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Explain the idea behind the concepts of ren and li.
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Business and Its Environment
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The objectives of self-cultivation are two interrelated concepts: ren, or humanity, and li, or propriety. Loosely speaking, the former refers to one's internal discipline, whereas the latter concerns one's social relations. Confucius regarded ren as the more fundamental of the two concepts and considered it the ultimate object of moral self-cultivation. In its most abstract sense, the concept refers to the love of all human beings, and all people were thought to have an innate capacity for it. Li is the external, or social, manifestation of ren. Although li is most commonly interpreted as propriety, the term is also synonymous with ceremony, ritual, decorum, and good form, since it addresses all aspects of human behavior, including personal, familial, social, religious, and political conduct. The Confucian tradition places a strong emphasis on behavioral minutiae because of its belief that self-cultivation is not a solitary endeavor, but rather occurs in a social context.
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