“Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture (81 pieces)” is an important Book Project disseminated by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The setting of “Disseminating Key Concepts in Chinese Thoughts and Culture Project” aims to organize key concepts which can reflect the features of Chinese classical culture and the way of national thinking, and can perform Chinese core values, explain and translate objectively and accurately in concise language which is easy to exchange verbally. By this way, chinese voice and stories will be disseminated in international exchanges, that the condition and history of China will be known better by people in the world.
The specialists committee of the project consist of international well-known specialists and scholars. Senior adviser and Art Review Commission of America Arts Research Institute (AARI), Mr. Yu Wentao took part in the review for the final English version. With the authorization, AARI is going to publish the 81 pieces of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture here.
Xing (性) mainly referred to human nature in ancient times. The concept of xing has two essential points. First, it refers to the inherent nature of all things, not as a result of nurture. Second, it refers to the common nature of certain kind of things, not the nature of individual things of that kind. Similarly, human nature, too, has two meanings. First, it refers to inherent attributes all people share, including physical features, desires, and consciousness. Second, it is the essential and distinct attribute that distinguishes people from birds and beasts, in other words, human’s moral nature. Scholars throughout history held varied views over the question whether human nature was good or evil. Some believed it was good. Some thought it was evil. Some held that it was niether good nor evil. Some held that human nature could be both good and evil in the same person. Some thought that human nature was good in some people, but evil in others.
To love food and good loos is but human nature. (Mencius)
Human nature is in line with the principles of heaven. (Writings of the Cheng Brothers)