Res Publica 14 (1):19-34 (2008)
|Abstract||The compatibility between Western democracy and other cultures, and the desirability of democracy, are two important problems in democratic theory. Following an insight from John Rawls’s later philosophy, and using some key passages in Mencius, I will show the compatibility between a ‘thin’ version of liberal democracy and Confucianism. Moreover, elaborating on Mencius’s ideas of the responsibility of government for the physical and moral well-being of the people, the respectability of the government and the ruling elite, and the competence-based limited political participation, I shall explore the Mencian criticisms of some ‘thick’ democratic ideas. Through the discussion in this paper, I hope to show the relevance of Confucianism to contemporary political philosophy and society.|
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