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Mencius (372–289 BCE), born in China 100 years after Confucius’s death, is the second great sage of Confucianism. His teachings and conversations are recorded in Mencius, which is one of the four canonical works of Confucianism.

Mencius accepted Confucius’s philosophy but developed it in new directions, made it a more complete and unified philosophical system, added needed rigor, and bolstered Confucian insight with supportive argumentation. His philosophy of education is based on his theory of human nature, which is his most significant contribution to Confucianism. According to Mencius, all human beings have, as part of their innate nature, the capacity to be good. This capacity needs to be cultivated if individuals are to be virtuous. Accordingly, education consists in the cultivation of the capacity to be ...

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