Graduate studies at Western
Asian Philosophy 22 (4):365-374 (2012)
|Abstract||There is a remarkable and surprising connection to be found between an argument of S?ren Kierkegaard's and one of Zhuangzi's?what I call the ?social misfit? critique. I will argue that this connection highlights a hitherto unacknowledged parallel between the moral thought of their respective targets: Hegel in the case of Kierkegaard and Confucius in the case of Zhuangzi. Specifically, it reveals a significant parallel between Hegel's movement from Moralitat to Sittlichkeit and Confucius? position on the central and irreducible role of li (ritual or propriety) in morality. I will begin by briefly tracing the ?social misfit? critique as it is found in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling and in the Zhuangzi. In Section 2, I will sketch Hegel's argument for the indispensability and irreducibility of social norms (Sittlichkeit) for morality, and reflect on the implications of this move for the possibility of social criticism. Finally, I will argue that Confucius can be understood as articulating a vision of morality and of social criticism very close to Hegel's|
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