Single Idea 23400

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / f. Ultimate value]

Full Idea

People all have things they will not do. To extend this reaction to that which they will do is righteousness.

Gist of Idea

Righteousness is extending the unthinkable, to reveal what must be done


Mengzi (Mencius) (The Mengzi (Mencius) [c.332 BCE], 7B31), quoted by Bryan van Norden - Intro to Classical Chinese Philosophy 6.IV

Book Reference

Norden,Bryan van: 'Intro to Classical Chinese Philosophy' [Hackett 2011], p.95

A Reaction

Very nice! Kekes points out the enormous importance of unthinkable deeds. Depravity is when the unthinkable gradually begins to look possible, which is probably a social phenomenon, a creeping cancer in a culture.

Related Idea

Idea 20152 Unconditional commitments are our most basic convictions, saying what must never be done [Kekes]