In Confucianism, yi involves a moral disposition to do good, and also the intuition and sensibility to do so competently. Yi represents moral acumen which goes beyond simple rule following, involving a balanced understanding of a situation, and the "creative insight" and decision-generating ability necessary to apply virtues properly and appropriately in a situation with no loss of sight of the total good.
In application, yi is a "complex principle" which includes:
- skill in crafting actions which have moral fitness according to a given concrete situation;
- the wise recognition of such fitness;
- the intrinsic satisfaction that comes from that recognition.
- Archie, Lee C. (30 October 2000). "The Main Concepts of Confucianism". philosophy.lander.edu. Lander University. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Cheng, Chung-ying (July 1972), "On yi as a universal principle of specific application in Confucian morality", Philosophy East and West, 22 (3): 269–280, doi:10.2307/1397676, JSTOR 1397676
- Watson, Burton (1968). The complete works of Chuang Tzu. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231031479.