Tag Archives: Call for Commentators

Call for Commentators-ACPA at APA Eastern 2013


We still need commentators, and please let me know if you are interested.  Dr. Kim’s and Mr. Lu’s papers already have commentators (and there are three other commentators who are not set on any particular paper yet).  Thanks!

– Tongdong Bai (baitongdong@gmail.com)

ACPA Group Meeting at the APA Eastern Convention
December 27-30, 2013, at the Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore


Session 1: Moral Cultivation and Moral Agency in Confucianism and Western Philosophy
1. Mental Blindness and Moral Rectitude: The jiebi chapter of the Xunzi

David Chai, University of Toronto, Canada, david.chai@utoronto.ca

Abstract: The idea of being figuratively blind is a well-used trope in early Confucian thought. Confucius referred to blindness of virtue while Mencius to blindness of the senses and speech. For Xunzi, blindness stems from a person having ‘two minds,’ that is, one’s mind is caught between two principles or goals of moral conduct. Xunzi’s solution, like Guanzi’s theory of ‘mental arts’ (xinshu 心術), was to engage in ‘singular concentration’ (jing 精). Through a close hermeneutic reading of chapter 21 of the Xunzi (jiebi 解蔽, “Removing Blindness”), this paper will examine Xunzi’s use of jing and how cultivating one’s mental essence by adhering to Dao can result in overcoming mental blindness. It will also look at one of the more interesting metaphors Xunzi uses, that of brightness (ming 明). Moral brightness is a quality every person should strive for in that it reflects the perfect virtue of Dao. For Xunzi, using ming to nurture jing is not enough to cure a person completely of their mental blindness however; they must endeavor to replicate the mind of Dao. How they do this is through studying the principle of men’s minds as Xunzi so clearly illustrates: “Sageliness consists in a comprehensive grasp of the natural relationships between men. True kingship consists in a comprehensive grasp of the regulations for government. A comprehensive grasp of both is sufficient to become the ridgepole for the world.” (Xunzi, 21.9)

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