David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (1):29-48 (2009)
This essay attempts a philosophical reflection of the Confucian ideal of “scholar-official” in Joseon Korea’s neo-Confucian context. It explores why this noble ideal of a Confucian public being had to suffer many moral-political problems in reality. It argues first that because the institution of Confucian scholar-official was actually a modus-operandi compromise between Confucianism and Legalism, the Confucian scholar-officials were torn between their ethical commitment to Confucianism and their political commitment to the state; and second, that because the Cheng-Zhu neo-Confucianism vigorously imported and indigenized by Joseon Koreans exalted the family over the state, Joseon neo-Confucian scholar-officials were torn between two competing moral obligations, filiality and loyalty. The essay concludes by discussing whether, given the problems with which the ideal of the Confucian scholar-official was frequently entangled, liberal individualism should be pursued as its normative alternative.
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References found in this work BETA
Martha Craven Nussbaum (2001). The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
D. C. Lau (2005). Mencius. Penguin Classics.
P. J. Ivanhoe (2000). Confucian Moral Self Cultivation. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Daniel A. Bell (2006). Beyond Liberal Democracy: Political Thinking for an East Asian Context. Princeton University Press.
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