This essay considers a number of proposals for liberal political democracy in East Asian societies, and some of the critical responses such proposals have attracted from political philosophers and from East Asian intellectuals and leaders. These proposals may well be ill-suited to the distinctive traditional values of societies claiming a Confucian inheritance. Offered here instead is a pragmatist- and Confucian-inspired vision of participatory democracy in civic life that is possibly better able to address the problem of conserving and continuing these (...) traditional values through times of economic and social change. (shrink)
The notion that if democracy is to flourish in East Asia it must be realized in ways that are compatible with East Asian’s Confucian norms or values is a staple conviction of Confucian scholarship. I suggest two reasons why it is unlikely and even undesirable for such a Confucianized democracy to emerge. First, 19th- and 20th-century modernization swept away or weakened the institutions which had transmitted Confucian practices in the past, undermining claims that there is an enduring Confucian communitarian or (...) cultural heritage today that democratic institutions have to adapt themselves to—or that a Confucian cultural spirit can be revived. Second, 20th-century East Asian statist regimes rationalized Confucianism for national ideologies meant to bind their citizens’ loyalties to developmentalist goals. Memories of this now delegitimized, statist Confucianism have contributed to the further marginalization of Confucian norms, and to their dissociation from democratic values, in today’s pluralistic democracies in East Asia. This essay argues that a Confucian conviction politics developed within the frame of East Asia’s actually existing liberal democracies provides a better course for advocates of Confucianism in democratic politics. (shrink)
This paper brings a fresh, epistemic perspective to bear on prominent Confucian philosophers’ arguments for a hybrid Deweyan-Confucian democracy, or for an illiberal democracy with “Confucian characteristics.” Reconstructing principles for epistemic elitism and paternalism from the pre-Qin 秦 Confucian thought that inspires these advocates for Confucian democracy, it finds two major problems with their proposals. For those who abandon or modify this epistemic elitism and paternalism in accordance with , the result is a philosophical syncretism that is either unconvincingly Confucian (...) or unconvincingly Deweyan. For those who retain it in accordance with , the result is a democratic proposal that will lack legitimacy in increasingly pluralistic East Asian societies. In the end, there is a need for thinking that appropriately synthesizes Eastern and Western philosophies in a politically changing East Asia, but it would benefit from being less “Confucian.”. (shrink)
Around the beginning of the twentieth century, John Dewey began his struggle to pave a way out of the impasses generated by the contending schools of realism and idealism. In the early twenty-first century, claims have been made that his thought can also help philosophy move beyond the contemporary realism/anti-realism debate. Dewey scholar David Hildebrand asserts that John Dewey's philosophy provides "a defensible alternative to both realism and idealism" and to contemporary realism and anti-realism in the philosophy of history (Hildebrand (...) 2000, p. 2). This is part of Hildebrand's larger project to demonstrate that "classical pragmatism—and any careful derivation of it" should be able to move beyond the .. (shrink)
Criticisms of the liberal-individualist idea of the “unencumbered self” are not just a staple of communitarian thought. Some modern Confucian thinkers are now seeking to develop an ethically particular understanding of social roles in the family that is sensitive to gender-justice issues, and that provides an alternative to liberal-individualist conceptions of the “unencumbered self” in relation to family roles. The character of Nora in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House seemingly exemplifies such conceptions of the unencumbered self in her rejection of (...) her housewife role for a more authentic selfhood. Drawing upon the capabilities approach to justice, and positive early Japanese bluestockings’ responses to Ibsen's play, I argue that Nora's character is better understood as exemplifying an ethically compelling disencumbered self in potentially cross-cultural circumstances: a self criticizing and rejecting social roles that are found to be unjust according to universal, as opposed to particularist, “Confucian” ethical standards. (shrink)
: In Luce Irigaray's thought, Socrates is a marginal figure compared to Plato or Hegel. However, she does identify the Socratic dialectical position as that of a 'phallocrat' and she does conflate Socratic and Platonic philosophy in her psychoanalytic reading of Plato in Speculum of the Other Woman. In this essay, I critically interpret both Irigaray's own texts and the Platonic dialogues in order to argue that: (1) the Socratic dialectical position is not 'phallocratic' by Irigaray's own understanding of the (...) term; (2) that Socratic (early Platonic) philosophy should not be conflated with the mature Platonic metaphysics Irigaray criticizes; and (3) that Socratic dialectical method is similar in some respects with the dialectical method of Diotima, Socrates' instructress in love and the subject of Irigaray's "Sorcerer Love" essay in An Ethics of Sexual Difference. (shrink)
In Luce Irigaray's thought, Socrates is a marginal figure compared to Plato or Hegel. However, she does identify the Socratic dialectical position as that of a ‘phallocrat’ and she does conflate Socratic and Platonic philosophy in her psychoanalytic reading of Plato in Speculum of the Other Woman. In this essay, I critically interpret both Irigaray's own texts and the Platonic dialogues in order to argue that: the Socratic dialectical position is not ‘phallocratic’ by Irigaray's own understanding of the term; that (...) Socratic philosophy should not be conflated with the mature Platonic metaphysics Irigaray criticizes; and that Socratic dialectical method is similar in some respects with the dialectical method of Diotima, Socrates’ instructress in love and the subject of Irigaray's “Sorcerer Love” essay in An Ethics of Sexual Difference. (shrink)
This paper discusses the legitimacy of accountants’ recent involvement in social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting. Support for accountants’ legitimacy is proposed by highlighting some of the technical skills they offer to the SEAAR process as conceived in AA1000. It is argued that the relevance of these skills is strengthened within a conception of SEAAR which principally perceives it as a risk/stakeholder management process focused primarily on the concerns of corporate management as opposed to those of the wider society. (...) However, the paper moves on to maintain that if we wish to promote a conception of SEAAR primarily focused on accountability to stakeholders as opposed to risk/stakeholder management, then, particularly in the domain of external social audit, the legitimacy of accountants’ participation may be disputed. The paper therefore concludes by cautioning against facilitating the unquestioned entry of accountants into the realm of SEAAR. (shrink)
The birth of psychoanalysis at the close of the nineteenth centurycoincided with a questioning of philosophical traditions and methodsepitomized by Nietzsche’s assault on current thinking. The Enlightenment had seen the questioning of religion as an explanation and a revelation of reality and of human life within that reality; science had been instigated as a more ‘enlightened’ and a more rational provider of truth and knowledge; but the ongoing nature of philosophical thought continued to encounter new challenges and the re-phrasing of (...) old questions. Attempting to combine the exactness of scientific method with the openness of philosophical inquiry, psychoanalysis broached the terrain of the human mind, and attemptedto explore the perennial questions of meaning, truth and life with anunderstanding enhanced by the discoveries of its founder, Sigmund Freud. (shrink)
This article reviews Shaun O’Dwyer’s latest book, Confucianism’s Prospects: A Reassessment. By critiquing philosophical theories of “Confucian democracy” and their shared sociological assumption that Confucianism still functions as a cultural matrix for East Asian societies, O’Dwyer argues that visions on the future of Confucianism alternative to what the currently fixed institutional infrastructure of liberal democracy entails are flawed. This is mainly because if unconstrained by the infrastructure, the hardwired paternalism and elitism of Confucian ethics would necessarily impose morally taxing (...) burdens upon a de facto pluralistic society. This article assesses O’Dwyer’s counterarguments to “Confucian democracy,” and proposes a different approach to estimate the prospects of Confucianism in the contemporary world. (shrink)
This paper reports on an investigation of issues surrounding the use of ethical codes/codes of conduct in Irish based companies. Using a comprehensive questionnaire survey, the paper examines the incidence, content and enforcement of codes of conduct among a sample of the top 1000 companies based in Ireland. The main findings indicate that the overall usage of codes of conduct amongst indigenous Irish companies has increased significantly from 1995 to 2000. However, in line with prior research, these codes focus primarily (...) on issues surrounding company and employee protection as opposed to society protection. Almost half of all codes are written by company personnel or provided by head office. Revisions of codes are common but formal ongoing methods of instructing new staff about codes are not prevalent. Less than one-third of companies with codes have formal channels for reporting violations but a high percentage have formal disciplinary procedures in place for breaches of codes. (shrink)
A collection of philosophical and aesthetic essays, influenced by Bernard Stiegler, which focuses on the techno-cultural artefact in order to critique, engage, or respond to, an aspect of digital culture.
This essay explores Emerson’s reflections on self-reliance with particular reference to Emerson’s understanding of the concept of self-reliance, his view of ‘conformity’ as the major obstacle to self-reliance, and the moral significance of his thought. The essay is based on the premise that Emerson’s philosophy of self-reliance, self-reference and self-responsibility has a relevance and an application to our contemporary lives which are often conducted through subtle shades of compliance and acquiescence to popular opinion and prevailing fashions of thought and behaviour.
The author posits that an exploration of Buberian texts suggests a Nietzschean influence, both in the aphoristic and poetic style of his literature and in his insistence on an embrace of the totality of what it is to be human.
The effect of task difficulty on inter-task transfer is a classic issue in motor learning. We examined the relation between self-efficacy and transfer of learning after practicing different versions of a stick balancing task. Practicing the same task or an easier version led to significant pre- to post-test transfer of learning, whereas practicing a more difficult version did not. Self-efficacy increased modestly from pre- to post-test with easy practice, but decreased significantly with difficult practice. In addition, self-efficacy immediately prior to (...) the post-test was significantly lower after difficult practice than easy or intermediate practice. Self-efficacy immediately prior to the post-test, performance at the end of practice, and pre-test performance explained 75% of the variance in post-test performance. The mediating role of self-efficacy on transfer of learning offers an alternative explanation for recent findings on the superiority of easy-to-difficult transfer and may help clarify inconsistencies in earlier research. (shrink)
In this paper I offer four distinct but related suggestions: (1) That Husserl's phenomenology of time-consciousness is an adequate account of the concept of the specious present; (2) That the Querschtfftt o5 momentary phase of consdousness is genuinely only a Querschnittanskht; (3) That retention, primal-impression, and protention are functions of consciousness rather than phases or types o.f coasdousness; (4) That further conceptual clarification and terminological reformulation is needed.