Confucian ethics and the critique of ideology

Asian Philosophy 10 (3):245 – 261 (2000)

Abstract
The debate between Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas provides a fresh perspective from which Confucian philosophy may be approached. In this paper, focusing on the Lunyu (Analects), I argue that the sayings of Confucius reflect an essentially 'conservative' orientation, finding in tradition a reservoir of insight and truth. There is a critical dimension to it in that ethical reflection and self-cultivation would enable the individual to challenge particular claims of tradition. However, can self-cultivation transcend tradition as a whole and enable the individual to effect radical change? Following the strategy of Habermas' critique of Gadamer, what happens if tradition is systemically corrupt? In this discussion, rather than taking tradition generally I will focus on the concept of ritual (li) to suggest how the Lunyu seeks to crystallise the wisdom of the past into an ethical guide. The conclusion I draw is in the main a Gadamerian one. Committed to a critical appropriation of tradition, Confucian philosophy seeks ethical renewal from within, on the premise that through incremental change self-cultivation can make a real difference in the quest for moral excellence.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/09552360020011286
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,780
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Name and Actuality in Early Chinese Thought.Mark L. Asselin & John Makeham - 1997 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 117 (2):392.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Contemporary Relevance of the Confucian Idea of Filial Piety.A. T. Nuyen - 2004 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31 (4):433–450.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
53 ( #156,017 of 2,265,028 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #607,349 of 2,265,028 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature