Rethinking Honor with Aristotle and Confucius

Review of Metaphysics 66 (2):263-280 (2012)

Authors
May Sim
College of the Holy Cross
Abstract
Confucius and Aristotle share the conviction that the virtuous deserves honor. While Aristotle thinks that the completely virtuous person should make claims to the honor he rightly deserves, Confucius maintains that he should be humble and disregard such claims. This radical opposition between Aristotle and Confucius about the good man’s attitude toward honor provides a case for examining the exemplary person for them. The author considers the reasons for their differences by focusing on the following questions: Who accords the honor? Does honor have any effect on the good man’s actions, attitudes, virtues and self-knowledge? Whose account is superior? And to which criteria should we appeal for adjudicating Aristotle’s and Confucius’ contradictory claims? Focusing on ‘pride’, the author examines if the virtue of honor which gives rise to these rival claims in Aristotle and Confucius can provide the resources for resolving their conflicts
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph2012662310
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