Asian Philosophy 21 (4):395 - 418 (2011)

This essay presents an in-depth interpretation of the controversial dialogue in Analects 13.18 through careful and critical investigation of its historical background and philosophical significations. With a clarification of the multifaceted connotations of the word zhi (?, upright, forthright), my study brings out the play of irony in Confucius's words in Analects 13.18. According to my interpretation, not only is Confucius's reaction not inappropriate but it also demonstrates the art of early Confucian moral discretion that was informed by the teaching of quan (? moral discretion). Accordingly, Confucius's judgment of the case embodied a high and bright middle way of moral choice originating in the openness and sincerity of heart. It epitomized a singular moment of deliberation and decision that was responsible for a sinuous opening of piety and individuality within the interplay of conflicting conditions and requisitions.
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DOI 10.1080/09552367.2011.635893
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking Through Confucius.David L. Hall & Roger T. Ames - 1991 - Philosophy East and West 41 (2):241-254.
Special Topic: Filial Piety: The Root of Morality or the Source of Corruption?Guo Qiyong - 2007 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 6 (1):21-37.
Confucius: The Secular as Sacred.Herbert Fingarette - 1974 - Religious Studies 10 (2):245-246.

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