The phenomenology of respect: with special attention to Kant, Scheler, and Confucianism

Asian Philosophy 27 (2):112-126 (2017)

In this paper, I focus on analyzing the manifestation and significance of respect. I first illustrate the two meanings of jing 敬 and their connection in Confucian classical texts, which is helpful to understand the Confucian phenomenology of respect. The two meanings are seriousness as a mind-state and respect as an intentional feeling. After clarifying this point, I undertake a phenomenological analysis of respect, in order to show that respect helps one to achieve moral pursuit. This analysis takes the Kantian notion of respect as a starting point but further is accomplished by the phenomenology of value and feeling. The respect for duties and affairs, the respect for personhood and dignity, and the respect for the worthy with merit motivate one to take moral actions. For example, respect contributes in taking one’s duties seriously, appreciating human beings’ spiritual values and good tendencies even when they have not been actualized, supporting the worthy to play a role, and emulating the worthy to make a contribution and serve others. In Subsequently, I clarify how respect helps one to achieve religious pursuit in one form of Christianity, in light of Max Scheler’s discussion on humility and reverence. Through revering God one respects others; through serving God and participating in God’s humble spirit one serves others. I elucidate the Confucian classics’ discussions on religious experience, in order to show how respect helps one to achieve religious pursuit in one form of Confucianism, and how it is similar and different from Max Scheler’s clarification. The concrete relation between respect and li 禮 in the Confucian tradition will be treated in another work.
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DOI 10.1080/09552367.2017.1319084
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References found in this work BETA

The Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy.Wing-tsit Chan - 1963 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Two Kinds of Respect.Stephen Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.
Confucian Moral Self Cultivation.Philip J. Ivanhoe - 2000 - Hackett Publishing Company.

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