In this article we focus on three key precepts shared by Confucianism and the African ethic of Ubuntu: the central value of community, the desirability of ethical partiality, and the idea that we tend to become morally better as we grow older. For each of these broad similarities, there are key differences underlying them, and we discuss those as well as speculate about the reasons for them. Our aim is not to take sides, but we do suggest ways that Ubuntu (...) and Confucianism might have something to learn from each other and perhaps come closer. We hope that our preliminary reflections can inspire further debate and thinking on a theme – dialogues between long-standing and large-scale non-Western traditions – that is bound to increase in importance as non-Western societies play a greater role in the global system and as the search continues for a 'global ethic'. (shrink)
Interviews Professor Wang, a political philosopher at Beijing University about the political reforms in China. Explanation on a democratic political system with Chinese characteristics; Confucian tradition of respect for a ruling intellectual elite; Relevance of Confucian scholar Huang Zongxi's proposal for reform.
Many have criticized liberalism for being too individualistic, but few have offered an alternative that goes beyond a vague affirmation of the need for community. In this entertaining book, written in dialogue form, Daniel Bell fills this gap, presenting and defending a distinctively communitarian theory against the objections of a liberal critic. Drawing on the works of such thinkers as Charles Taylor, Michael Sandel, and Alasdair MacIntyre, Bell attacks liberalism's individualistic view of the person by pointing to our social embeddedness. (...) He develops Michael Walzer's idea that political thinking involves the interpretation of shared meanings emerging from the political life of a community, and intelligently rebuts criticism that this approach damages his case by being conservative and relativistic. Communitarianism and Its Critics is a provocative defense of a distinctly communitarian theory which will stimulate interest and debate among scholars and students of political theory as well as those approaching the subject for the first time. (shrink)