|The topic of human nature in Confucianism is notoriously controversial. One way to clarify this issue is to return to Confucius. Basing on relevant materials of the Analects, this essay first deals with empirical observations of Confucius and takes “the three-year mourning period” conversation as the key to the formulation of a new interpretation of human nature in Confucius thought; then, it goes on to articulate a theory which regards human nature as tending towards goodness and the correct way of human being as choosing what is good and holding it fast. The basic points of view may be summed up as follows : (1) human being is composed of original ego, heart-mind, and physical body; (2) human nature consists in original ego which is a dynamism tending towards goodness; (3) goodness denotes the realization of proper relationships between humans and is thus connected with the term “jen”; (4) “jen” means a threefold manifestation of human being, that is, the human nature which is tending towards goodness, the human way which is to choose goodness and hold it fast, and the human perfection which culminates in the supreme goodness. The horizontal dimension of human nature can be fully affirmed in the present essay while its vertical dimension leaves open and this requires another discussion.