Abstract
Although contemporary Confucianists tend to view Western liberalism as pitting the individual against society, recent liberal scholarship has vigorously claimed that liberal polity is indeed grounded in the self-transformation that produces “liberal virtues.” To meet this challenge, this essay presents a sophisticated Confucian critique of liberalism by arguing that there is an appreciable contrast between liberal and Confucian self-transformation and between liberal and Confucian virtues. By contrasting Locke and Confucius, key representatives of each tradition, this essay shows that both liberalism and Confucianism aim to reconstruct a society freed from antisocial passions entailing a vicious politics of resentment, and yet come to differing ethical and political resolutions. My key claim is that what makes Confucian self-cultivation so distinctive is the incorporation of ritual propriety ( li ) within it, whereas liberal self-transformation that relies heavily on a method of self-control comes back to the problem that it originally set out to overcome.
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-009-9136-7
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1689 - Oxford University Press.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
The Sexual Contract.Carole Pateman - 1988 - Polity Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Democracy in Confucianism.Sor-Hoon Tan - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (5):293-303.
Confucian Social Media: An Oxymoron?Pak-Hang Wong - 2013 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (3):283-296.
A Critique of Confucian Learning: On Learners and Knowledge.Ruyu Hung - 2016 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 48 (1):85-96.
Improving Confucian Democracy: Replies to Elstein and Angle.Sungmoon Kim - 2016 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (3):453-465.

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