The Moral Crisis in Post-Mao China: Prolegomenon to a Philosophical Analysis

Diogenes 56 (1):19-25 (2009)
Abstract
For quite some time there has been a collective perception of a moral crisis in post- Mao China. This perception is informed by standards held by members of Chinese society rather than by standards outside of it. In this article, the author attempts to lay the groundwork for a philosophical analysis of this moral crisis. He first explains why it is appropriate to speak of a moral crisis and then examines the structure of the crisis. This examination is partly conceptual and partly causal. The conceptual section of the article discusses terms frequently used in connection with the crisis and introduces some terms and distinctions of the author’s own for further clarity. The causal section traces the moral crisis to a crisis of identification with moral authority or exemplars, the latter crisis in turn containing important clues to the structure of self and agency in Chinese moral culture
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