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.
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)
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)