|dc.description.abstract||This thesis centers on environmental concerns. The source of motivations from which people may be willing to change and take concrete actions is investigated. In particular, motivations from which people sacrifice personal benefits to perform the relevant action were examined. Accordingly, a theory of “experientialism” was constructed to provide a rational explanation of self-sacrificial action. The purpose of constructing an experientialist theory is to explain how people’s physiological and psychological sense of ethics can be triggered by their experiences of certain events, resulting in the outward demonstration of these values. This latent ethical sensibility can be seen as a person’s potential for ethical action. When this potential is stimulated in an individual by repeated experiences and self-awareness, it manifests as an ideal, which represents a fundamental belief and a basis for value judgement. This belief must be acquired through personal action and practical experience. In other words, an individual’s fundamental values are confirmed through concrete practices and behaviors; values must be demonstrated through action. Such demonstrations prove that an individual’s values are not based on empty words.
Treatment of the environment may be considered as an example. People experience nature through their senses and generate various thoughts about nature from such experiences, leading to value formation. For instance, experiences of beauty, sanctity, or sublimity in nature may generate a belief that nature should be cherished. This belief is then supported by a value system that is not external but rather derives from the relevant individual’s experiences. An individual fully realizes these values by manifesting them through action. Several studies on the Bei Song wu zi have discussed these men’s views on cherishing the environment. The Bei Song wu zi’s active demonstration of these beliefs can be interpreted through experientialism. The metaphysical perspective of ethics is not the only method by which to analyze conventional thoughts and behaviors. For example, “tian,” “li,” “xing,” “xin,” and “cheng” from the thinkings of the Bei Song wu zi are not discussed as concrete concepts in this study. Instead, the perspective of sociopsychology is adopted along with metaphors and the theory of emergence to construct a new theory, that is, experientialism. The objective of the proposed theory is to explain the source of human motivation. In sum, the following three directions are adopted in this thesis:
(1) A proposal is established regarding the sources of people’s motivations to protect the environment.
(2) The fundamental theory of experientialism is constructed.
(3) The Bei Song wu zi’s thinkings are examined, and concrete implementation of this value system is considered for its environmental protection potential.
This thesis is divided into five chapters. In addition to the Introduction and Conclusion, the three major chapters in the middle cover the foundational structure of experientialism, an interpretation of the environmental views of the Bei Song wu zi, and the construction of experientialism.||en_US|