Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (4):475-487 (2007)

Abstract
As a social and political thought, communitarian ideas appeared in the Pre-Qin Confucianism. By the Song Dynasty, it had become a systematic theory, namely, the learning of the “four books.” As a social and political theory, not only can Confucian communitarianism contribute to Western liberalism, but it can also be an intellectual resource for the development of democracy in East Asian countries and regions. The future of the Confucian communitarianism lies in its critique of itself and its discourse with Western liberalism, by which Confucianism evolves from communitarianism into liberalism.
Keywords Chinese philosophy  Confucian communitarianism  learning of the “four books”  Western liberalism  中国哲学  儒家社群主义  “四书”学  西方自由主义
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DOI 10.1007/s11466-007-0030-2
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