Mencius Quotes

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Mencius ( MEN-shee-əs); born Meng Ke (Chinese: 孟軻); or Mengzi (Chinese: 孟子; 372–289 BC) was a Chinese Confucian philosopher who has often been described as the "second Sage", that is, second to Confucius himself. He is part of Confucius' fourth generation of disciples. Mencius inherited Confucius' ideology and developed it further. Living during the Warring States period, he is said to have spent much of his life travelling around the states offering counsel to different rulers. Conversations with these rulers form the basis of the Mencius, which would later be canonised as a Confucian classic.
One primary principle of his work is that human nature is righteous and humane. The responses of citizens to the policies of rulers embodies this principle, and a state with righteous and humane policies will flourish by nature. The citizens, with freedom from good rule, will then allocate time to caring for their wives, brothers, elders, and children, and be educated with rites and naturally become better citizens. This placed him at odds with his near contemporary, Xunzi, who believed that human nature is evil by birth.