Asian Philosophy 29 (2):106-115 (2019)

Frederick Choo
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Can it ever be morally justifiable to tell others to do what we ourselves believe is morally wrong to do? The common sense answer is no. It seems that we should never tell others to do something if we think it is morally wrong to do that act. My first goal is to argue that in Analects 17.21, Confucius tells his disciple not to observe a ritual even though Confucius himself believes that it is morally wrong that one does not observe the ritual. My second goal is to argue against the common sense answer and explain how Confucius can be justified in telling his disciple to do what Confucius thought was wrong. The first justification has to do with telling someone to do what is second best when the person cannot do what is morally best. The second justification has to do with the role of a moral advisor.
Keywords Confucius  moral education  moral advisor  moral advice  Zai Wo  moral disagreements  Confucian ethics
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DOI 10.1080/09552367.2019.1622843
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Jen and Li in the "Analects".Kwong-loi Shun - 1993 - Philosophy East and West 43 (3):457-479.
Actualism and Possibilism.Travis Timmerman & Yishai Cohen - 2016 - The Philosophers' Magazine 72:107-108.

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