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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front. Philos. China    2009, Vol. 4 Issue (3) : 309-321     DOI: 10.1007/s11466-009-0020-7
Research articles |
Rational awareness of the ultimate in human life — The Confucian concept of “destiny”
CUI Dahua ,
Center for Research of Chinese Thinkers, Nanjing University, Nanjing 450002, China;
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Abstract  The Confucian idea of “ming 命 (destiny)” holds that in the course and culmination of human life, there exists some objective certainty that is both transcendent and beyond human control. This is a concept of ultimate concern at the transcendental theoretical level in Confucianism. During its historical development, Confucianism has constantly offered humanist interpretations of the idea of “destiny”, thinking that the transcendence of “destiny” lies inherently within the qi endowment and virtues of human beings, that the certainty of “destiny” is in essence contingency at the beginning of life and linear irreversibility towards its end, and that to live in light of ethics and physical rules — having a “commitment to human affairs” — means putting “destiny” into practice. As all these facts show, the Confucian ultimate concern regarding human life is full of rational awareness.
Keywords Confucianism      destiny      ultimate concern      rational awareness      
Issue Date: 05 September 2009
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