With the internationalisation of the Chinese market, Confucianethics began to draw researchers' attention. However, little research has been conducted in the specific application of Confucianethics in marketing communication. This article fills in the research gap by examining how Confucianethics underpins the discourse of Chinese Expo invitations. Chinese sales managers' views are incorporated into the analysis as substantiation of findings. Confucianethics embraces both qing (emotion) and li (reason) and relevant (...) ethical values such as guanxi (connections), qing, and mianzi (face) play an important role for advertising Expos and trade fairs. The study also highlights the complexities of Chinese Expo advertising that is embedded in inviting behaviour. These findings shed light on understanding Confucianethics in marketing communications in general and have implications for ethical international marketing and advertising practices. (shrink)
The current study presents the findings of an empirical inquiry into the effects of Confucianethics and collectivism, on individual whistleblowing intentions. ConfucianEthics and Individualism–Collectivism were measured in a questionnaire completed by 343 public officials in South Korea. This study found that Confucianethics had significant but mixed effects on whistleblowing intentions. The affection between father and son had a negative effect on internal and external whistleblowing intentions, while the distinction between the roles (...) of husband and wife had a positive effect on those intentions. The effects of collectivism were also different depending on the specific types of collectivism. Horizontal collectivism had a positive effect on both types of whistleblowing intentions, whereas vertical collectivism did not show any significant effects on whistleblowing intentions. These results indicate that cultural traits such as Confucianethics and collectivism may affect an individual’s whistleblowing intentions in degree and direction, making blanket predictions about cultural effects on whistleblowing difficult. (shrink)
The Confucian understanding of emotions and their ethical importance confirms and exemplifies the contemporary Western renewed understanding of the nature of emotions. By virtue of a systematic conceptual analysis of Confucianethics, one can see that, according to Confucians, the ethical significance of emotions, lies in that an ethical life is also emotional and virtues are inclinational. And a further exploration shows that the reason for the ethical significance is both that emotions are heavenly-endowed and that there (...) exists a union of emotions and reason in Confucianethics. This will constitute a challenge to the so-called mainstream ethical theories which have been popularly engaged in seeking justifications for abstract moral rules. (shrink)
The Confucian understanding of emotions and their ethical importance confirms and exemplifies the contemporary Western renewed understanding of the nature of emotions. By virtue of a systematic conceptual analysis of Confucianethics, one can see that, according to Confucians, the ethical significance of emotions, lies in that an ethical life is also emotional and virtues are inclinational. And a further exploration shows that the reason for the ethical significance is both that emotions are heavenly-endowed and that there (...) exists a union of emotions and reason in Confucianethics. This will constitute a challenge to the so-called mainstream ethical theories which have been popularly engaged in seeking justifications for abstract moral rules. /// 儒家伦理学对情感的理解，印证了当代西方伦理学对情感的性质及其伦理重 要性的某些理解。对儒家伦理进行系统的概念分析可见，情感的伦理重要性不仅表 现在伦理生活就是情感丰富的生活，而且儒家品德本身就是内在倾向性的: 进一步 的探索还表明，儒家伦理对情感重要性的强调源于情感的天赋性及情感与理性的联 合。这可能会对一向着重论证抽象伦理原则的主流伦理理论形成一种挑战。. (shrink)
We examined Confucian moral philosophy, primarily the Analects, to determine how Confucianethics could help managers regulate their own behavior (self-regulation) to maintain an ethical standard of practice. We found that some Confucian virtues relevant to self-regulation are common to Western concepts of management ethics such as benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, and trustworthiness. Some are relatively unique, such as ritual propriety and filial piety. We identify seven Confucian principles and discuss how they apply to achieving (...) ethical self-regulation in management. In addition, we examined some of the unique Confucian practices to achieve self-regulation including ritual and music. We balanced the framework by exploring the potential problems in applying Confucian principles to develop ethical self-regulation including whistle blowing. Confucian moral philosophy offers an indigenous Chinese theoretical framework for developing ethical self-regulation in managers. This is relevant for managers and those who relate to managers in Confucian-oriented societies, such as China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore. We recommend further research to examine if the application of the Confucian practices outlined here actually work in regulating the ethical behavior of managers in modern organizations. (shrink)
Confucian moral philosophy doesn't seem to provide a theory of excuses. I explore an explanatory hypothesis to explain how excuse conditions might be built into the Confucian doctrine of rectifying names. In the process, I address the issue of the motivation for the theory. The hypothesis is that the theory provides not only excuse conditions, but also exception and conflict resolution roles for an essentially positive morality rooted in the traditional code of 禮 li/ritual, transmitted from the ancient (...) sage kings. The relatively fixed content of this text-like moral code required aggressive interpretive leeway to cope with the problems endemic in rule deontological and etiquette-like normative schemes. (shrink)
This pathbreaking work argues that the major intellectual trend in China from the seventeenth through to the early nineteenth century was Confucian ritualism, as expressed in ethics and classical learning. Through the performance of rites, the early Qing scholars believed they could cultivate Confucian virtues and achieve social order. The author shows how Confucian ritualism, with its emphasis on lineage, became a broad movement of social reform that stressed conformity and clearly prescribed rules of behavior, expressed (...) notably in the growing cult of female chastity. (shrink)
The Chinese ethical tradition has often been thought to oppose Western views of the self--as autonomous and possessed of individual rights--with views that emphasize the centrality of relationship and community to the self. The essays in this collection discuss the validity of that contrast as it concerns Confucianism, the single most influential Chinese school of thought. (Alasdair MacIntyre, who has significantly articulated the need for dialogue across traditions, contributes a concluding essay of commentary.).
While Chinese societies often appear centralized and traditional, presumably impeding technology and innovation, these values may simply reflect the negative-leaning poles of Confucianism. This study proposes a Confucian work ethic dimension that stresses justified tradition. In combination with Western innovative cultures, this Chinese style might facilitate learning about knowledge and morality in an interaction seemingly unique to the Chinese science and technology sector. Specifically, contrary to the Western style that tolerates conflict to achieve harmony, Confucian work ethics (...) -an Eastern way -prefer to respect hierarchy to attain harmony. Samples from the multinational corporations in Shanghai and privately owned enterprises in Hsinchu of Taiwan represent two levels of Westernization. The findings reveal that the two types of cultures almost equally influence the facilitation of learning about morality, whereas the Western way more effectively teaches about professional knowledge and the Eastern way more effectively teaches general knowledge. In addition, though the samples from both locations enjoy positive advantages from their combined cultures, Shanghai appears more Westernized than Taiwan, and Taiwan benefits more from Confucian work ethics and a higher level of quality learning, particularly with regard to morality. This result may suggest the benefits of Confucius' ideas, if they are not used excessively to emphasize the negative aspects. (shrink)
Situationist research in social psychology focuses on the situational factors that influence behavior. Doris and Harman argue that this research has powerful implications for ethics, and virtue ethics in particular. First, they claim that situationist research presents an empirical challenge to the moral psychology presumed within virtue ethics. Second, they argue that situationist research supports a theoretical challenge to virtue ethics as a foundation for ethical behavior and moral development. I offer a response from moral psychology (...) using an interpretation of Xunzi—a Confucian virtue ethicist from the Classical period. This Confucian account serves as a foil to the situationist critique in that it uncovers many problematic ontological and normative assumptions at work in this debate regarding the prediction and explanation of behavior, psychological posits, moral development, and moral education. Xunzi’s account of virtue ethics not only responds to the situationist empirical challenge by uncovering problematic assumptions about moral psychology, but also demonstrates that it is not a separate empirical hypothesis. Further, Xunzi’s virtue ethic responds to the theoretical challenge by offering a new account of moral development and a ground for ethical norms that fully attends to situational features while upholding robust character traits. (shrink)
Scholars of early Chinese philosophy frequently point to the nontranscendent, organismic conception of the cosmos in early China as the source of China's unique perspective and distinctive values. One would expect recent works in Confucianethics to capitalize on this idea. Reviewing recent works in Confucianethics by P. J. Ivanhoe, David Nivison, R. P. Peerenboom, Henry Rosemont, and Tu Wei-Ming, the author analyzes these new studies in terms of the extent to which their representation of (...)Confucianethics reflects and is consistent with the view that in early China the cosmos was conceived to be organismic, nontranscendent, and nondualistic. (shrink)
“Confucianism⋯ is a universal ethic in which the rules and imperatives of behavior hold for all individuals.” (Peter F. Drucker, Forbes, 1981). Peter Drucker is credited as the founder of modern American management. In his distinguished career he has written widely and authoritatively on the subject and to a large extent his work possesses a distinctive ethical tone. This paper will argue that Confucianethics underlie much of Drucker's writing. Both Drucker and Confucius view power as the central (...) ethical issue in human relations. They emphasize authority, leadership, legitimacy, hierarchy, interdependence and individual ethical responsibility in their analysis of human affairs. Drucker views the development of large-scale formal organizations and the concomitant rise of the managerial class as the most significant developments of the 20th century, which makes the management of interdependent roles and relationships a central ethical challenge. Confucius, and the early Confucians, understood human relationships as based upon hierarchy, interdependence and personal ethics. The paper will analyze Drucker's work in light of the early Confucian Classics (The Analects, The Mencius, The Great Learning and The Doctrine of the Mean). Drucker, himself, considers The End of Economic Man (1939), The Future of Industrial Man (1942), Concept of the Corporation (1983), and The Essential Drucker (2001) as his most important and influential works. The paper will analyze these along with other works by Drucker as appropriate. (shrink)
In recent years, scholars of Confucianethics have debated on important issues such as whether Confucianethics embraces, or should embrace, universal values and impartiality. Some have argued that Confucianethics integrates both care and justice, and that Confucianethics is both particularistic and universalistic. In this essay, I will defend a view of the relation between care and justice and the relation between care ethics and justice ethics on the (...) basis of the notion of 'configuration of values,' and show why care ethics and justice ethics cannot be integrated. I will support this view by a reading of some pertinent passages in the Mencius. (shrink)
Confucianethics as applied to the study of business ethics often relate to the micro consideration of personal ethics and the character of a virtuous person. Actually, Confucius and his school have much to say about the morals of the public administration and the market institutions in a more macro level. While Weber emphasizes the role of culture on the development of the economy, and Marx the determining influence of the material base on ideology, we see (...) an interaction between culture – specifically Confucian business ethics – and the economy. In this paper, we are going to study this interaction in several crucial stages of development of Confucianism. The paper concludes by postulating the relevance of Confucian business ethics to the global knowledge economy. (shrink)
This paper proposes that an important method for understanding the ethics of Japanese management is the systematic study of its Confucian traditions and the writings of Confucius. Inconsistencies and dysfunction in Japanese ethical and managerial behavior can be attributed to contradictions in Confucius' writings and inconsistencies between the Confucian code and modern realities. Attention needs to be directed to modern Confucian philosophy since, historically Confucian thought has been an early warning system for impending change.
This article spells out a forgotten debate in Confucianethics that concerns the finer points of empathy, sympathy, and perspective-taking (sometimes called ‘role-taking’). The debate’s central question is whether sympathy is more virtuous when it is automatic and other-focused – that is, when we engage in perspective-taking without conscious effort and sympathize without significant reference to our selves or our own feelings.
: Ronald Dworkin claims that if we are able to control our own biology, "our most settled convictions will . . . be undermined [and] we will be in a kind of moral free-fall." This is so because he takes moral convictions to be determined by the choices we make against a fixed biological background. It would seem that if Confucianethics is grounded in ren xing (human nature) and if ren xing refers to a fixed biological background, (...) then the Confucian moral agent will be in a state of moral free-fall in the age of biological control—that is, if Dworkin is right. We can try to read ren xing as a creative process rather than a fixed nature, but any such reading inevitably grounds ren xing in something else that is biological. There is a way out for Confucians: the Dworkinian choice/chance distinction that is crucial for morality can be relocated away from the boundary between free choice and fixed biology to the boundary between the choices that we make and the fixed background of tradition. (shrink)
For many commentators, Confucianethics is a kind of virtue ethics. However, there is enough textual evidence to suggest that it can be interpreted as an ethics based on rules, consequentialist as well as deontological. Against these views, I argue that Confucianethics is based on the roles that make an agent the person he or she is. Further, I argue that in Confucianism the question of what it is that a person ought to (...) do cannot be separated from the question of what it is to be a person, and that the latter is answered in terms of the roles that arise from the network of social relationships in which a person stands. This does not mean that Confucianethics is unlike anything found in Western philosophy. Indeed, I show that many Western thinkers have advanced a view of ethics similar to the Confucianethics as I interpret it. (shrink)
This article discusses the practice and development of organ donation by capital prisoners in China. It analyzes the issue of informed consent regarding organ donation from capital prisoners in light of Confucianethics and expounds the point that under the influence of Confucianism, China is a country that attaches great importance to the role of the family in practicing informed consent in various areas, the area of organ donation from capital prisoners included. It argues that a proper form (...) of organ donation from capital prisoners can be justified within the Confucian moral context in which the proper interests of capital prisoners and their families, the benefit of organ receptors, and a rightful order of society should all be appropriately considered. From the Confucian perspective, the act of donating organs from a capital prisoner must be decided by both the prisoner and his/her family (i.e., each side should hold a veto power), whereas such donation, in the proper circumstance protected by a rightful procedure, should be appreciated as a morally praiseworthy act of the prisoner who is willing to make the final effort to repent and correct his/her evil conduct and to leave something good to the world. (shrink)
Kam-por Yu, Julia Tao, and Philip J. Ivanhoe (eds.), Taking ConfucianEthics Seriously: Contemporary Theories and Applications Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11712-011-9253-y Authors Karyn Lai, School of History of Philosophy, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
The recent debate on whether ConfucianEthics should be viewed as a type of virtue ethics inevitably touches on the issue of the meaning of virtues such as ren ?, yi ?, and li ?. However, the argument would be over-simplified to claim that since Confucianism puts significant weight on virtues then it is virtue ethics. The conclusion would mainly depend on how we understand the key concepts such as ren, yi and the roles they play (...) in the ethical life of humans. Some scholars interpret ren as benevolence, yet others interpret it as empathy. In this paper, I will make a scrutiny of these concepts and their implications. My primary aim is to discern the characteristics of Confucianethics, rather than to classify it into some categories that are largely constructs of contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
How is the Confucian moral agent motivated to do what he or she judges to be right or good? In western philosophy, the answer to a question such as this depends on whether one is an internalist or externalist concerning moral motivation. In this article, I will first interpret Confucianethics as role-based ethics and then argue that we can attribute to Confucianism a position on moral motivation that is neither internalist nor externalist but somewhere in (...) between. I will then illustrate my claim with my reading of Mencius 6A4, showing that it is superior to readings found in the literature, which typically assume that Mencius is an internalist. (shrink)
This article examines the relevance and value of ConfucianEthics to contemporary Business Ethics by comparing their respective perspectives and approaches towards business activities within the modern capitalist framework, the principle of reciprocity and the concept of human virtues. ConfucianEthics provides interesting parallels with contemporary Western-oriented Business Ethics. At the same, it diverges from contemporary Business Ethics in some significant ways. Upon an examination of philosophical texts as well as empirical studies, it (...) is argued that ConfucianEthics is able to provide some unique philosophical and intellectual perspectives in order to forge a richer understanding and analysis of the field of contemporary Business Ethics. (shrink)
A closer look at the theories and questions in philosophy of technology and ethics of technology shows the absence and marginality of non-Western philosophical traditions in the discussions. Although, increasingly, some philosophers have sought to introduce non-Western philosophical traditions into the debates, there are few systematic attempts to construct and articulate general accounts of ethics and technology based on other philosophical traditions. This situation is understandable, for the questions of modern sciences and technologies appear to be originated from (...) the West; at the same time, the situation is undesirable. The overall aim of this paper, therefore, is to introduce an alternative account of ethics of technology based on the Confucian tradition. In doing so, it is hoped that the current paper can initiate a relatively uncharted field in philosophy of technology and ethics of technology. (shrink)
How can people from diverse and different cultural backgrounds balance and reconcile their autonomous cultural identity with the universal dictates of the global age? My approach to this question is from an East Asian perspective, in particular by addressing the issue of 'Confucian cultural identity' under four broad topics: (1) the truth and falsehood of the discourse on 'Asian Values' and 'Confucian-style Capitalism'; (2) the spread of modern science and the tragic consequences of 'Instrumental Reason'; (3) criticism of (...) instrumental reason and its encounter with Confucian virtue ethics; and (4) a reassessment of the 'Anthropocosmic Moral Metaphysics' of (Neo-) Confucianism. In conclusion, on the impending demand to cope with the crisis of our cultural identity in the age of globalisation, our project to strive for the viability of Confucian humanism in the age of globalisation, I think, should mean no other than the invocation of care-ethics that takes care of our alienated neighbours on the one hand and a thrust of an eco-friendly world view to the anthropocentric hegemony over nature, which has been appreciated by 'modern' men since the Enlightenment, on the other hand. (shrink)
A general account of the Confucian self as either collectivist or relational requires careful examination. This article begins with the major textual resources of the Confucian tradition and then compares this idea of moral expansion with Deweyan ideas of the self and community. By parsing key Confucian terms that comprise the meaning of “being together” and “mutual association,” the author argues that Confucian selves and individuals are fundamentally contextually creative. By comparing the Confucian idea of (...) family with the Deweyan notion of community, the author further supports his argument that the Confucian self is always co-creative with others. Despite the fact that Confucianethics has long been considered either a kind of virtue ethics or a kind of role ethics, the author argues that Confucianethics is better viewed as a kind of co-creative ethics, which stems from an ethical theory concerning the co-creative self and other. (shrink)
The diffusion of New Public Management reforms across the globe is based on the assumption of the universal applicability of managerialism, driven by instrumental rationality, individualism, independence and competition. The aim of this article is to challenge this conception and to fill a significant gap in the existing research by analysing potential problems arising from the implementation of the NPM philosophy in non-Western public organisations. In-depth interviews and a large-scale survey were conducted across six public organisations in Thailand based on (...) the Competing Values Framework (CVF). Thematic analysis of the data revealed that the traditional cultural model of the organisations studied was characterised by a combination of hierarchical and clan-based cultures, which remained largely unaltered despite massive-scale reform. The persistence of this hybrid cultural system appears to be rooted in the deep-seated Confucian ethical values governing Thai society, in which the organisations are embedded. Based on the research findings, the paper underlies the importance of a symbolist viewpoint of culture and argues that a rational perspective underpinning a functionalist cultural management must be challenged. (shrink)
By analysing the two relevant psychological phenomena of “endurance” and “non-endurance,” this essay aims to reveal the ethical implications of a Confucian approach, namely regarding non-endurance as an impulse of primary virtue. Based on this case study, the author then explores the significance of moral cultivation or psychological training in establishing moral personality and the complexities of such a process. Meanwhile, “love” in Confucianethics means sympathy for the inferior rather than affection for the revered. Hopefully, this (...) study may deepen our understanding of virtue ethics. (shrink)
By analysing the two relevant psychological phenomena of "endurance" and "non-endurance," this essay aims to reveal the ethical implications of a Confucian approach, namely regarding non-endurance as an impulse of primary virtue. Based on this case study, the author then explores the significance of moral cultivation or psychological training in establishing moral personality and the complexities of such a process. Meanwhile, "love" in Confucianethics means sympathy for the inferior rather than affection for the revered. Hopefully, this (...) study may deepen our understanding of virtue ethics. /// 通过对忍与不忍这两种相关的心理现象的分析，可揭示儒家把不忍人之心作 为首善之端加以强调的伦理学含义。以此为例，探讨修养功夫即心理训练对道德人 格形成的重要性及复杂性，进而可得出儒家伦理讲求的爱是对弱者的怜爱而非对崇 敬者的热爱。这项研究有助于深化我们对德性伦理的认识。. (shrink)
The debate between Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas provides a fresh perspective from which Confucian philosophy may be approached. In this paper, focusing on the Lunyu (Analects), I argue that the sayings of Confucius reflect an essentially 'conservative' orientation, finding in tradition a reservoir of insight and truth. There is a critical dimension to it in that ethical reflection and self-cultivation would enable the individual to challenge particular claims of tradition. However, can self-cultivation transcend tradition as a whole and (...) enable the individual to effect radical change? Following the strategy of Habermas' critique of Gadamer, what happens if tradition is systemically corrupt? In this discussion, rather than taking tradition generally I will focus on the concept of ritual (li) to suggest how the Lunyu seeks to crystallise the wisdom of the past into an ethical guide. The conclusion I draw is in the main a Gadamerian one. Committed to a critical appropriation of tradition, Confucian philosophy seeks ethical renewal from within, on the premise that through incremental change self-cultivation can make a real difference in the quest for moral excellence. (shrink)
This article argues that strong versions of the situationist critique of virtue ethics are empirically and conceptually unfounded, as well as that, even if one accepts that the predictive power of character may be limited, this is not a fatal problem for early Confucian virtue ethics. Early Confucianism has explicit strategies for strengthening and expanding character traits over time, as well as for managing a variety of situational forces. The article concludes by suggesting that Confucian virtue (...)ethics represents a more empirically responsible model of ethics than those currently dominant in Western philosophy. (shrink)
This article compares Confucianethics of Jen and feminist ethics of care. It attempts to show that they share philosophically significant common grounds. Its findings affirm the view that care-orientation in ethics is not a characteristic peculiar to one sex. It also shows that care-orientation is not peculiar to subordinated social groups. Arguing that the oppression of women is not an essential element of Confucianethics, the author indicates the Confucianism and feminism are compatible.
This article investigates the key aspects of the Confucian virtue ethics such as the "chun- tzu" (Superior Person), the Five Relationships of society, the particular Confucian virtues of "jen" (benevolence) and "li" (propriety), the moral vision of the "tao" (Way), and the understanding of the "t'ien- ming" (Mandate of Heaven). The thesis of the article is that the moral matrix provided by the web of social relationships allows the Confucianethics of virtue to function well, (...) and that a consideration of this Confucian moral matrix may illuminate the Western debate on the ethics of virtue vs the ethics of duty. (shrink)
Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary, by Roger T. Ames, The Chinese University Press and The University of Hawai’i Press, 2011, 332 pp., pb. $31.00, ISBN-13: 9780824835767. In his new book, Ames defends his interpretation of Confucianethics as “role ethics” through a detailed examination of the Confucian vocabulary. Through such vocabulary, we can see that the Confucian self is a being that cultivates itself as it lives and matures in the context of the (...) family and society. As role ethics, Confucianism is distinct from the Western tradition and its Greek roots. However, in order to highlight the contrast between Confucianism and the Western tradition, Ames paints a picture of the latter that is a little misleading. As it turns out, there are many strands in the Western philosophical fabric, including those in the Continental tradition, where we can find conceptions of the self not all that different from what is in Confucianism as interpreted by Ames. (shrink)
Confucianism-Based Rights Skepticism and Rights in the Workplace by Adam D. Bailey - Must even Confucian rights skeptics—those who are, on account of their Confucian beliefs, skeptical of the existence of human rights, and believe that asserting or recognizing rights is morally wrong—concede that in the workplace, they are morally obligated to recognize rights? Alan Strudler has recently argued that such is the case. In this article, I argue that because Confucian rights skeptics locate wrongness in inconsistency (...) with the idea of “Confucian community,” Confucian community should be viewed as a moral ideal. I then argue that Confucian rights skeptics ought to act in a manner that is consistent with this ideal, even when the ideal has not yet been realized, just as Kantians ought to act consistently with the Kantian kingdom of ends ideal. Accordingly, contrary to Strudler, I argue that Confucian rights skeptics need not concede that they are morally obligated to recognize rights in the workplace. This conclusion suggests the need for inquiry into the metaphysical foundations of these conflicting views. However, such inquiry is commonly thought to lie beyond the scope of philosophical business ethics proper. I conclude the article by suggesting a number of reasons for business ethicists to consider rejecting the prevalent narrow conception of the scope of the discipline. Morality Without Rights by Alan Strudler - In this discussion I explore challenges to a particular Confucian system of morality that generally eschews reliance on rights. I argue that such a system may at the same time both assert that there are moral problems with rights and assert that it is acceptable to invoke rights in limited contexts. Adam Bailey has objected that the position I defend is inconsistent. I answer Bailey’s objections. (shrink)
With the rapid development of biotechnology, the physician is now more able to keep a patient's life going indefinitely on a life support system. The question of whether we should switch off the machine often arises when, according to the medical prognosis, there is no hope of recovery, or in a no-win situation where you are 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'. In a case which seems without hope, the dilemma of whether to prolong a life or (...) let it go disturbs many people, including health professionals as well as the family of the patient. In this painful situation, an ethics consultant who has received intensive training can help the concerned parties to arrive at what may be the best decision. How do Asians, especially those living in countries influenced by Confucian teachings, reach their answers? Three aspects are usually considered: (1) motivation and situation; (2) reasonableness and propriety; and (3) lawfulness and legality. More specifically, three questions are deliberated, as follows. (1) Where an action has already been taken, what motivated it and in what situation? Or, where a decision has still to be made, what should motivate it, and what are the relevant features of the situation? (2) Was the attempted resolution of the dilemma, or is its prospective resolution, reasonable and in accordance with traditional principles of ethical behaviour? (3) Was the action taken lawful, or would the intended action be lawful? This approach to finding an answer has been practised for centuries in Confucian society. But what is legal may not always be reasonable, what is reasonable may not always be compassionate, and what is compassionate may not always be either legal or reasonable. Principles to guide decision-making are therefore called for. This article, written by Michael Cheng-tek Tai in collaboration with Donald Hill, discusses the Confucian method of solving a problem and examines its principal features and how they are applied in ethics consultations. The article is followed by a series of questions and answers and a commentary by Donald Hill. (shrink)
An essay is presented regarding contemporary moral education and the Neo-Confucianethics of Zhu Xi. It highlights the two practices which are fundamental to moral education's Neo-Confucian conceptions, such as reverence and ritual. It explores how contemporary moral psychology can be taught by Neo-Confucians. Meanwhile, it mentions that Zhu Xi is one of Neo-Confucians who criticized almost all of the educational practices during his day.
This article examines whether and to what extent Confucianism as a resilient Chinese cultural tradition can be used as a sound basis of business practice and management model for Chinese corporations in the twenty-first century. Using the core elements of Confucianism, the article constructs a notion of a Confucian Firm with its concepts of the moral person ( Junzi ), core human morality ( ren, yi, li ) and relationships ( guanxi ), as well as benign social structure (harmony), (...) articulated in corporate and organizational terms. The basic character of the Confucian Firm is described, and its philosophical and cultural foundation is critically assessed with respect to its moral legitimacy and relevant to today’s China. China’s recent Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) development is a high profile response to global business ethics concerns. Efforts have been made to emulate and develop good business practice fashioned in CSR norms and visions. The so-called “human-based” and “virtue-based” business practices rooted in local cultural heritage have been touted as a Chinese response to this problem. This investigation is particularly relevant in the context of the increasingly prominence of the Chinese corporations (China Inc.) in the wake of the rise of China as a global power. How relevant is Confucianism to the building of a modern Chinese corporation that is willing and able to practice reasonable norms of business ethics? The findings of this discussion, which include the organizational implications of the Confucian familial collectivism, have implications for other Chinese communities (Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore) where Confucian tradition is endorsed and practiced. (shrink)
This essay addresses a moral and cultural challenge facing health care in the People’s Republic of China: the need to create an understanding of medical professionalism that recognizes the new economic realities of China and that can maintain the integrity of the medical profession. It examines the rich Confucian resources for bioethics and health care policy by focusing on the Confucian tradition’s account of how virtue and human flourishing are compatible with the pursuit of profit. It offers the (...)Confucian account of the division of labor and the financial inequalities this produces with special attention to China’s socialist project of creating the profession of barefoot doctors as egalitarian peasant physicians and why this project failed. It then further develops the Confucian acknowledgement of the unequal value of different services and products and how this conflicts with the current system of payment to physicians which has led to the corruption of medical professionalism through illegal supplementary payments. It further gives an account the oblique intentionality of Confucian moral psychology that shows how virtuous persons can pursue benevolent actions while both foreseeing profit and avoiding defining their character by greed. This account of Confucian virtue offers the basis for a medical professionalism that can function morally within a robustly profit-oriented market economy. The paper concludes with a summary of the characteristics of Confucian medical professionalism and of how it places the profit motive within its account of virtue ethics. (shrink)