Elsewhere in the xunzi, nature is defined as what constitutes a human being or that which is endowed in every human being at birth and that by which human beings come to be as they are. Life xunzi was born xun kuang some texts recorded his surname as sun (孫) instead of xun, either because the two surnames were homophones in antiquity or because xun was a naming taboo during the reign of emperor xuan of han (73-48 bc), whose given name was xun. Since the regularities of nature make nature flourish, so, too, will the patterns of social norms also make human flourish ivanhoe thinks that xunzi, more than any other confucian philosopher, sees the vital connection between keeping both nature and humans in balance. Since xunzi is emphatic that human nature is bad, and that we need to modify our nature like straightening a block of warped wood (ch 23), it is difficult to understand why we should value qing after all, if qing is understood as innate dispositions.
Primary source document with questions (dbqs) selection from the xunzi: human nature is evil introduction xunzi (xun qing, or xun kuang: c 310-c 219 bce) lived at the very end of the zhou dynasty. Human nature is evil its goodness derives from conscious activity now it is human nature to be born with a fondness for profit indulging this leads to contention and strife, and the sense of modesty and yielding with which one was born disappears. In this video, david wong (duke university) discusses xunzi's view of human nature help us caption & translate this video .
Mencius judges that human nature is good because it contains the capability for moral virtue, in the form of sentiments and inclinations that can be tutored to achieve moral excellence, whereas xunzi sees in the fact that human beings need tutoring evidence for his thesis that human nature is intrinsically bad. Like mencius, xunzi believed human nature is the same in everyone: no one starts off with moral principles the original nature of yao (a legendary sage king) and jie (a legendary tyrant) was the same. For xunzi, all life, not just human life, is imbued with some ine able and irreducible quality, as part of a natrual system: unlike hobbes, xunzi recognized that human nature needed to be restrained not only to. mencius and xunzi on human nature mencius and xunzi both follow confucian philosophy yet have a dramatically different understanding of human nature additionally, the two philosophers make their arguments in strikingly different literary methods.
C to determine the essential quality of human nature  under the qin dynasty many powerful regional lords were b forcibly resettled to china's new capital. Xunzi (312-230 bce), the third most important confucian after confucius and mencius, more cynical and conservative than mencius, argued that human nature is essentially evil and without the rituals and tradition to hold our nature back we would be selfish and uncivilized. For mencius, ethically cultivating human nature is like encouraging the innate tendency of a sprout to grow to maturity for xunzi, humans require ethical cultivation just as crooked wood must await steaming and straightening on the shaping frame, and only then does it become straight.
Xunzi's most famous dictum is that the nature of man is evil his goodness is only acquired training what xunzi preached was thus essentially a philosophy of culture human nature at birth, he maintained, consists of instinctual drives which, left to themselves, are selfish, anarchic, and antisocial. For xunzi, only innate and spontaneous developed traits can count as human nature and what fits this bill are the selfish, violent emotions, not moral inclinations and what fits this bill are the selfish, violent emotions, not moral inclinations. Against mencius, xunzi defines human nature as what is inborn and unlearned, and then asks why education and ritual are necessary for mencius if people really are good by nature whereas mencius claims that human beings are originally good but argues for the necessity of self-cultivation, xunzi claims that human beings are originally bad but argues that they can be reformed, even perfected, through self-cultivation. The two confucians mencius and xunzi held opposing views about human nature mencius believed that human nature is good every person is born instilled with four main virtues righteousness, ritual property, wisdom and benevolence.
Xunzi was perfectly placed to understand the nature of these threats to his faith he was also a brilliant thinker and analyst, and the book which bears his name is a tour de force defense of confucianism from a wide variety of attacks. The way of human beings is such that changes in the motions of their nature are completely contained in these sounds and movements so, people cannot be without joy, and their joy cannot be without shape, but if it takes shape and does not accord with the way, then there will inevitably be chaos. 2 human nature (xing 性) chapter 23, human nature is evil (xing'e 性惡), is a reasonable point of entry into xunzi's philosophy for multiple reasons: it exemplifies some of the textual problems mentioned above it addresses one of the core themes of the collection and it was, for centuries, the most frequently cited section of xunzi.
Human nature is such that people are born with a love of profit if they follow these inclinations, they will struggle and snatch from each other, and inclinations to defer or yield will die xunzi love , struggle , yield. Accordingly, xunzi taught that the wise kings created ritual principles in such a way as to reform man's emotional nature and make it upright, and to train, transform, and guide it into the proper channels. Munro 1969 argues against the standard view that xunzi's claim about human nature is central to xunzi's thought schwartz 1985 identifies what the author takes to be the realist, rationalist, and authoritarian elements in xunzi's thought.