About this topic
Summary ‘Neo-Confucianism’ typically refers to the revival of classical Confucianism developed between the eleventh and the eighteenth century in China, spanning over four dynasties in Chinese history: Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911). In Chinese intellectual history, neo-Confucianism is standardly divided into two periods: Song-Ming neo-Confucianism and Qing neo-Confucianism. Neo-Confucianism was a new form of Confucianism that came after the dominance of Daoism and subsequently Buddhism within Chinese intellectual circles. Neo-Confucianism revitalized classical Confucianism and expanded the traditional philosophical discourse to new dimensions. Neo-Confucianism invigorated the metaphysical speculation found in classics such as the Yijing and incorporated different concepts and perspectives from Chinese Daoism and Buddhism into its discourse. Neo-Confucians’ metaphysical views lay the foundation for their moral theories. In their various debates, Neo-Confucians touched on the possibility of an innate moral sense and the various means of moral knowledge. In Neo-Confucians’ views, morality takes its root either in the universal goodness of human nature, or in the individual’s moral reflection and cultivation of the human mind. This debate between the School of Nature and the School of Mind was one of the major themes in Neo-Confucianism. Finally, in Neo-Confucianism we see a consistent effort not only to redefine a realist worldview that affirms the world as existing independently of human conception, but also to reassert (after Daoism and Buddhism) a humanist worldview that places human beings at the center of meaning and values. These trends delineate the spirit of Neo-Confucianism.
Key works Other than the short selective translation in the Source Book (Chan 1963, under General Overview), there is little translation of primary texts (the ones available will be mentioned under individual philosopher). Of secondary materials, Makeham 2010 gives the most complete coverage of neo-Confucianism, but it is a collection of essays by different authors. Cheng 1991 is a collection of a seasoned scholar’s essays on Confucianism, and Part III is devoted to Neo-Confucianism.  Both Bol 2008 and de Bary 1981 take the historical approach.  Bol 2008 covers the cultural and political background in which neo-Confucianism emerged and developed, while de Bary 1981 traces the development of neo-Confucian orthodoxy from the Yuan dynasty to Tokugawa Japan. Liu 1998 provides a short beginner’s guide to neo-Confucianism in addition to classical Confucianism.
Introductions

Bol 2008 takes an intellectual historical approach to Neo-Confucianism. It is useful for readers who want to know the historical background of Neo-Confucianism.

Cheng, Chung-ying. New Dimensions of Confucian and Neo-Confucian Philosophy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. 1991.

This book is a collection of essays by the author, who has been plowing the field for many years and is instrumental in promoting Chinese philosophy in the West. These essays were written over a span of twenty years from 1965 to 1985. Part III of this book contains seven sophisticated papers on key thinkers such as Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming. The final essay, a comparative study on Neo-Confucianism and A. N. Whitehead’s process philosophy, led an important direction for comparative philosophy.

de Bary 1981, written by a distinguished historian de Bary, contains three essays.  The first essay explains the historical and political background of neo-Confucianism in the Yuan dynasty. The second essay analyzes how neo-Confucian orthodoxy was established and fortified.  The final essay traces the intellectual history of neo-Confucian orthodoxy in Tokugawa Japan. This book is probably of interest only to scholars of intellectual history.

Liu 1998 provides a general introduction to Confucianism, and Part II deals specifically with Neo-Confucianism. The analysis is accessible but traditional.

Makeham 2010: This collection contains comprehensive essays that devote to the following Neo-Confucians: Zhou Dunyi, Shao Yong, Zhang Zai, Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao, Hu Hong, Zhang Shi, Zhu Xi, Lu Zuqian, Chen Chun, Lu Xiangshan, Wang Yangming, Liu Zongzhou, Wang Fuzhi, Li Guangdi and Dai Zhen. Each chapter provides solid introduction to the philosopher covered. Individual chapters will not be mentioned separately in the following bibliography.

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  1. Political Philosophy in the Global South: Harmony in Africa, South America, and East Asia.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Uchenna Okeja (ed.), Routledge Handbook of African Political Philosophy. Routledge.
    Harmony as a basic value is neglected in globally influential philosophical discussions about law and public policy; it is not prominent in articles that appear in widely read journals or in books published by presses with a global reach. In particular, the field remains ignorant of the similarities and differences between various harmony-based approaches to political philosophy from around the world. In this chapter, I begin to rectify these deficiencies by critically discussing the way harmony has figured into political philosophies (...)
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  2. Review of Wm. Theodore de Bary, The Trouble with Confucianism. [REVIEW]Joseph A. Adler - 1993 - Journal of Chinese Religions 27:137-142.
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  3. Review of Lee Dian Rainey, Confucius and Confucianism: The Essentials. [REVIEW]Joseph A. Adler - 2010 - Journal of Chinese Religion 38:127-129.
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  4. Review of Xinzhong Yao, Ed., RoutledgeCurzon Encyclopedia of Confucianism. [REVIEW]Joseph A. Adler - 2005 - Religious Studies Review 39:267-268.
  5. Review of Paul Goldin, Confucianism. [REVIEW]Joseph A. Adler - 2013 - China Review International 19 (1):67-71.
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  6. Chinese Religious Traditions.Joseph A. Adler - 2002 - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, USA: Prentice-Hall.
    A short textbook survey of Chinese religion, from ancient times to the present.
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  7. 與非洲相比在中國的價值.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - In Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (ed.), 汉学与当代中国座谈会文集(2017). China Social Sciences Press. pp. 612-619.
    Chinese (character) translation of part of an article that appeared in Philosophy East and West (2017).
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  8. Shen Gua's Empiricism by Ya ZUO. [REVIEW]James D. Sellmann - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (1):1-5.
    History of science students will want to read this book. Professor Zuo animates the life, career, and thought of SHEN Gua in this delightful historical, biographical work. SHEN Gua embodied the classical spirit of the scholar-official during the Song dynasty. Shen is the author of Brush Talks from Dream Brook, a canonical text in the study of the history of science in China and in the Notebook style of writing. Zuo argues, using a double-narrative structure, that Shen’s intellectual life and (...)
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  9. Makeham, John, Ed., Dao Companion to Neo-Confucian Philosophy: Dordrecht: Springer, 2010, Xliii + 488 Pages.Deborah A. Sommer - 2014 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 13 (2):283-287.
    This volume includes nineteen articles by scholars from Asia, North America, and Europe on Chinese thinkers from the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries. Included here are intellectual biographies of literati such as Zhou Dunyi, the Cheng brothers, Zhu Xi, Zhang Shi, Hu Hong, Wang Yangming, and Dai Zhen. Essays are arranged chronologically, and most begin with a biographical sketch of their subject. They provide variety rather than uniformity of approach, but all in all these essays are remarkably rich and offer (...)
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  10. Intellectual Intuition, Moral Metaphysics, and Chinese Philosophy.Jingjing Li - 2018 - In Violetta Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur und Freiheit: Akten des XII. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. Berlin, Germany: pp. 3731–3738.
    In this paper, I scrutinize Mou Zongsan’s doctrine of Moral Metaphysics in which Mou fuses Kant’s architectonic of knowledge with Chinese philosophy. Through this doctrine, Mou contends that: 1) according to Chinese philosophy, humans do have access to intellectual intuition; 2) this possibility justifies the legitimacy and priority of Chinese philosophy. To examine Mou’s argument, I first present Mou’s reading of Kant’s conception of intellectual intuition; then, I elucidate the way in which Mou identifies intellectual intuition as the intuitive knowledge (...)
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  11. Neo-Confucianism: Metaphysics, Mind, and Morality.JeeLoo Liu - 2017 - John Wiley & Sons.
    Solidly grounded in Chinese primary sources, Neo Confucianism: Metaphysics, Mind, and Morality engages the latest global scholarship to provide an innovative, rigorous, and clear articulation of neo-Confucianism and its application to Western philosophy. -/- Contextualizes neo-Confucianism for contemporary analytic philosophy by engaging with today’s philosophical questions and debates Based on the most recent and influential scholarship on neo-Confucianism, and supported by primary texts in Chinese and cross-cultural secondary literature Presents a cohesive analysis of neo-Confucianism by investigating the metaphysical foundations of (...)
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  12. Kurdistan: The Taiwan of the Middle East?Yvonne Chiu - 2018 - Society 55 (4):344-348.
    Taiwan and Kurdistan appear to have little in common, but the progressive values of these two societies embedded within hostile regions make them both natural allies and important strategic assets in the U.S.’s and international community’s long-term fight against authoritarianism and radical religious theocracies. Instead, they have been ignored and/or exploited in the pursuit of short-term geopolitical and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, which comes at great cost to American and international values as well as long-term (...)
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  13. The Four-Seven Debate: An Annotated Translation of the Most Famous Controversy in Korean Neo-Confucian Thought.Michael Levey, Michael C. Kalton, Oaksook C. Kim, Sung Bae Park, Young-Chan Ro, Tu Wei-Ming & Samuel Yamashita - 1998 - Philosophy East and West 48 (2):355.
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  14. Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism.Justin Tiwald - 2018 - In Nancy E. Snow (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 171-89.
    In this chapter the author defends the view that the major variants of Confucian ethics qualify as virtue ethics in the respects that matter most, which concern the focus, investigative priority, and explanatory priority of virtue over right action. The chapter also provides short summaries of the central Confucian virtues and then explains how different Confucians have understood the relationship between these and what some regard as the chief or most comprehensive virtue, ren (humaneness or benevolence). Finally, it explicates what (...)
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  15. Moral Authority and Rulership in Ming Literati Thought.Peter Ditmanson - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 16 (4):430-449.
    This article explores the crises and debates surrounding the management of imperial family matters, especially succession, under the Ming Dynasty as an approach to understanding the limits of imperial power and the nature of literati discourse on the imperium. Ming officials and members of the literati community became passionately engaged in the debates on imperial family decisions, regarding the moral order of the imperial family as a key feature of their prerogatives over imperial power. This prerogative was based upon claims (...)
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  16. Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction.Stephen C. Angle & Justin Tiwald - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Polity.
    Neo-Confucianism is a philosophically sophisticated tradition weaving classical Confucianism together with themes from Buddhism and Daoism. It began in China around the eleventh century CE, played a leading role in East Asian cultures over the last millennium, and has had a profound influence on modern Chinese society. -/- Based on the latest scholarship but presented in accessible language, Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction is organized around themes that are central in Neo-Confucian philosophy, including the structure of the cosmos, human nature, ways (...)
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  17. Democracy Without Autonomy: Moral and Personal Autonomy in Democratic Confucianism.Yvonne Chiu - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (1):47-60.
    The presence and absence of autonomy in Joseph Chan’s democratic Confucianism loom large, but not always in the ways that he maintains. Although Chan claims that his reconstruction of Confucianism for modern democracy can accept some forms of moral autonomy, what he presents does not constitute genuine moral autonomy, and the absence of that autonomy sits in tension with some other aspects of his model. When it comes to personal autonomy, it is the opposite: Chan says that the exercise of (...)
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  18. On the Aesthetic Significance of Wang Fuzhi's Theory of the Unity of Poetry and Music, with Criticisms of Certain Biases in the Study of His Theory of Poetics.Zhang Jiemo - 1990 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 21 (3):26.
    In recent years, studies on Wang Fuzhi's theory of poetics have tended to emphasize his depiction of circumstantial relationships. After reading Wang Fuzhi's theoretical writings on poetry, this author has come to believe that the proposition, "Poetry and music derive from the same principle" [shi yue zhi li yi],1 is also one of the fundamental perspectives in Wang Fuzhi's theory of poetry and song-making. Wang Fuzhi clearly described the relationship between poetry and music as one in which "music and poetry (...)
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  19. Wang Yuyang's Natural Thought on Art.Wu Tiaogong - 1990 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 21 (3):54.
    Wang Yuyang's entire life took place in a period of initial calm and stability after a torrential storm. This poet, with his extraordinary sensitivity for nature, witnessed the chilling of the birds and the decay of the trees and grasslands on the green hills of the land of old that he recalled. He witnessed the passages of the mountains and the rivers, the joys and melancholies of the affairs of man, the separations and the reunions of people. He was moved (...)
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  20. On the "Arriving at Principles From Numbers" Method of Thought in the Late-Ming, Early-Qing Period: A Look at the Nature of Late-Ming, Early-Qing Thought From One Angle.Chen Weiping - 1990 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 22 (2):3.
    Late-Ming early-Qing thought stands astride the intersection of tradition and modernity. Therefore, the discussion of the nature of late-Ming early-Qing thought is a major topic in the investigation of how China's intellectual culture made the strides from tradition to modern times. The intention of this essay is to take a snapshot of one angle of late-Ming early-Qing thought—i.e., the genesis, formation, and death in infancy of the "arriving at principles from numbers" method of thinking—and use it to analyze specifically the (...)
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  21. The Philosophical Thought of Wang Fu-Chih.Hou Wai-lu - 1968 - Chinese Studies in History and Philosophy 1 (3):12.
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  22. Concerning Wang Ch'uan-Shan's Historical Outlook.Chi Wen-fu - 1968 - Chinese Studies in History and Philosophy 1 (3):29.
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  23. Chen Ming, Wenhua Ruxue: Sibian Yu Lunbian 《文化儒学:思辨与论辩》 . By Chen Ming.Yongfang Yu - 2012 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (3):462-465.
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  24. My Evening with Mr. Wang: Lerner My Evening with Mr. Wang.Berel Dov Lerner - 2011 - Think 10 (27):83-93.
    Berel Dov Lerner is Lecturer in Philosophy, Western Galilee College, Israel. bdlerner@gmail.com.
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  25. Re-Exploring Wang Yangming's Theory of Liangzhi : Translation, Transliteration, and Interpretation.Tzu-li Chang - 2016 - Philosophy East and West 66 (4):1196-1217.
    Admittedly there exists a considerable amount of contemporary literature on liangzhi that, to a certain extent, provides us with fruitful and insightful perspectives into Wang Yangming’s doctrine. And the majority of this literature, as if by tacit agreement, focuses on the interconnection between liangzhi and knowledge, whether it be innate, original, perfect, or moral knowledge. While this academic endeavor is credited with pushing forward studies of Chinese thought, it is the task of philosophy always to engage in the examination of (...)
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  26. Autocracy at Work: A Study of the Yung-Cheng Period, 1723-1735.Kent C. Smith & Pei Huang - 1981 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 101 (3):390.
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  27. Evaluations of Sung Dynasty Painters of Renown: Liu Taoch'un's Sung-Ch'ao Ming-Hua P'ing.Susan Bush, Liu Taoch'un & Charles Lachman - 1995 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 115 (1):111.
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  28. Wang Fu and the Comments of a Recluse.Anne Behnke Kinney & Margaret J. Pearson - 1991 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 111 (3):618.
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  29. Ambition and Confucianism: A Biography of Wang Mang.Hans Bielenstein & Rudi Thomsen - 1990 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 110 (2):381.
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  30. The Columbia Book of Later Chinese Poetry: Yüan, Ming, and Ch'ing Dynasties (1279-1911)The Columbia Book of Later Chinese Poetry: Yuan, Ming, and Ch'ing Dynasties. [REVIEW]J. D. Schmidt & Jonathan Chaves - 1989 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 109 (3):497.
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  31. Commentary on the Lao Tzu by Wang Pi.I. Robinet - 1982 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 102 (3):573.
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  32. The Art of Wen Cheng-Ming.Richard Barnhart & Richard Edwards - 1978 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 98 (2):178.
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  33. Peasant Rebellions of the Late Ming Dynasty.Romeyn Taylor & James B. Parsons - 1972 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 92 (4):541.
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  34. Two Chinese Philosophers: Ch'eng Ming-Tao and Ch'eng Yi-Ch'uan.Wing-Tsit Chan & A. C. Graham - 1959 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 79 (2):150.
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  35. The Study of Human Abilities, The Jen Wu Chih of Liu Shao.J. J. L. Duyvendak - 1939 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 59 (2):280.
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  36. Confucianism and African Conceptions of Value, Reality and Knowledge (儒家思想与非洲的价值观、现实 观与知识观).Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition 国际社会科学杂志) 33 (4):159-170.
    This article, translated into Chinese by Tian Kaifang, summarizes and critically reflects on the current state of the literature that has recently begun to put Chinese Confucianism into dialogue with characteristically African conceptions of what is good, what fundamentally exists, and how to obtain knowledge. As most of this literature has addressed value theory, this article focuses largely on it, too. It first illustrates how similar the foundational values are between the two cultural traditions; central to both traditional China and (...)
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  37. Why Be Moral? Learning From the Neo-Confucian Cheng Brothers by Yong Huang.Xingming Hu - 2016 - Philosophy East and West 66 (3):1032-1035.
    Why Be Moral? Learning from the Neo-Confucian Cheng Brothers, by Yong Huang, is a book written for Western philosophers. Professor Huang claims that there are two ways of introducing a Chinese philosopher to Western audiences: first, by showing them that the Chinese philosopher’s ideas are ridiculous or inferior compared to the corresponding Western ideas, and second, by showing them that the Chinese philosopher has better answers to some Western philosophical questions than great Western philosophers. Huang thinks the first way is (...)
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  38. The Rupenides, Hethumides and Lusignans: The Structure of the Armeno-Cilician Dynasties. W. H. Rüdt-Collenberg.Peter Charanis - 1964 - Speculum 39 (3):565-566.
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  39. Science and Civilisation in China. Joseph Needham, Wang Ling.George Sarton - 1955 - Speculum 30 (1):112-115.
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  40. Encyclopedia of Chinese BiographyChung Kuo Jen Ming Ta Tz'u Tien.Yuen Ren Chao - 1923 - Isis 5 (2):446-447.
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  41. Why Three Heads Are a Better Bet Than Four: A Reply to Sun, Tweney, and Wang.Ulrike Hahn & Paul A. Warren - 2010 - Psychological Review 117 (2):706-711.
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  42. A Study on Chinese Confucian Classics and Neo‐Confucianism in the Song‐Ming Dynasties, Volumes 1 and 2. By Cai Fanglu.Pan Song & Chung-Ying Cheng - 2014 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 41 (S1):757-761.
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  43. Mou Zongsan's New Confucian Democracy.David Elstein - 2012 - Contemporary Political Theory 11 (2):192-210.
  44. He, Jun 何俊, Construction of Southern Song Confucianism 南宋儒學建構: Shanghai 上海: Shanghai Remnin Chubanshe 上海人民出版社, 2004, 409 Pages; Revised Edition, 2013, 469 Pages.Lizhu Li - 2016 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (1):131-134.
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  45. A Brief Discussion on the Themes of Women’s Embroidery in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.Bingqing Gao - 2010 - Asian Culture and History 2 (2):71-81.
    Embroidery is a part of the needlework that is one of the four virtues of women in ancient times, including “appearance, speech, needlework and behavior”. The education of women in old times mainly focused on the "feminine virtues" and "needlework". Due to cultivation at an early age, the upper-class women were mostly clever and intelligent, and did not have to earn their own living. Because of the restraints of the traditional society, they could not devote too much of their time (...)
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  46. The Goose Lake Monastery Debate.Julia Ching - 2013 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 40 (3-4):189-204.
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  47. Two Kinds of Oneness: Cheng Hao’s Letter on Calming Nature in Contrast with Zhang Zai’s Monism.Zemian Zheng - 2015 - Philosophy East and West 65 (4):1253-1272.
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  48. Is Liberalism the Only Way Toward Democracy?Brooke A. Ackerly - 2005 - Political Theory 33 (4):547-576.
    This article identifies a foundation for Confucian democratic political thought in Confucian thought. Each of the three aspects emphasized is controversial, but supported by views held within the historical debates and development of Confucian political thought and practice. This democratic interpretation of Confucian political thought leads to an expectation that all people are capable of ren and therefore potentially virtuous contributors to political life; an expectation that the institutions of political, social, and economic life function so as to develop the (...)
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  49. Reply to Joseph Chan.C. I. Jiwei - 2015 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (4):593-595.
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  50. Reply to Stephen C. Angle.Joseph Chan - 2014 - Philosophy East and West 64 (3):798-799.
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