Kwong-Loi Shun
University of California, Berkeley
The philosophical study of Confucian thought seeks to both understand the nature of Confucian thought in its historical and cultural context and relate it in an intellectually fruitful manner to contemporary philosophical discourse. Someone engaged in such a study will be pulled inward toward approximating the perspectives of the Confucian thinkers set in the context of their concerns and activities, and pulled outward away from the Confucians’ world of ideas to relate them to our present concerns and interests, specifically those that characterize contemporary philosophical discourse. These two psychological forces, the inward pull and outward pull, can be combined in different ways in the psychological orientation that underlies such a study. This essay presents and discusses the merits of an approach that it describes as “studying Confucian thought from the inside out.” On this approach, the inward pull is maximally dominant, and even as the outward pull leads us to move beyond the Confucians’ own perspectives to relate their ideas to our present concerns and interests, we at the same time seek to do so in a way that is maximally continuous with their perspectives. Such an approach helps draw out the distinctive characteristics and insights of Confucian thought, and also furthers a direction of inquiry that the Confucian thinkers themselves advocate.
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-016-9518-6
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References found in this work BETA

Ruiping Fan.A. Reconstructionist Confucian & A. Human Sagely Dominion Over Nature - 2005 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 32:105-122.
The Status ofLi in the Cheng Brothers' Philosophy.Wai-Ying Wong - 2003 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 3 (1):109-119.

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