The classical confucian position on the legitimate use of military force

Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (3):447-472 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Focusing on the thought of Mencius and Xunzi, this essay reconstructs and examines the classical Confucian position on the legitimate use of military force. It begins by sketching historically important political concepts, such as types of political leaders, politics of the kingly way versus politics of the hegemonic way, and the controversial role of lords-protector. It then moves on to explore Confucian criteria for justifying resort to the use of force, giving special attention to undertaking punitive expeditions to interdict and punish aggression and tyranny. Following this discussion, the essay then attends to important Confucian moral constraints on how military force is properly employed, including prohibitions on attacking the defenseless, indiscriminate slaughter of enemy forces, destruction of civilian infrastructure, prisoner abuse, and non-consensual annexation of territory. The essay concludes by first discussing an illustrative case from Mencius and then comparing its reconstruction of the Confucian position to those offered by other scholars

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,088

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Ethics for the weekends: The case of reservists.Mark Zelcer - 2012 - Journal of Military Ethics 11 (4):333-352.
Barack Obama, Resort to Force, and U.S. Military Hegemony.Harry van der Linden - 2009 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (1):95-104.
How should we treat animals? A confucian reflection.Ruiping Fan - 2010 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (1):79-96.
Confucian Democracy and Equality.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2010 - Asian Philosophy 20 (3):261-282.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide from confucian moral perspectives.Lo Ping-Cheung - 2010 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (1):53-77.
Public Trust in a Military Force.Asa Kasher - 2003 - Journal of Military Ethics 2 (1):20-45.
The confucian ideal of harmony.Chenyang Li - 2006 - Philosophy East and West 56 (4):583-603.
Moral obligation and moral motivation in confucian role-based ethics.A. T. Nuyen - 2009 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (1):1-11.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-07-24

Downloads
37 (#386,808)

6 months
13 (#131,321)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?