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NTU Philosophical Review

Issue 10, January 1987

Yih-jing Lin
Pages 211-240

A Study on Man in Confucius' Thought

What is man? This is a perennial question in philosophy. The author has been interested in Confucius' view concerning this question.. The present paper is an attempt to explicate Confucius theory of man. It is divided into six sections: (1) human. intellect (2) human nature (3) human mind (4) human person (5) historical personalities (6) human virtues. Confucius approach to the problem of man is philosophical, rather than scientific or religious. His basic view is that there is no fixed, unchanging essence of man, and that man's essence is formed by his activities and deeds. In one word, man is what he does.