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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G024-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 14, 2024, from

Article Summary

Xing is conventionally translated as ‘nature’ or ‘human nature’. Some read xing as meaning a heavenly endowed tendency, directionality, or potentiality of growth in the individual. On this essentialistic reading, xing is an innate and unchanging ‘given’, a defining condition of all human beings. Others have given a historicist interpretation of xing, reading it as an achievement concept rather than as a given. In this view, xing is derived from, and is a refinement on, sheng, denoting the entire process of birth, growth and ultimate demise that constitutes the life of a living creature.

Citing this article:
Hall, David L. and Roger T. Ames. Xing, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G024-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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