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  1. Sungmoon Kim (2014). From Wife to Moral Teacher: Kang Chŏngildang on Neo-Confucian Self-Cultivation. Asian Philosophy 24 (1):28-47.
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  2. Sungmoon Kim (2014). Politics and Interest in Early Confucianism. Philosophy East and West 64 (2):425-448.
    Confucianism has long been considered an ethical system that consciously opposes material interest. Most tellingly, upon King Hui of Liang’s question of how to make his state profitable, the quintessential political question that no sensible political leader can afford to avoid, Mencius, one of the three giants of Confucianism (alongside Confucius and Xunzi), responded, “Why must you mention the word ‘profit’ (he bi yue li 何必曰利)? All that matters is that there should be benevolence (ren 仁) and rightness (yi 義).”1As (...)
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  3. Stefan Dolgert, Owen Flanagan, Eric Goodfield, Stuart Gray, Jing Hu, Murad Idris, Sungmoon Kim, Al Martinich, Abraham Melamed, Magid Shihade, David Slakter, Michael Stoil & Siwing Tsoi (2013). The State of Nature in Comparative Political Thought: Western and Non-Western Perspectives. Lexington Books.
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  4. Sungmoon Kim (2013). Between Good and Evil: Xunzi's Reinterpretation of the Hegemonic Rule as Decent Governance. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (1):73-92.
    This essay investigates Xunzi’s political philosophy of ba dao (Hegemonic Rule). It argues that Xunzi’s practical philosophy of ba dao was developed in the course of resolving the tension between theory and practice latent in Mencius’s account of ba dao . Its central claim is that contra Mencius who remained torn between his ideal political theory of ba dao and the practical utility and moral value of ba dao , Xunzi creatively re-appropriated ba dao as a “morally decent” (if not (...)
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  5. Sungmoon Kim (2013). Confucianism and Acceptable Inequalities. Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (10):0191453713507015.
    In this article, I explore an alternative model of Confucian distributive justice, namely the ‘family model’, by challenging the central claim of recent sufficientarian justifications of Confucian justice offered by Confucian political theorists – roughly, that inequalities of wealth and income beyond the threshold of sufficiency do not matter if they reflect different merits. I argue (1) that the telos of Confucian virtue politics – moral self-cultivation and fiduciary society – puts significant moral and institutional constraints on inequality even if (...)
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  6. Sungmoon Kim (2012). A Pluralist Reconstruction of Confucian Democracy. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (3):315-336.
    In this paper, I attempt to revamp Confucian democracy, which is originally presented as the communitarian corrective and cultural alternative to Western liberal democracy, into a robust democratic political theory and practice that is plausible in the societal context of pluralism. In order to do so, I first investigate the core tenets of value pluralism with reference to William Galston’s political theory, which gives full attention to the intrinsic value of diversity and human plurality particularly in the modern democratic context. (...)
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  7. Sungmoon Kim (2012). Before and After Ritual: Two Accounts of Li as Virtue in Early Confucianism. [REVIEW] Sophia 51 (2):195-210.
    In this article, I probe the nature of Confucian virtue with special focus on ritual propriety (li). I examine two classic, mutually competing accounts of li—as moral virtue and as civic virtue—in early Confucianism by investigating the thoughts of Mencius and Xunzi. My primary aim in this article is to demonstrate how their different accounts of human nature and equally different understandings of the natural state (that is, the pre-li state) led them to the development of two distinctive political theories (...)
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  8. Sungmoon Kim (2012). Virtue Politics and Political Leadership: A Confucian Rejoinder to Hanfeizi. Asian Philosophy 22 (2):177-197.
    In the Confucian tradition, the ideal government is called "benevolent government" (ren zheng), central to which is the ruler's parental love toward his people who he deems as his children. Hanfeizi criticized this seemingly innocent political idea by pointing out that (1) not only is the state not a family but even within the family parental love is short of making the children orderly and (2) ren as love inevitably results in the ruin of the state because it confuses what (...)
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  9. Sungmoon Kim & Philip J. Ivanhoe (2012). Guest Editors' Words. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (3):273-273.
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  10. Sungmoon Kim (2011). Jin Y. Park (Ed.), Comparative Political Theory and Cross-Cultural Philosophy: Essays in Honor of H Wa Yol Jung. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (4):561-565.
  11. Sungmoon Kim (2011). The Anatomy of Confucian Communitarianism: The Confucian Social Self and its Discontent1. Philosophical Forum 42 (2):111-130.
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  12. Sungmoon Kim (2010). Beyond Liberal Civil Society: Confucian Familism and Relational Strangership. Philosophy East and West 60 (4):476-498.
    In Conditions of Liberty, Ernest Gellner defines civil society as a unique modern condition in which a "modal self"—a moral agent liberated from "the tyranny of cousins or of rituals"—entertains an unprecedented amount of personal freedom.1 Otherwise stated, moral individualism is the foundation of a modern civil society where people encounter each other qua individuals (i.e., strangers). In line with this view, the predominant, formal-judicial, understanding of civil society in the recent social sciences2 is too limited, because its exclusive emphasis (...)
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  13. Sungmoon Kim (2010). Confucian Citizenship? Against Two Greek Models. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (3):438-456.
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  14. Sungmoon Kim (2010). Mencius on International Relations and the Morality of War: From the Perspective of Confucian Moralpolitik. History of Political Thought 31 (1):33-56.
    This paper explores Mencius' political theory of international relations and the morality of war from the perspective of Confucian moralpolitik. It argues that while acknowledging the possibility of international justice among the feudal, yet de facto, independent states during the Warring States period, Mencius subscribed to the idea that international morality (and justice) can be best maintained under what I call 'Confucian international moral hierarchy' among the states. By upholding international moral hierarchy, Mencius attempted to achieve an international community in (...)
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  15. Sungmoon Kim (2010). On Korean Dual Civil Society: Thinking Through Tocqueville and Confucius. Contemporary Political Theory 9 (4):434.
  16. Sungmoon Kim (2010). The Secret of Confucian Wuwei Statecraft: Mencius's Political Theory of Responsibility. Asian Philosophy 20 (1):27 – 42.
    Despite his strong commitment to the ideal of _wuwei_ statecraft, Mencius advanced a distinct yet cohesive theory of Confucian _youwei_ statecraft that can serve the ideal of _wuwei_, first by means of the principled application of individual and social responsibility under unfavorable socioeconomic conditions, and second by offering a concrete public policy (i.e. the well-field system) that contributes to a decent socioeconomic condition on which the society can be self-governing and where individuals (and families) can fully exercise their individual moral (...)
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  17. Sungmoon Kim (2008). Filiality, Compassion, and Confucian Democracy. Asian Philosophy 18 (3):279 – 298.
    _Ren, the Confucian virtue par excellence, is often explained on two different accounts: on the one hand, filiality, a uniquely Confucian social-relational virtue; on the other hand, commiseration innate in human nature. Accordingly there are two competing positions in interpreting ren: one that is utterly positive about the realization of universal love by the graduated extension of filial love, and the other that sees the inevitable tension between the particularism of filial love and the universalism of compassionate love and champions (...)
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  18. Sungmoon Kim (2008). To Become a Confucian Democratic Citizen: Against Meritocratic Elitism. Philosophy 18:279-98.
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  19. Sungmoon Kim (2008). The Origin of Political Liberty in Confucianism: A Nietzschean Intrepretation. History of Political Thought 29 (3):393-415.
    Confucianism, traditionally affiliated with authoritarianism, is now credited with a strong allegiance to liberal values. But by centring on moral freedom, the liberal reinterpretation of Confucianism has paid less attention to the value of political liberty in it. If anything, it tends to treat political liberty merely as a derivative of moral freedom. Notwithstanding a dialectical relation between moral freedom and political liberty in Confucianism, however, Confucian political liberty cannot be properly understood without considering kingship as the political backdrop. This (...)
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  20. Sungmoon Kim (2008). Transcendental Collectivism and Participatory Politics in Democratized Korea. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (1):57-77.
  21. Sungmoon Kim (2007). Family, Affection, and Confucian Civil Society. International Studies in Philosophy 39 (4):51-75.
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