Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
On Ethics and HistoryEssays and Letters of Zhang Xuecheng$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip J. Ivanhoe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804761284

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804761284.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 09 May 2021

Conventional Convictions

Conventional Convictions

Chapter:
(p.56) Essay 4 Conventional Convictions
Source:
On Ethics and History
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804761284.003.0004

This chapter presents the English translation of one of Zhang's essays, which explores what it is to arrive at legitimate moral judgments. It begins by arguing that all convictions begin with doubt, but then takes several interesting and unexpected turns. Zhang argues that most people “know” in a shallow sense the same moral truths that morally wise people know, but that only the latter know the justifying reasons behind such judgments. Nevertheless, those who attain this deeper understanding must be on guard for a peculiar kind of moral failure. They must not succumb to the temptation to take their well-grounded moral knowledge as a private discovery or personal achievement; to do so distorts both the true character of any truth—that it is simply part of the dao and thereby belongs to everyone—and threatens to undermine the value of such truths—when people try to hide away such insights, control their dissemination, or use them to gain personal fame, wealth, or power.

Keywords:   Zhang Xuecheng, essay, moral judgments, conviction, moral truths

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.