About this topic
Summary This category covers issues in classical Confucianism that don't fall under its sibling leaf categories. It includes works that are not only related to Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi considered to be main authors in what we think of as classical Confuciansm and  works that are not covered by two major topics in Confuciansm: The Doctrine of the Mean and The Great Learning. Many works cover early Confucianism from a comparative perspective, like comparisons of Confucian ethics with Kant and also very often Aristotle or more contemporary authors like Rawls. It can be very challenging and interesting to read about Confucian ethics in the age of social media and other applications of the classical concepts to modern society.
Key works Some important Confucian ideas are dealt with in the works in this category. Those are concepts like cheng or sincerity (An 2004) and ming or fate (Slingerland 1996).
Introductions Littlejohn 2010 Yao & Tu 2010 Berthrong & Evelyn Nagai Berthrong 2004
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  1. Mohammad Ashraf Adeel (2008). Islamic Ethics and the Controversy About the Moral Heart of Confucianism. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7 (2):151-156.
  2. Dennis M. Ahern (1980). An Equivocation in Confucian Philosophy. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 7 (2):175-185.
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  3. Aphrodite Alexandrakis (2006). The Role of Music and Dance in Ancient Greek and Chinese Rituals: Form Versus Content. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 33 (2):267–278.
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  4. Barry Allen, Bernard Faure, Jacob Raz, Glenn Alexander Magee, N. Verbin, Dalia Ofer, Elaine Pryce & Amy M. King (2010). Introduction: Vanishing Into Things. Common Knowledge 16 (3):417-423.
    Introducing the sixth and final installment of the Common Knowledge symposium “Apology for Quietism,” Allen looks at the symposium retrospectively and concludes that it has mainly concerned “sage knowledge,” defined as foresight into the development of situations. The sagacious knower sees the disposition of things in an early, incipient form and knows how to intervene with nearly effortless and undetectable (quiet) effectiveness. Whatever the circumstance, the sage handles it with finesse, never doing too much but also never leaving anything undone (...)
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  5. Robert Elliott Allinson (2003). Hillel and Confucius: The Prescriptive Formulation of the Golden Rule in the Jewish and Chinese Confucian Ethical Traditions. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 3 (1):29-41.
    A prospective convert asked Hillel to teach him the entire Torahwhile standing on one foot. Hillel replied, What is hateful to yourself, do not do to your fellow man. That isthe whole of Torah and the remainder is but commentary. Go and study it. (Hillel:Shab. 31; emphasis added) Zigong: Is there asingle word that can serve as a guide to conduct throughout one’s life? Confucius said: Perhaps the word ‘shu’, ‘reciprocity’: ‘Do not do to others what you would not want (...)
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  6. Robert Almeder (1980). The Harmony of Confucian and Taoist Moral Attitudes. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 7 (1):51-53.
  7. R. T. Ames (2003). Confucianism: Confucius. In A. S. Cua (ed.), Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy. Routledge.
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  8. Roger T. Ames (2009). The Confucian Worldview : Uncommon Assumptions, Common Misconceptions. In David Edward Jones & Ellen R. Klein (eds.), Asian Texts, Asian Contexts: Encounters with Asian Philosophies and Religions. State University of New York Press.
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  9. Roger T. Ames (2008). Using English to Speak Confucianism: Antonio S. Cua on the Confucian "Self". Journal of Chinese Philosophy 35 (1):33–41.
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  10. Roger T. Ames (2003). Confucianism and Deweyan Pragmatism: A Dialogue. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 30 (3-4):403-417.
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  11. Yanming An (2009). Li, Youzheng 李幼蒸, a Hermeneutics of the Ren-Learning: A Structural Analysis of Confucian Ethics 仁學解釋學 : 孔孟倫理學結構分析. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (3):341-344.
  12. Yanming An (2004). The Concept of Cheng and its Western Translations. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 4 (1):117-136.
    The main reasons for the difficulty in understanding and translatingcheng may be summarized as follows. First, its prehistory is not always clear. This makes it troublesome to identify its original meaning. Second, the multiple sources from the three schools, Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, often causecheng to be entangled with various concepts specifically affiliated to certain schools. The particular meanings of these concepts and their connections withcheng possibly mislead our effort to explore the core content ofcheng as such. Finally,cheng has been (...)
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  13. Yanming An (2004). Western 'Sincerity' and Confucian 'Cheng'. Asian Philosophy 14 (2):155 – 169.
    In philology, both 'sincerity' and 'cheng' primarily mean, 'to be true to oneself'. As a philosophical term, 'sincerity' roots in Aristotle's 'aletheutikos'. In medieval Europe, it is regarded as a neutral value that may either serve or disserve for 'truth.' As for Romantics, it is a positive value, and an individualistic concept whose two elements 'true' and 'self' refer to a person's 'true feeling' and 'individuality'. In contrast, both 'self' and 'true' in Confucianism are universalistic concepts, meaning 'good nature' common (...)
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  14. Stephen Angle & Michael Slote (eds.) (2013). Virtue Ethics and Confucianism. Routledge.
    This volume presents the fruits of an extended dialogue among American and Chinese philosophers concerning the relations between virtue ethics and the Confucian tradition. Based on recent advances in English-language scholarship on and translation of Confucian philosophy, the book demonstrates that cross-tradition stimulus, challenge, and learning are now eminently possible. Anyone interested in the role of virtue in contemporary moral philosophy, in Chinese thought, or in the future possibilities for cross-tradition philosophizing will find much to engage with in the twenty (...)
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  15. Tongdong Bai (2009). The Price of Serving Meat—on Confucius's and Mencius's Views of Human and Animal Rights. Asian Philosophy 19 (1):85 – 99.
    The apparent conflict between some fundamental ideas of Confucianism and of rights seems to render Confucianism incompatible with rights. I will illustrate the general strategies, based upon an insight of the later Rawls, to solve the incompatibility problem. I will then show how these strategies can help us to develop a Confucian account of animal rights, which, by way of example, demonstrates how Confucianism can endorse and develop unique and constructive accounts of most rights that are commonly recognized today.
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  16. James Behuniak Jr (2002). Disposition and Aspiration in the Mencius and Zhuangzi. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 29 (1):65–79.
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  17. James Behuniak (2010). Wen, Haiming, Confucian Pragmatism as the Art of Contextualizing Personal Experience and World. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (2):249-252.
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  18. Jim P. Behuniak (1998). Poem as Proposition in the Analects: A Whiteheadian Reading of a Confucian Sensibility. Asian Philosophy 8 (3):191 – 202.
    I suggest that ubiquitous references made by Confucius to poetic songs in the Analects reveal an important aspect of his philosophy. This aspect involves the assumption that things in the world “resonate” with one another. Using elements of Alfred North Whitehead's thought, as well as metaphysical insights from the Han Dynasty text, Huainanzi, I first present an aesthetic theory along with a supporting cosmological vision that enhances our appreciation of this trait in the Confucian world. With these preliminaries in mind, (...)
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  19. D. A. Bell (2009). War, Peace, and China's Soft Power: A Confucian Approach. Diogenes 56 (1):26-40.
    The contemporary Chinese intellectual Kang Xiaoguang has argued that Chinese soft power should be based on Confucian culture, the most influential Chinese political tradition. But which Confucian values should form the core of China’s soft power? This paper first explores the coexistence of state sovereignty and utopian cosmopolitanism through an analysis of Confucian tradition up to contemporary Chinese nationalism. It insists on the exogenous roots of the cosmopolitan ideal and its relations with the ideal of a harmonious political order and (...)
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  20. Douglas L. Berger (2008). Relational and Intrinsic Moral Roots: A Brief Contrast of Confucian and Hindu Concepts of Duty. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7 (2):157-163.
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  21. Mark A. Berkson (2005). Conceptions of Self/No‐Self and Modes of Connection Comparative Soteriological Structures in Classical Chinese Thought. Journal of Religious Ethics 33 (2):293-331.
    This essay examines the ways that the terms "self and "no-self can illuminate the views of classical Chinese thinkers, particularly Confucians such as Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi, and the Daoist thinker Zhuangzi. In particular, the use of the term "no-self" to describe Zhuangzi's position is defended. The concepts of self and no-self are analyzed in relation to other terms within the thinkers' "concept clusters" - specifically temporality, nature, and social roles - and suggestions are given for constructing typologies that sort (...)
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  22. Thomas Berry (1962). The Confucian Persuasion. New Scholasticism 36 (2):271-273.
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  23. By John H. Berthrong & Matthew A. Levey Evelyn Nagai Berthrong (2004). Confucianism: A Short Introduction. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31 (2):301–305.
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  24. John Berthrong (1998). Confucian Piety and the Religious Dimension of Japanese Confucianism. Philosophy East and West 48 (1):46-79.
    Definitions of the nature of Confucian piety and the religious dimension of the Japanese Confucian tradition are sought. The general religious dimension of Confucianism is defined both by the nature of its canon, the Thirteen Classics, and its transcendent referent, the root metaphor of ultimate concern. The Japanese Confucians inherited this pan-East Asian philosophic and religious tradition and modified it to suit their own cultural and religious sensibilities. If we recognize, as Herbert Fingarette has shown, that for Confucians the secular (...)
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  25. John H. Berthrong (2008). The Hard Sayings: The Confucian Case of Xiao 孝 in Kongzi and Mengzi. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7 (2):119-123.
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  26. Lijun Bi & Fred D'agostino (2004). The Doctrine of Filial Piety: A Philosophical Analysis of the Concealment Case. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31 (4):451-467.
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  27. Anne D. Birdwhistell (1995). Medicine and History as Theoretical Tools in a Confucian Pragmatism. Philosophy East and West 45 (1):1-28.
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  28. Donald N. Blakeley (2003). Listening to the Animals: The Confucian View of Animal Welfare. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 30 (2):137–157.
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  29. Erica Brindley (2005). After Confucius: Studies in Early Chinese Philosophy. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 32 (4):649–653.
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  30. Joshua R. Brown (2014). Towards Filial Love: Reconsidering Hans Urs von Balthasar's Theme of Christological Obedience in Light of Early Confucian Philosophy. Heythrop Journal 55 (6).
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  31. Shirley Chan (2009). Human Nature and Moral Cultivation in the Guodian 郭店 Text of the Xing Zi Ming Chu 性自命出 (Nature Derives From Mandate). Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (4):361-382.
    The debate over whether human nature is good or bad and how this is related to self-cultivation was central in the minds of traditional Chinese thinkers. This essay analyzes the interrelationship between the key concepts of xing 性 (human nature), qing 情 (human emotions/feelings), and xin 心 (heart-mind) in the Guodian text of the Xing Zi Ming Chu 性自命出 (Nature Derives from Mandate) discovered in 1993 in Hubei province. The intellectual engagements evident in this Guodian text emerge as more syncretic (...)
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  32. Sin Yee Chan (2000). Gender and Relationship Roles in the Analects and the Mencius. Asian Philosophy 10 (2):115 – 132.
    In this paper I argue that the conception of gender as illustrated in the Analects and the Mencius is basically a functional one that assigns women a domestic role. I show how this conception might imply the exclusion of women from the moral ideal of chun-tzu, which would result in the further subordination of women as wives to men as husbands in the context of the Confucian role system. On the other hand, I show how the Confucian role system can (...)
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  33. Xin Chen (2012). Huang, Yushun 黃玉順, Confucianism and Contemporary Life: Collected Essays on “Life Confucianism” 儒家思想與當代生活—“生活儒學” 論集. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (3):393-397.
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  34. Xunwu Chen (2012). Cultivating Oneself After the Images of Sages: Another Version of Ethical Personalism. Asian Philosophy 22 (1):51-62.
    Countering the general reading of Confucian ethics as a form of virtue ethics or humanistic ethics, this essay reads Confucian ethics as a form of ethical personalism. Doing so, it examines the ethical orientations in the Confucian classics, The Analects, Da Xue, and others, pointing out that the touchstone concept of Confucian ethics taught in these classics is the person, recalling the Confucian motto of ethical cultivation, ?inner sagehood and outer kinghood?. It demonstrates that only the name of personalism describes (...)
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  35. Chung-Ying Cheng (2011). Incorporating Kantian Good Will (2) a Confucian–Kantian Synthesis. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38 (4):602-638.
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  36. Chung-Ying Cheng (2006). Theoretical Links Between Kant and Confucianism: Preliminary Remarks. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 33 (1):3–15.
  37. Chung‐Ying Cheng (2013). A Generative Ontological Unity of Heart‐Mind and Nature in the Four Books. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 40 (2):234-251.
    Traditional scholarship seems not to pay sufficient attention to the fact that Daxue 《大學》 has established a system of ethical and political philosophy on the basis of the idea of xin 心 (heart-mind) whereas the Zhongyong 《中庸》 has argued for the participation of the human person in the creativities of heaven and earth based on the onto-generative nature (xing 性) of the human person. How to explain this fact and interrelate and integrate these two systems become both a historical challenge (...)
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  38. Peng Chengyi (2013). Traditional Confucian Constitutionalism: Current Explorations and Prospects. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 8 (1):76-98.
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  39. Tak Sing Cheung & Ambrose Yeo-chi king (2004). Righteousness and Profitableness: The Moral Choices of Contemporary Confucian Entrepreneurs. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 54 (3):245 - 260.
    The present study takes Confucian entrepreneurs as an entry point to portray the dynamics and problems involved in the process of putting moral precepts into practice, a central issue in business ethics. Confucian entrepreneurs are defined as the owners of manufacturing or business firms who harbor the moral values of Confucianism. Other than a brief account of their historical background, 41 subjects from various parts of Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were selected for in-depth interviews. By (...)
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  40. Julia Ching, On the Deification of Confucius.
    It is fair to say that Confucius never ceased to be the object of the cult he had wanted: . . . [celebrating] the wisdom that causes men to turn away from mystical practices and theories, from magic and prayer, from doctrines of personal power and salvation. Marcel Granet..
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  41. Wai Wai Chiu (2014). Assessment of Li 利 in the Mencius and the Mozi. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 13 (2):199-214.
    The attitude toward li 利 is often identified as a key difference between the Mencius 孟子 and the Mozi 墨子. A common view is that for the Mencius, rightness (yi 義) and li are incompatible; but for the Mozi they are not necessarily so. In this paper I argue that the Mencius and the Mozi are in broad agreement on the issue of li, and their attitudes toward li are not as different as may seem at first glance. If we (...)
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  42. Ji-wei Ci (1999). The Confucian Relational Concept of the Person and its Modern Predicament. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 9 (4):325-346.
    : The Confucian relational concept of the person has been proposed as an epistemically more cogent and ethically more attractive alternative to that of liberal individualism. Two arguments are raised against this proposal without defending liberal individualism. Ethically, Confucianism is vitiated by certain unattractive features that cannot be removed without reducing the Confucian relational concept of the person to an abstract and not very helpful notion of human relatedness. Epistemically, Confucianism commits the essentialist fallacy of treating its own concept of (...)
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  43. Kelly James Clark (2006). Three Kinds of Confucian Scholarship. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 33 (s1):109-134.
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  44. Erin M. Cline (2014). Justice and Confucianism. Philosophy Compass 9 (3):165-175.
    This article surveys contemporary scholarship on justice and early Confucianism and builds upon recent work on justice in the Analects by examining the relationship between justice and moral self-cultivation in the Mengzi (Mencius) and the Xunzi. It is argued that focusing on early Confucian accounts of how a sense of justice is cultivated offers insights into Confucian views of justice because it shows how remarks on justice in the Analects, Mengzi, and Xunzi are not tangential, but rather are an important (...)
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  45. Tim Connolly (2013). Sagehood and Supererogation in the Analects. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 40 (2):269-286.
    The Confucian ethical tradition emphasizes unceasing progress toward the goal of sagehood, and so it is generally opposed to the idea of supererogation, as this implies that we may be satisfied with attaining some sub-sagely level of morality. The one possible exception to this anti-supererogationist stance, however, turns out to be Confucius himself, who in the Analects appears to downplay sagehood and instead focus on the goal of junzi. Yet given that Confucius stresses ceaseless cultivation as much as anyone else (...)
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  46. Scott Cook (1997). Zhuang Zi and His Carving of the Confucian Ox. Philosophy East and West 47 (4):521-553.
    Zhuang Zi's relation to the Confucian school is reexamined. It is argued that although Zhuang Zi was fond of highlighting the absurdities of the Confucian enterprise, we can nonetheless detect in his writings a great admiration for much of what constituted the central core of the Confucian vision. This essay analyzes Confucius' image of "musical perfection," representing the total concordance of ritual restraints and harmonious freedom; traces the Confucian notion of self-cultivation through Mencius' passage on the "full-flowing energy"; and concludes (...)
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  47. Mark Csikszentmihalyi (2008). The Social and Religious Context of Early Confucian Practice. In Jeffrey L. Richey (ed.), Teaching Confucianism. Oxford University Press. 27.
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  48. A. S. Cua (1989). The Status of Principles in Confucian Ethics. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 16 (3-4):273-296.
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  49. Antonio S. Cua (1992). Confucian Ethics. In Lawrence C. Becker & Charlotte B. Becker (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Ethics. Garland Publishing Inc.
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  50. Antonio S. Cua (1989). The Concept of Li in Confucian Moral Theory. In Robert E. Allinson (ed.), Understanding the Chinese Mind: The Philosophical Roots. Oxford University Press. 209--35.
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