 11:00 am
The Global Philosophy Research Interest Group is delighted to welcome Winnie Sung as a speaker. Dr. Sung, who received her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Toronto, is an associate professor in the School of Humanities at Nayang Technological University in Singapore. For the past few years, her primary research has focused on the Confucian thinker Xunzi, in particular on interpreting and working through the implications of Xunzi’s concept of xin (the heart/mind). Professor Sung also has an interest in moral psychology and issues related to self-knowledge and self-consciousness. Some smaller projects she is currently working on include hypocrisy, self-deception, loyalty, and epistemology of belief.
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Mencius: Cultivating Goodness or Manifesting Goodness
Mencius suggests that heart/mind (xin 心) is predisposed toward goodness. Mencius also claims that he attained, at the age of forty, the unmoved heart/mind, a state in which the heart/mind is fixated on goodness. It is puzzling why it is difficult to have the heart/mind focus on goodness if the heart/mind is predisposed toward goodness. I will propose two models of interpretation. On the first, the Cultivation Model, Mencius thinks that even though the heart/mind has good predispositions, these predispositions need to be cultivated and strengthened. On the second, the Manifestation Model, Mencius thinks that there are some other factors that have prevented the good predispositions from manifesting themselves. Which model we adopt will bear on how we understand Mencius’s view on agency and moral motivation.
About the Global Philosophy Group
The Global Philosophy Research Interest Group explores the benefits of drawing on diverse traditions of thought in approaching philosophical questions. These include novel insights into familiar problems, new questions and research directions, and fresh methodologies. We work to deprovincialize and decolonize all aspects of philosophy in the academy. The group currently has strengths in Sanskrit philosophy, and Chinese philosophy, Indian philosophy in English, and classical Islamic philosophy.SHARE