Virtue: Confucius and Aristotle

Philosophy East and West 48 (2):323-347 (1998)


This essay compares Aristotle's conception of virtue with Confucius' key notion of ren (which has also been interpreted as "virtue") against the background of the revival of Aristotelian virtue ethics in the West and of Confucianism in the East. It argues that while Aristotle's virtue hinges on practical wisdom, Confucius' ren focuses on filial love, and on this basis interprets the respective theoretical merits and weaknesses of these two philosophers. The study is intended to show how Confucius can contribute to contemporary virtue ethics

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