Fiduciary society and confucian theory of Xin - on tu Wei-Ming's fiduciarity proposal

Asian Philosophy 11 (2):85 – 101 (2001)
This paper evaluates Tu Wei-ming's proposal that the Confucian ideal model of human society should be viewed as a fiduciary community. To do the evaluation, I provide a systematic elaboration of Tu's proposal, which is essentially absent in Tu's writings, and a systematic explication of the Confucian theory of fiduciarity, which is supposed to be the theoretical foundation of Tu's proposal but is completely absent in the studies of Confucianism, including Tu's own. On the basis of these studies, I conclude that the notion of fiduciary community is entailed by the Confucian tradition; tapping the resource of the Confucian tradition for appreciating, supporting and justifying a properly defined model of fiduciary society is practically relevant and important to the modern world; however, given Tu's own definition, the model of fiduciary community does not sufficiently characterise the Confucian ideal society. In the end, I suggest a new way to study Confucian social ideals.
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