Both Confucian and Islamic traditions stand in fraught and internally contested relationships with democracy and human rights. It can easily appear that the two traditions are in analogous positions with respect to the values associated with modernity, but a central contention of this essay is that Islam and Confucianism are not analogous in this way. Positions taken by advocates of the traditions are often similar, but the reasoning used to justify these positions differs in crucial ways. Whether one approaches these (...) questions from an intra-traditional, cross-traditional, or multi-traditional perspective, the essay shows that there is great value in getting clear on the ways in which one’s textual “canon” may constrain one. In the end, we will see that while there are creative Islamic approaches to taking human rights seriously, the looser constraints under which Confucians operate today may make things easier for Confucian advocates of human rights and democracy. (shrink)
An essay is presented regarding contemporary moral education and the Neo-Confucian ethics 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.
A Reply to F an Ruiping Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11712-010-9189-7 Authors Stephen C. Angle, Department of Philosophy, Wesleyan University, 350 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459, USA Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
In June of 2008, the International Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy (ISCWP) convened its third Constructive Engagement conference, on the theme of “Comparative Philosophy Methodology.” During the opening speeches, Prof. Dunhua ZHAO, Chair of the Philosophy Department at Peking University, challenged the conference’s participants to put forward a minimal definition of “comparative philosophy” and a statement of its methods. Based on the papers from the conference and the extensive discussion that ensued, during my closing reflections at (...) the end of the conference I offered a tentative synthesis of the conference’s conclusions. That summary has already been published on-line as part of the bi-annual ISCWP newsletter (Angle 2008). In this brief essay, I recapitulate the themes of my earlier summary and expand, in my own voice, on some of the key points. (shrink)
Are there any coherent and defensible alternatives to liberal democracy? The author examines the possibility that a reformed democratic centralism-the principle around which China's current polity is officially organized-might be legitimate, according to both an inside and an outside perspective. The inside perspective builds on contemporary Chinese political theory; the outside perspective critically deploys Rawls's notion ofa "decent society " as its standard. Along the way, the author pays particular attention to the kinds and degree of pluralism a decent society (...) can countenance, and to the specific institutions in China that might enable the realization of a genuine and/or decent democratic centralism. The author argues that by considering both inside and outside perspectives, and the degrees to which they inter-penetrate and critically inform one another, we can engage in a global philosophy that neither pre-judges alternative political traditions nor falls prey to false conceptual barriers. (shrink)
The essay begins from Alan Gewirth's influential account of human rights, and specifically with his argument that the human right to political participation can only be fulfilled by competitive, liberal democracy. I show that his argument rests on empirical, rather than conceptual grounds, which opens the possibility that in China, alternative forms of participation may be legitimate or even superior. An examination of the theory and contemporary practice of 'democratic centralism' shows that while it does not now adequately support the (...) right to political participation, a reformed version could. I focus in particular on the roles that could be played by consultative institutions, looking both to recent Chinese proposals and to analogues currently existing in Japan. I conclude that a reformed democratic centralism may well be the objective toward which Chinese people should strive. (shrink)
This collection of essays explores the development of the New Confucianism movement during the 20th century and questions whether it is, in fact, a distinctly new intellectual movement or one that has been mostly retrospectively created. The questions that contributors to this book seek to answer about this neo-conservative philosophical movement include: “What has been the cross-fertilization between Chinese scholars in China and overseas made possible by the shared discourse of Confucianism?” “To what extent does this discourse transcend geographical, political, (...) cultural, and ideological divides?” “Why do so many Chinese intellectuals equate Confucianism with Chinese cultural identity?” and “Does the Confucian revival of the 1990s in China and Taiwan represent a genuine philosophical renaissance or a resurgence in interest based on political and cultural factors?”. (shrink)
This book is about the origins and development of Chinese ideas of human rights, and about what we in the contemporary world should make of different cultures having different moral ideas. It differs from competing books in two ways. First, its historical account is much fuller, since it shows how Chinese discussions of rights grew out of pre-existing Confucian philosophical concerns. Second, it is also a work of philosophy: it explains what it means to have moral concepts that differ from (...) one another, and how we should react to such differences. (shrink)
It is argued that "quanli" meant something different from the "rights" that it purports to translate in the writings of Liu Shipei (1884-1919). This does not mean that "quanli," as Liu used it, has no overlap with any of the meanings of "rights." But it can be argued that these overlaps are in a crucial sense coincidental, since the notion of "quanli" in Liu's major works represents a growth out of, rather than an imposition on, the Confucian tradition. In general, (...) to make sense of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Chinese political and ethical discourse, we must highlight the degree to which the concepts involved developed out of various strands of native tradition. (shrink)