Principles, Virtues, or Detachment? Some Appreciative Reflections on Karen Stohr’s On Manners


Authors
Bryan Van Norden
Yale-NUS College
Abstract
Karen Stohr’s book On Manners argues persuasively that rules of etiquette, though conventional, play an essential moral role, because they “serve as vehicles through which we express important moral values like respect and consideration for the needs, ideas, and opinions of others”. Stohr frequently invokes Kantian concepts and principles in order to make her point. In Part 2 of this essay, I shall argue that the significance of etiquette is better understood using a virtue ethics framework, like that of Confucianism, rather than the language of Kantianism. Within the Chinese tradition, Daoists have frequently been critics of Confucian ritualism. Consequently, in Part 3, I shall consider some possible Daoist critiques of Stohr’s work.
Keywords Confucianism  Daoism  Etiquette  Kant  Ritual  Rites
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-016-9489-7
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The World of Thought in Ancient China.Benjamin I. Schwartz - 1985 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Remastering Morals with Aristotle and Confucius.May Sim - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.

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