Confucian Co-creative Ethics: Self and Family

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 7 (3):439-454 (2012)

Abstract
A general account of the Confucian self as either collectivist or relational requires careful examination. This article begins with the major textual resources of the Confucian tradition and then compares this idea of moral expansion with Deweyan ideas of the self and community. By parsing key Confucian terms that comprise the meaning of “being together” and “mutual association,” the author argues that Confucian selves and individuals are fundamentally contextually creative. By comparing the Confucian idea of family with the Deweyan notion of community, the author further supports his argument that the Confucian self is always co-creative with others. Despite the fact that Confucian ethics has long been considered either a kind of virtue ethics or a kind of role ethics, the author argues that Confucian ethics is better viewed as a kind of co-creative ethics, which stems from an ethical theory concerning the co-creative self and other.
Keywords family   Confucianism   co-creative   ethics   self
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