Philosophy East and West 68 (4):1265-1291 (2019)

Abstract
Referring to James Legge's translation of the Liji 禮記, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's justification for legalizing same-sex marriage was based on the statement, "Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government."1 Justice Kennedy universalized and applied Confucius' comment in a way that Confucius would never have imagined it would be. Yet, Justice Kennedy's universalization fits into a legacy of Western utilizations of the wisdom of the ancient Chinese sage. Although in recent history many Europeans and North Americans regard universal values as a challenge to other societies to reform, it is important to remember that, in the eighteenth century, Europeans looked to China for universal...
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DOI 10.1353/pew.2018.0106
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