Wang Yangming’s 王陽明 Philosophy and Modern Theories of Democracy: A Reconstructive Interpretation

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7 (3):283-294 (2008)
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Abstract

Yangming’s theory of the original knowing (liangzhi 良知). In the 1950s there was a debate between Taiwanese liberals and the New Confucians over the relationship between the traditional Confucianism and modern democracy. Like Liu Shipei, the New Confucians justified modern democracy by means of Confucian philosophy (including that of Wang Yangming). For liberals, however, the Confucian tradition encompassed only the concept of positive liberty, which was irrelevant to or even incompatible with modern democracy. In this article, I try to argue for the position of the New Confucians by reconstructing Wang Yangming’s theory of the original knowing from a communitarian perspective

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