Moral Dilemmas in Chinese Philosophy: A Case Study of the Lienü Zhuan

From classical antiquity to contemporary times, challenging situations of dilemmatic or paradoxical nature continue to fascinate both scholars and the casual reader. Although Western literature provides a fruitful source of philosophical discussion on the circumstances under which a morally competent agent faces incompatible moral requirements, Sinology has rarely accepted the idea of moral dilemmas in Chinese philosophy in general and Confucianism in particular. The present paper explores moral and morally motivated dilemmas in Liu Xiang’s 劉向 Lienü Zhuan 列女傳 and the philosophical strategies employed for their resolution within the framework of the Confucian tradition, emphasizing similarities with Western traditions such as Greek tragedy or Thomistic philosophy
Keywords Moral dilemma  Lienü Zhuan 列女傳  Liu Xiang 劉向  Greek tragedy  Comparative ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-015-9475-5
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On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
The Language of Morals.R. M. Hare - 1952 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
Thinking Through Confucius.David L. Hall & Roger T. Ames - 1991 - Philosophy East and West 41 (2):241-254.

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