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Intuitive Learning in Moral Awareness. Cognitive-Affective Processes in Mencius’ Innatist Theory

Ilknur Sertdemir

Academicus International Scientific Journal, 2022, issue 25, 235-254

Abstract: Mencius, referred to as second sage in Chinese philosophy history, grounds his theory about original goodness of human nature on psychological components by bringing in something new down ancient ages. Including the principles of virtuous action associated with Confucius to his doctrine, but by composing them along psychosocial development, he theorizes utterly out of the ordinary that makes all the difference to the school. In his argument stated a positive opinion, he explains the method of forming individuals’ moral awareness by means of inseparable integrity of feelings and thoughts, saying human being are born innately good. According to Mencius, heart-mind correlation is the motivational complement of inner incentives. Knowledge and virtue, which are extensions of inborn goodness, comprehended intuitively; then affective motives respond to circumstance, what is learned transmits to cognitive process and eventually behavior emerges. Comparing during the years of Warring State period he lived, in western geography Aristotle, who is one of the pioneers of Greek philosophy, argues deductive and inductive methods in mental activity. On the other hand, Mencius uses analogical reasoning throughout his self-titled work. This essay is an attempt to assert that most postulates of developmental theories, which have been considered an integral part of modern psychology, begin with Mencius in early era. Secondly, this study also aims to discuss the main paradigm of Mencius across emotivist-rationalist opposition, which keeps emotion above thought as well as reason above emotion.

Keywords: Mencius; moral psychology; intuitive learning; self-cultivation; heart-mind correlation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Handle: RePEc:etc:journl:y:2022:i:25:p:235-254