- If the king loves music, there is little wrong in the land.
- Discourses, as quoted in Presser Etude, Vol. 63 (1945), ed. 9, p. 496
- He who outrages benevolence is called a ruffian: he who outrages righteousness is called a villain. I have heard of the cutting off of the villain Chow, but I have not heard of the putting of a ruler to death.
- 1B:8, In relation to righteousness and the overthrow of the tyrannous King Zhou of Shang, as translated in China (1904) by Sir Robert Kennaway Douglas, p. 8
- Variant translations:
- The ruffian and the villain we call a mere fellow. I have heard of killing the fellow Chou; I have not heard of killing a king.
- As translated in Free China Review, Vol. 5 (1955)
- I have merely heard of killing a villain Zhou, but I have not heard of murdering the ruler.
- 1B:8 as translated by Wing-tsit Chan A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy (1963), p. 78
- The feeling of commiseration is the beginning of humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is the beginning of righteousness; the feeling of deference and compliance is the beginning of propriety; and the feeling of right or wrong is the beginning of wisdom.
Men have these Four Beginnings just as they have their four limbs. Having these Four Beginnings, but saying that they cannot develop them is to destroy themselves.
- 2A:6, as translated by Wing-tsit Chan A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy (1963), p. 65
- The great man is the one who does not lose his child’s heart.
- Book 4, pt. 2, v. 12
- If you let people follow their feelings, they will be able to do good. This is what is meant by saying that human nature is good.
- Book 6, pt. 1, v. 6
- The way of learning is none other than finding the lost mind.
- 6:A11, as translated by Wing-tsit Chan A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy (1963), p. 58
- He who exerts his mind to the utmost knows his nature.
- 7:A, as translated by Wing-tsit Chan A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy (1963), p. 62
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry
- Works by Mencius at Project Gutenberg
- Article discussing the view of ethics of Mencius from The Philosopher
- Family Background and Life of Mencius
- English Translation of the Mencius with comments by James Legge
- Mengzi - Chinese text with English translation
- Mencius (Selections), translated by A. Charles Muller
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