Utilitarianism in Chinese Thought
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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World Heritage Press (1998)
Amid a far-reaching convergence of Western and Chinese cultures, utilitarianism has become a 'hot' new philosophical and ethical topic in China. I call the various different ideas associated with this new academic theme Chinese neo-utilitarianism. Chinese Neo-utilitarianism is an attempt to combine Marxism, the Western ethical tradition and the Chinese tradition to create a new approach different from that of complete Westernization, or the pure Chinese tradition or Marxism so as to bring the greatest happiness for the greatest number of present-day Chinese people. ;We can trace the ideas of Chinese Neo-utilitarianism back in history, finding a Chinese utilitarian tradition differing somewhat from the Western moral philosophy of utilitarianism. Three key aspects of the Chinese utilitarian tradition are debates over the concepts of Yi and Li, Jing and Quan, and Gongli and Sili. The debate over Yi and Li concerns which is the ultimate standard for moral decision. The concepts of Jing and Quan address the question: is there an eternal moral standard or principle applicable in any circumstances? The discussion on the concepts of Gongli and Sili focuses on how or whether we can follow Yi and obtain Li; and how we can get Li in a moral way. If Gongli, the public interest, is Yi or the ultimate good is Li as Gongli, whose interests are to count? How is Gongli to be distributed ethically? Will neo-utilitarianism or neo-Confucian 'sageliness within and kingliness without' with science and democracy best serve the needs of modernization today?
|Keywords||Neo-Confucianism Utilitarianism Néo-confucianisme Utilitarisme|
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|Call number||B5233.N45.Y36 1998|
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