Doing What You Really Want

Doing What You Really Want: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mengzi

For more than two thousand years, the writings of the Confucian philosopher Mengzi have been a source of guidance and inspiration for those set on doing something to improve the state of the world. In Doing What You Really Want, Franklin Perkins presents a coherent, systematic, and accessible
explanation of Mengzi’s philosophy. He covers everything from the place of human beings in nature, to human psychology and philosophy of emotions, to the various ways in which we can deliberately change and cultivate ourselves.

Mengzi was concerned not just with theory but also effective action. Perkins thus includes a collection of practical advice and a Confucian analysis of politics oriented toward how individuals can make a difference in the world. These topics are integrated around Mengzi’s philosophy as a way of life
dedicated to changing the world, providing an alternative approach for understanding the contemporary relevance of Confucianism. Mengzi offers theoretical and practical resources valuable for anyone concerned with integrating efforts to improve the world with personal fulfillment and a sense of
belonging.

Rather than giving an overview, this is a focused work of philosophy that delves deeply into the most relevant themes of Mengzi’s thought. The core philosophical system is drawn from Mengzi, but the book regularly incorporates other Confucian materials, making this volume a useful introduction to
Confucian thought.