Moral self-cultivation East and West: A critique

Journal of Moral Education 45 (2):192-206 (2016)

Michael Slote
University of Miami
Moral Self-Cultivation plays an important, even a central role, in the Confucian philosophical tradition, but philosophers in the West, most notably Aristotle and Kant, also hold that moral self-cultivation or self-shaping is possible and morally imperative. This paper argues that these traditions are psychologically unrealistic in what they say about the possibilities of moral self-cultivation. We cannot shape ourselves in the substantial and overall ways that Confucianism, Aristotle, and Kant say we can, and our best psychological data on moral education and development indicate strongly that these phenomena depend crucially on the intervention of others and, more generally, on external factors individuals don’t control.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/03057240.2016.1174674
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,369
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Critique of Practical Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1788 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Confucian Moral Self Cultivation.Richard Garner & Philip J. Ivanhoe - 1999 - Philosophy East and West 49 (4):533.
Kant's System of Nature and Freedom: Selected Essays.Paul Guyer - 2005 - Oxford University Press, Clarendon ;.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Cultivation.Brad Wilburn (ed.) - 2007 - Lexington Books.
Pain and Suffering in Confucian Self-Cultivation.Tu Wei-Ming - 1984 - Philosophy East and West 34 (4):379-388.
Review Of: The Japanese Arts and Self-Cultivation. [REVIEW]Sor-Ching Low - 2010 - Philosophy East and West 60 (1):pp. 123-125.
Heidegger's Comportment Toward East-West Dialogue.Lin Ma & J. Brakevanl - 2006 - Philosophy East and West 56 (4):519-566.
Heidegger's Comportment Toward East-West Dialogue.Lin Ma & Jaap Van Brakel - 2006 - Philosophy East and West 56 (4):519-566.
Constructing a Deweyan Theory of Moral Cultivation.Scott R. Stroud - 2006 - Contemporary Pragmatism 3 (2):99-116.


Added to PP index

Total views
17 ( #483,354 of 2,255,273 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #154,048 of 2,255,273 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature