Abstract

This essay introduces a way of reading the Mengzi (Mencius) that complicates how we understand what Mengzi is recorded as saying. A pragmatic-strategic reading of the Mengzi is developed here, according to which Mengzi attends to and operates under important pragmatic constraints on speech. Based on a close reading of key passages, it is argued that truth-telling and descriptive accuracy are less important to Mengzi than guiding people along the Confucian path. This reading has implications for our understanding of Mengzi's philosophical positions and his methods of argumentation, as well as for our understanding of philosophical activity in general.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 190-222
Launched on MUSE
2008-04-04
Open Access
No
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