Why Equality and Which Inequalities?: A Modern Confucian Approach to Democracy

Philosophy East and West 66 (2):488-514 (2016)

Abstract
Those who see Confucianism as a premodern imperial ideology or a traditional religion have no problem characterizing its social ideal as inherently hierarchical, as this is fairly typical of such systems of thought. From this perspective, rather than valuing equality Confucianism takes for granted inequalities among people, and justifies social hierarchies and unequal distribution of power, resources, prestige, and other goods as part of its ethics and its ideal of good government by sagely kings, the justification sometimes involving metaphysical claims about cosmic and religious hierar-chies.1 While some reject Confucianism for its supposed opposition to egalitarianism from perspectives that consider equality a..
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DOI 10.1353/pew.2016.0048
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