Abstract

This essay contributes to comparative inquiry concerning happiness through a case study of Xúnzǐ, a major Confucian thinker. Xúnzǐ’s ethical theory presents values and norms that fill the role of happiness indirectly, through the ideal figure of the gentleman. However, his working conception of psychological happiness and individual well-being turns on aesthetic values that go beyond the universal prudential values to which his ethical theory appeals. Hence I argue that his implicit conception of happiness actually revolves around a way of life grounded in what Susan Wolf has called “reasons of love.”

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Additional Information

ISSN
2154-154X
Print ISSN
0276-2080
Pages
pp. 53-79
Launched on MUSE
2015-02-13
Open Access
No
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