Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 9, 2018

Confucian Philosophy

Caigang Yao
Pages 165-167

Liu Zong-zhou’s Doctrine of Mistake-Correction and its Ethical Inspiration

One of the important contents, concerning the theory of self-cultivation of Liu Zongzhou, the great scholar of Confucius at the end of Ming Dynasty, is the doctrine of mistake-correction. On the one hand, Liu Zongzhou considered the metaphysical foundation of mistake-correction and holds that the more clearly the man recognizes the inwardness ontology, the more acutely he can find his own mistake and the more confidently he can correct the mistake; on the other hand, he made careful classification of human mistakes and advocated some innovative opinions on how to correct mistakes. The ethical inspiration for the mistake-correction doctrine of Liu Zongzhou lies in the following: firstly, it has to face the dark side of human nature. Liu Zongzhou illustrates the innate goodness of human nature while carefully examining the dark side of it, which inspires us a lot. In other words, the doctrine of good human nature in Confucian, only shows a kind of potential ability, however, if the evil in realistic human nature, is overlooked, the potential ability can hardly fully realize its promise. Secondly, it has to have the idea of life time mistake-correction. It is shown by Liu Zongzhou’s doctrine of mistake-correction, that it is not easy for a man to correct mistake. The man, in the first place, has to have the courage to admit his mistakes which he can find and reflect and correct. To correct the mistakes cannot be finished overnight, but in the everyday of human life and in the whole process of the whole life.