This article provides a comprehensive review on the theory that human nature as tending toward goodness, held by Professor Pei-Rong Fu, from the perspective of analytic philosophy. My discussion will be divided into five sections. In the first section, I shall introduce my basic concepts and some background information on the topic of this article. In the next section, I shall clarify the notions and theses constituting Fu’s theory, and analyze what strategies he adopts to build up his arguments. In section 3, criticisms on Fu’s theory offered by several contemporary scholars will first be introduced, which will be followed by my brief summary and estimation. Section 4 is the core of this article. In this section, I shall move on to my own methodological criticisms on Fu’s theory, pointing out that it can’t help but face a great number of difficulties in terms of three aspects: the using of concepts, the constituting of arguments, as well as the consequences Fu’s theory leads to. The last section is that which summarizes the main points of this article.
The criticisms I make in this article can be concentrated on two points: not only that Fu’s approach would prevent us from understanding the significances of pre-Qin Confucianism, but that it would definitely undermine the rationality underlying the explanation of human’s moral actions.