Dong Zhongshu and Philosophy:
In his reconciliation of Mencius' and Xun Xi's positions, Dong Zhongshu claims that both nature and nurture are required for goodness. This reconciliation rests on the claim that everything participates in a kind of dualism. Thus, humans have "both humanity and greed." Dong Zhongshu elaborates on this claim by drawing the distinction between a thing's potential and its actuality. Thus, he can agree with Mencius that humans have the potential for good (just as we have potential for evil). However, this potential is not sufficient to make a person actually good. Thus, he tends toward Xun Zi's views when he suggests that proper environment, influence and activity is also necessary to realize that potential.
Again, note the lack of evidence or reason for his claims. Dong Zhongshu's claims about a universal dualism seem convincing at first glance, however, there is little evidence to suggest that there is any real dual nature to the universe. Indeed, why cannot the universe have numerous fundamental attributes? Furthermore, to reason from a dualistic aspect of the universe to a similar dualism in human nature seems to commit the fallacy of division--drawing a conclusion about a part based on aspects of the whole. Even though some of his discussion of potentiality and actuality parallels Aristotle's work, Dong Zhongshu's lacks the conceptual analysis and detailed argumentation that makes Aristotle's views so much more powerful than those of just another 'thinker.' Furthermore, the lack of argument and the reference to "heaven" gives this particular piece some amount of religious overtone.
Although, Dong Zhongshu says that humans are better than animals and should thus be evaluated according to different standards, there is little formal reasoning to connect this claim to his dualist view of human nature.