Confucianism has a deep influence on the opinion of value priority in traditional Chinese culture, which consider the value of morality prior to that of utility; the value of moral merit prior to that of intelligent; the value of group prior to that of individuals; the value of peace and safety prior to that of freedom and liberty; the value of harmony prior to that of conflict. This kind of value priority has performed very important and positive functions in (...) Chinese culture, along with certain side-effects. Under the context of globalization, it is possible for the Chinese and Western values to complement each other in fusional harmony. (shrink)
The presence and absence of autonomy in Joseph Chan’s democratic Confucianism loom large, but not always in the ways that he maintains. Although Chan claims that his reconstruction of Confucianism for modern democracy can accept some forms of moral autonomy, what he presents does not constitute genuine moral autonomy, and the absence of that autonomy sits in tension with some other aspects of his model. When it comes to personal autonomy, it is the opposite: Chan says that the (...) exercise of personal autonomy can be part of a life well-lived but is not strictly necessary and can be outweighed by perfectionist considerations of well-being and ethics; however, his model incorporates and relies on the exercise of... (shrink)
This article examines whether and to what extent Confucianism as a resilient Chinese cultural tradition can be used as a sound basis of business practice and management model for Chinese corporations in the twenty-first century. Using the core elements of Confucianism, the article constructs a notion of a Confucian Firm with its concepts of the moral person ( Junzi ), core human morality ( ren, yi, li ) and relationships ( guanxi ), as well as benign social structure (...) (harmony), articulated in corporate and organizational terms. The basic character of the Confucian Firm is described, and its philosophical and cultural foundation is critically assessed with respect to its moral legitimacy and relevant to today’s China. China’s recent Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) development is a high profile response to global business ethics concerns. Efforts have been made to emulate and develop good business practice fashioned in CSR norms and visions. The so-called “human-based” and “virtue-based” business practices rooted in local cultural heritage have been touted as a Chinese response to this problem. This investigation is particularly relevant in the context of the increasingly prominence of the Chinese corporations (China Inc.) in the wake of the rise of China as a global power. How relevant is Confucianism to the building of a modern Chinese corporation that is willing and able to practice reasonable norms of business ethics? The findings of this discussion, which include the organizational implications of the Confucian familial collectivism, have implications for other Chinese communities (Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore) where Confucian tradition is endorsed and practiced. (shrink)
Are Confucian and Buddhist ethical views closer to Kantian, Consequentialist, or Virtue Ethical ones? And how can such comparisons shed light on the unique aspects of Confucian and Buddhist views? This essay (i) provides a historically grounded framework for distinguishing western views, (ii) identifies a series of questions that we can ask in order to clarify the philosophic accounts of ethical motivation embedded in the Buddhist and Confucian traditions, and (iii) then critiques Lee Ming-huei’s claim that Confucianism is closer (...) to Kantianism than virtue ethics and Charles Goodman’s claim that Buddhism is closer to Consequentialism than virtue ethics. (shrink)
Several scholars have recently proposed that Confucianism should be regarded as a form of virtue ethics. This view offers new approaches to understanding not only Confucian thinkers, but also their critics within the Chinese tradition. For if Confucianism is a form of virtue ethics, we can then ask to what extent Chinese criticisms of it parallel criticisms launched against contemporary virtue ethics, and what lessons for virtue ethics in general might be gleaned from the challenges to Confucianism (...) in particular. This paper undertakes such an exercise in examining Han Feizi, an early critic of Confucianism. The essay offers a careful interpretation of the debate between Han Feizi and the Confucians and suggests that thinking through Han Feizi's criticisms and the possible Confucian responses to them has a broader philosophical payoff, namely by highlighting a problem for current defenders of virtue ethics that has not been widely noticed, but deserves attention. (shrink)
Building on prior research in Confucianism and business, the current study examines the effects of Confucianism on consumer trust of government involvement with products and company brands. Based on three major ideas of Confucianism – meritocracy, loyalty to superior, and separation of responsibilities – it is expected that consumers under the influence of Confucianism would perceive products from government-involved enterprises to have more desirable attributes and show preference for their company brands. Findings from an empirical study (...) in the Chinese automobile market support the hypotheses. The results suggest that small firms doing business in China would especially benefit from some association with the government. These results also provide managerial implications for enterprises in other countries with a Confucian cultural background. (shrink)
A central issue in Chinese philosophy today is the relationship between Confucianism and democracy. While some political figures have argued that Confucian values justify non-democratic forms of government, many scholars have argued that Confucianism can provide justification for democracy, though this Confucian democracy will differ substantially from liberal democracy. These scholars believe it is important for Chinese culture to develop its own conception of democracy using Confucian values, drawn mainly from Kongzi (Confucius) and Mengzi (Mencius), as the basis. (...) This essay describes some obstacles to this form of Confucian democracy. It argues that considering the political philosophies of Kongzi and Mengzi in the context of their views on personal cultivation reveals that they oppose some of the central assumptions of democracy. They do not trust the public to make good decisions, and advocate government for the people, but not by the people. These philosophies alone cannot generate democracy. (shrink)
This study attempts to answer the question why Confucianism, the dominant “teaching” among the Three Teachings, is not a religion in contemporary China, unlike the other two “teachings,” Buddhism and Daoism. By examining this phenomenon in the social-historical context, this study finds its origin in Orientalism. The Orientalist conceptualization of religion became part of the New Culture discourse at the turn of the twentieth century. While China has undergone tremendous social changes over the past century, the old discourse remains.
Modem neo-Confucianism is studied at two levels, one is at the historical level and the other at the academic level. Modern neo-Confucianism at the historical level was developed in the modern context, but its basic content belongs to the traditional Confucianism or the study of Confucian classics. Modem neo-Confucianism at the academic level recognizes both the deficiencies of the traditional Confucianism and rationality of western learning, and dedicates itself to the modernization of Confucianism. Though (...) Ma Yifu's moral philosophy is developed in the context of modem Chinese culture, it fails to deal with the problem of modern transformation of Confucian ethical values and its content still belongs to the traditional Confucianism. So it should be labeled as the modern neo-Confucianism in the historical sense. In this paper, the author makes a systematic exploration and an evaluation of Ma Yifu's ethical thought. (shrink)
It is often supposed that Confucianism is opposed to the idea of equality insofar as the key ideals to which it is committed, such as meritocracy and li , are incompatible with equality. Sympathetic commentators typically defend Confucianism by saying that (a) the Confucian person is not a free-standing individual but a social being embedded in a social structure with different and unequal roles, and (b) social inequality has to be traded in for other values. This paper argues (...) that in advocating meritocracy, Confucianism does not abandon the idea of equality. Indeed, invoking Aristotle's account of equality in the Nicomachean Ethics , it can be argued that the unequal distribution of rights and benefits reflects one aspect of equality, namely the vertical aspect, or the unequal treatment of unequals. (shrink)
In contrast to Western science and religion, a topic which has been studied very much since the twentieth century, less research has been done on science and Confucianism. By way of a comparative viewpoint within the history of science, this article will deal with some aspects of science and Confucianism in retrospect, for instance, the Confucian origin of the idea of tian yuan di fang 天圓地方, the natural philosophy of qi, and the wu xing li tian zhi qi (...) 五行沴天之氣 bringing abnormal astrological phenomena and reflecting a negative Confucian relation between politics, ethics, and nature. In the late Ming, Xiong Mingyu found that abnormal astrological phenomena, as atmospheric events, happened in the sublunar region rather than in the stars, and in the present time we can reinterpret the crisis of air pollution or global climate change as reflecting a negative Confucian relation between politics, ethics, and nature and as a warning of collective misbehavior in our use of modern scientific technologies. (shrink)
To counter the tendency of making Confucianism "localized" and thereby turning Confucianism research into research of local social history, the author criticizes this tendency and thinks it is unilateral to emphasize or stress the importance of a small unit's locality, but ignore the oneness of the distribution of Confucianism and the universality of Confucian thought. The thesis emphasizes that the main schools of Confucianism in the Song and Ming Dynasties are all not local ones and cannot (...) be reduced to reflections of some local need and social structure. The author points out that we need to self-examine the following phenomena: aggrandizing the function of local social structure to culture and thought, coming down academic schools to reflections of local social benefits, opposing this kind of research to the research of thought itself, thus rejecting philosophical research and analysis of thought itself. (shrink)
In 1958, a group of New-Confucians issued “A Manifesto for a Re-Appraisal of Sinology and Reconstruction of Chinese Culture.” Equally in 1958, the British philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe published her classical paper “Modern Moral Philosophy.” These two papers have the same target — modern Western morality — and the solutions they proposed respectively. Yet Anscombe’s paper did not mention Confucianism, and the “Manifesto” ignored Aristotelian tradition of virtue. Furthermore, from 1960s to 1990s, the revival movement of Confucianism and the (...) revival movement of Aristotelian ethics have not had much dialogue. This paper seeks to explain this phenomenon by comparing these two historically important documents. In particular it tries to understand why the “Manifesto” fails to see the similarities between Aristotle and Confucius. (shrink)
Wei-Bin Zhang offers an authoritative guide to the philosophy of Confucian regions, covering mainland China Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore. All, except Singapore, employed Confucianism as the state ideology before the West came to East Asia. The differences and similarities between the variety of Confucian schools are examined. The author concludes that the philosophical and ethical principles of Confucianism will assist in the industrialization and democratization of the region.
In a society dominated by Confucian ethics, a spirit of Confucian public morality can be seen in the Confucian debate over publicness and privateness, but it is usually activated in circumstances of large ethical crisis. Confucian theory mainly uses ethical relationships to create self and social identities, causing problems of identification in the public life and hindering the expression of moral feelings and actions, thus revealing a weakness in public morality. This is a space that Confucianism has not yet (...) been able to cover, and also where it has room for growth. (shrink)
In 1958, a group of New-Confucians issued "A Manifesto for a Re-Appraisal of Sinology and Reconstruction of Chinese Culture." Equally in 1958, the British philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe published her classical paper "Modern Moral Philosophy." These two papers have the same target — modern Western morality — and the solutions they proposed respectively. Yet Anscombe's paper did not mention Confucianism, and the "Manifesto" ignored Aristotelian tradition of virtue. Furthermore, from 1960s to 1990s, the revival movement of Confucianism and the (...) revival movement of Aristotelian ethics have not had much dialogue. This paper seeks to explain this phenomenon by comparing these two historically important documents. In particular it tries to understand why the "Manifesto" fails to see the similarities between Aristotle and Confucius. /// 摘要 1958年，现代新儒家发表了 "为中国文化敬告世界人士宣言"。该宣言批判 西方文化的缺陷，并通过探索中国文化对世界人类问题的贡献而倡导中国文化的复 兴。同样在1958年，英国学者安思康发表了 "近代道德哲学"。这两篇文献有着共 同的批评目标一一近现代西方道德，而且，各自提出的解决方案也有相似之处。然 而，安思康并没有提及孔子，而宣言也漠视亚里士多德传统。进一步说，从19世纪 60年代到90年代，由他们所分别推动的新儒学复兴与德性伦理学复兴这两大运动之 间缺少对话和交流。通过比较分析这两篇同年发表的历史性文献，不仅可以找到两 大复兴运动对话缺失的原因，而且还可以解释为什么 "宣言" 没有能够发现孔子与 亚里士多德在德性伦理学方面的一致性。. (shrink)
Confucianism can be analyzed at three levels of ideas: life as existence (Sein) itself; the Confucian metaphysics about metaphysical beings; and the Confucian doctrines about tangible existences. In the eyes of Confucians, life itself is displayed as the feeling of benevolence in the first place. To reconstruct Confucianism is to return to life and perceive it as a fundamental source. That means to historically return to the original Confucianism during and even before the Axial Period, in essence (...) it is to simultaneously return to our immediate life itself, and then on this basis to reconstruct both Confucian metaphysics and Confucian doctrines about tangible existences. (shrink)
To the question “What normative ethical theory does early Confucianism best represent?” researchers in the history of early Confucian philosophy respond with more than half a dozen different answers. They include sentimentalism, amoralism, pragmatism, Kantianism, Aristotelian virtue theory, care ethics, and role ethics. The lack of consensus is concerning, as three considerations make clear. First, fully trained, often leading, scholars advocate each of the theories. Second, nearly all participants in the debate believe that the central feature of early (...) class='Hi'>Confucianism is its moral thought. However, these normative ethical theories are logically inconsistent with one another, the third point. The entailment is unavoidable: the majority of scholars of early Confucian normative ethics must be incorrect about their attributions of a normative theory to early Confucianism. It would appear, then, that we need a new dao 道 or pathway for the study of early Confucian moral thought. One alternative is to adopt an immersively interdisciplinary research methodology that pivots on the recognition that early Confucianism is a social-functional system the governing purpose of which is to influence cultural leaders. (shrink)
Beginning with the promotion of morality in Confucianism, a Neo-Confucian movement in modern Chinese philosophy was initiated, in which Confucianism underwent a transition from tradition to modernity. However, Moral Confucianism did not successfully develop the “new kingliness without” from its “sageliness within,” respond to modernization marked by science and democracy, and provide moral impetus for the development of a modern Chinese society or appeal to many beyond the small circle of “elite Confucianists.” The fundamental reason is that (...) it was caught in a web of moral idealism, overemphasizing what ought to be without confronting what actually was. (shrink)
The representatives of modern Neo-Confucianism all greatly value Yi Zhuan and regard it as one of their spiritual resources, and give their own creative interpretations and transformations. Xiong Shili's ontological-cosmological theory takes "qian yuan" as its center; Ma Yifu has a theory of ontology-cultivation centered on "nature-principle"; Fang Dongmei has a metaphysics of production and reproduction; Mou Zongsan takes the view of "completely knowing the fathomless and understanding transformation" as a moral metaphysics; and in Tang Junyi there is a (...) theory of the harmony of doctrines on Heaven and man in which "the knowledge of divine understanding" is its key concept. They employ modern philosophical concepts and thinking to illustrate the cosmology, ontology, theory of life, theory of human nature, theory of spiritual worlds, axiology and their connections in Zhou Yi. They affirm that the characteristics of Chinese philosophy that are different from Western philosophy consist in a naturalist view of vital life, a harmonious view of totality, an axiological view that values exist in natural universe and the world of fact, the pursuit of Good and Beauty, and intuitive experience of inner world. (shrink)
The political philosophy of early Confucianism mainly focuses on the “ shi ± (scholar).” It is built on ideas such as that of “establishing a ruler in consideration of the people,” “taking yi 义 (righteousness) as li 利 (benefit)” and “following the Dao but not the ruler,” which demonstrate the foundations of political legitimacy, justice as a political principle, and principles of a scholar to become an official. Although the political thought of early Confucianism has its historical limitations, (...) such as the lack of both political equality and the universal recognition of rights, there is both a demand for and possibility of democratic politics in the philosophy. Thus, how to extend awareness of scholars to awareness of people and how to transform a focus on virtue into a focus on rights become the crucial theoretical questions that Confucianism faces in the contemporary world. (shrink)
Traditional Confucianism might be likened to a great tree, with various branches and trends of thought emerging from common roots. Continuing with this metaphor, Confucianism as a form of knowledge might be regarded as a main branch, and the resulting form of Confucianism constitutes the main body of Chinese learning. Due to modern society's transformation, Confucianism as a form of knowledge has begun to disappear and the form of Confucianism which has its own discourse system (...) and problem consciousness has become a disconnected tradition and an object of study of all the branches of learning in modern times. It is important for the present-day development of Confucianism that we break the rigescent modern academic system, propagate Confucianism as a form of knowledge, and rebuild the Confucian form of knowledge. (shrink)
One of the most high-profile debates in Chinese philosophy concerns the compatibility of human and individual rights with basic Confucian doctrines and practices. Defenders of the incompatibilist view argue that rights are inconsistent with Confucianism because rights are (necessarily) role-independent obligations and entitlements, whereas Confucians think that all obligations and entitlements are role-dependent. Two other arguments have to do with the practice of claiming one's own rights, holding (a) that claiming one's rights undercuts family-like community bonds and (b) that (...) giving everyone license to claim her own rights is incompatible with certain hierarchical social structures that Confucians value. In this essay, I show that these arguments are too crudely formulated to identify the real points of contention with rights compatibilism, and then develop versions of two of the arguments which, when properly qualified, pose a more serious challenge for those who think rights and a license to claim one's own rights are consistent with core Confucian views. (shrink)
Critical thinking is currently much celebrated in the contemporary West and beyond, not least in higher education. Tertiary education students are generally expected to adopt a critical attitude in order to become responsible and constructive participants in the development of modern democratic society. Currently, the perceived desirability of critical thinking has even made it into a seemingly successful marketable commodity. A brief online search yields a vast number of books that are mostly presented as self-help manuals to enable readers to (...) enhance their critical abilities. But how should critical thinking be taught? Is it at all possible? Instead of attempting to provide a direct answer to this pressing question, this paper seeks inspiration in a culturally rather remote philosophy of education that hitherto has not been regarded as a stimulant for critical thinking, namely the ancient philosophy of Confucianism. The paper argues that not only are most if not all types of thinking regarded in the West as ‘critical’ also present in Confucianism, but also that the Confucian philosophy presides over a particular type which increasingly tends to be neglected in the contemporary West; a type that I call ‘transformative self-critical attitude’. Through a comparison with the well-known Teaching Perspectives Inventory in higher education, the transformative self-critical attitude is used to elucidate some further aspects of the Confucian philosophy of education that may offer valuable insights to contemporary educators. (shrink)
As a great synthesist for the School of Principles of the Northern and Southern Song dynasties, Zhu Xi’s influence over the School of Principles was demonstrated not only through his positive theoretical creation, but also through his choice and critical awareness. Zhu’s relationship with Confucianism and Buddhism is a typical case; and his activities, ranging from his research of Buddhism (the Chan School) in his early days to his farewell to the Chan School as a student of Li Dong (...) from Yanping and then to his critical awareness of the Chan School, developed in his association with Wang Yingchen, set the entire course of his relationship with Confucianism and Buddhism. It fostered his antagonistic attitude towards the Chan School, which lasted his entire life. Zhu approached the Chan School mainly as an objective social and cultural phenomenon; his discrimination between Confucianism and Buddhism was from an epistemological point of view; and his refutation of the Chan School was mainly from the point of view of language and methodology, an antagonistic attitude of how to face learning. Therefore, his opposition to the Chan School not only directly fostered an awareness of the Confucians of the Ming dynasty against Buddhism, who simply viewed the latter as an external and objective existence, but to a certain extent resulted in the disappearance of the transcendence of the School of Principles, and caused a total change in academic direction during the Ming and Qing dynasties and the formation of the Qianjia Hanxue . What is more, such an opposition to Buddhism continues to influence people’s understanding of the School of Principles. (shrink)
Through the 1980s Confucian studies in the United States tended to present Confucianism as compatible with liberal democratic values. Since the 1990s, after the rise of China as a global power, Confucianism is increasingly defended as a political alternative to liberal and democratic values. This essay argues that Confucianism is not compatible with liberal democratic values, and that the rise of political Confucianism opposed to liberal democracy is a return to a more authentic Confucianism. Furthermore, (...) it is argued that the defense of this undemocratic and illiberal Confucianism in the West, notably by Stephen C. Angle and Daniel A. Bell, reflects and reveals the precarious state of democracy in our present historical moment. (shrink)
The debate on whether Confucianism is a source of corruption or root of morality, which initiated about ten years ago in China and was mainly between Liu Qingping 劉清平 and Guo Qiyong 郭齊勇, entered a second stage when Deng Xiaomang 鄧曉芒 criticized Confucian ethics based on filial piety, and Guo Qiyong and (mainly) his (former) students persistently defended their points of view. This essay is a review of the main theme of the debate at this second stage.
After Neo-Confucianism, the study of contemporary Confucianism became more diverse. Its original uniformity was replaced by diversity. During this time, however, Post-Confucianism became increasingly prominent. Post-Confucianism comes from a post-modernist context and was influenced by a post-modernist ideological mode, and so its appearance was inevitable. It was also closely linked to significant philosophical issues after the change in times, and therefore questioned and challenged Neo-Confucianism which was based on a pattern of modernity. Post-Confucianism represents (...) a new trend in the contemporary development of Confucianism. From a cultural point of view, this essay systematically investigates three internationally renowned schools of Post-Confucianism and their backgrounds, noting their similarities and differences, examining their significance, and determining their meaning. By doing so, it intends to outline an intelligible framework for this academic trend and highlight the significance of Post-Confucianism for the development of contemporary Confucianism. (shrink)
This collection of essays explores the development of the New Confucianism movement during the 20th century and questions whether it is, in fact, a distinctly new intellectual movement or one that has been mostly retrospectively created. The questions that contributors to this book seek to answer about this neo-conservative philosophical movement include: “What has been the cross-fertilization between Chinese scholars in China and overseas made possible by the shared discourse of Confucianism?” “To what extent does this discourse transcend (...) geographical, political, cultural, and ideological divides?” “Why do so many Chinese intellectuals equate Confucianism with Chinese cultural identity?” and “Does the Confucian revival of the 1990s in China and Taiwan represent a genuine philosophical renaissance or a resurgence in interest based on political and cultural factors?”. (shrink)
Mou Zongsan incorrectly uses Kant’s practical reason to interpret Confucianism. The saying that “what is it that we have in common in our minds? It is the li 理 (principles) and the yi 义 (righteousness)” reveals how Mencius explains the origin of li and yi through a theory of common sense. In “the li and the yi please our minds, just as the flesh of beef and mutton and pork please our mouths,” “please” is used twice, proving aesthetic judgment (...) is necessary to understanding Mencius. An analysis of Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming’s ideas will show that Confucianism should be interpreted by appealing to aesthetic judgment, and a discussion of Kant’s theory of judgment and Gadamer’s critique of Kant’s theory will support the same point. The conclusion is that Chinese moral philosophy should be interpreted through aesthetic judgment. (shrink)
Against the overly intellectualistic reading of Confucianism, this paper argues for understanding Confucianism from the perspective of qigong (or gongfu) cultivation that aims at increasing the abilities to lead a good life.
As we enter the new millennium, it has become more important to review and discover ancient wisdom. The project to build a harmonious society requires us to know our own “culture.” The biggest conflicts we human beings face are the conflicts between man and nature, man and man (man and society), and body and mind. The three philosophical propositions, “the unity of Heaven and man,” “the unity of self and others,” and “the unity of body and mind” of Confucianism (...) may provide precious insight in dealing with the three above-mentioned conflicts, and we should pay special attention to these resources. (shrink)
The formation of the discourse of Neo-Confucianism 1 in the Song period was a result of the interactions between many social and cultural trends. In the development of the Neo-Confucian discourse, the Cheng brothers (Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi) played key roles with their charismatic thoughts and impelling personalities, while Zhu Xi pushed Neo-Confucian thought and discourse to a pinnacle with his broad knowledge and precise reasoning. In the warm discussions and debates between different schools and thoughts, the Neo-Confucian (...) discourse proceeded towards completion and perfection, and evolved as contemporary topics and thinking modes changed. The essay argues that “ ding xing 定性 (stilling the nature)” was an important Neo-Confucian topic during the Song period. The doctrine of “stilling the nature” involves much central Neo-Confucian discourse such as the definition of xing 性 (human nature), the interior and exterior aspects of human nature, nature and qing 情 (feelings, sentiments), nature and xin 心 (mind, heart), nature and ren 仁 (benevolence, humanity, humaneness) and yi 义 (righteousness), nature and shi 事 (affair) or wu 物 (thing, object), the practice of preservation and cultivation, etc. Therefore, an examination of the formation, development and evolution of Neo-Confucianism is of great importance to the study of its early history. (shrink)
In traditional Chinese expressions, guannian 观念 (ideas) are results of guan 观 (viewing). However, viewing can be understood to have two different levels of meanings: one is “viewing things,” that is, viewing with something to view; another is “viewing nothing,” that is, viewing with nothing to view. What are viewed in “viewing things” are either physical beings—all existing things and phenomena—or the metaphysical being (for example, the “Dao as a thing”). In both cases, something is being viewed. What is viewed (...) in “viewing nothing” is the being itself, or “nothing,” in which there is nothing to view. According to Confucianism, the existence of “nothing” manifests itself as life sentiments, especially the sentiment of love, which is the very root and source of benevolence; moreover “viewing nothing” is, in essence, a perception of life. Life sentiments or the perception of life is “the thing itself ” prior to any being or any thing. (shrink)
In this review of Fan Ruiping’s book, I am concerned first of all about how representative his account of Confucianism/Ruism is in relationship to the multiform traditions associated with that teaching through more than two thousand years of its existence. Fan emphasizes pre-imperial forms of Confucian traditions, but neglects many alternatives from later sources. Secondly, his account of “familism” lends itself to questions related to the problem of revenge that is associated with traditional Confucianism. This raises further ethical (...) doubts about the effectiveness of his reconstructed Confucianism within contemporary Chinese society. Finally, his “familism” appears to focus on extended family structures, but whether this is suitable and relevant for the structures of modern family transformations in mainland China is questioned. (shrink)
Fan Ruiping is engaged in a wide-ranging project to reconstruct Confucianism for the contemporary period. It includes his sustained attack on John Rawls’ theory of distributive justice, various Chinese policies and practices on the delivery of health and elder care, and global business ethics. This paper describes his revised Confucian understanding of environmental morality under the metaphor of nature as garden and man as gardener. I argue the current state of this effort is in need of a more robust (...) appropriation of Chinese sources and a greater attention to comparative analogues using the garden metaphor. I conclude with some suggestions that might advance this specific aspect of his project. (shrink)
Mou Zongsan incorrectly uses Kant's practical reason to interpret Confucianism. The saying that "what is it that we have in common in our minds? It is the il 理 (principles) and the yi 义 (righteousness)" reveals how Mencius explains the origin of il and yi through a theory of common sense. In "the li and the yi please our minds, just as the flesh of beef and mutton and pork please our mouths," "please" is used twice, proving aesthetic judgment (...) is necessary to understanding Mencius. An analysis of Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming's ideas will show that Confucianism should be interpreted by appealing to aesthetic judgment, and a discussion of Kant's theory of judgment and Gadamer's critique of Kant's theory will support the same point. The conclusion is that Chinese moral philosophy should be interpreted through aesthetic judgment. /// 牟宗三以康德实践理性解说儒学是一错误思路。"心之所同然者何也?谓理 也，义也", 表明孟子以共通感论述理义来源, "理义之悦我心，犹当拳之悦我口" 两用 "悦" 字，证明应当以直感判断力解说孟子。分析朱子、阳明的一些言论证 明以直感判断力解说儒学则若合符节; 并引述康德关于判断力的相关学说、伽达 默尔对康德的批评支持上述论点; 从而主张，中国道德哲学宜以直感判断力来解 释。. (shrink)
"China has 'arrived,' and Ronnie Littlejohn helps us know this antique culture better. In his entirely accessible introduction, Littlejohn has done the academy the timely service of resourcing the best contemporary research in sinology to tell the compelling story of a living Confucianism as it has meandered through the dynasties to flow down to our present time." -- Roger T. Ames, Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawai’i "Although basically intended as an introductory text for undergraduates, this book is equally (...) a very useful one for everyone with a serious interest in things sinological to have on their bookshelves. Littlejohn has surveyed well the modern Western scholarship on the manifold dimensions of the Confucian persuasion from its earliest beginnings to the present, and proffers it to the reader in a clearly written and commendably balanced narrative, complete with notes, references, and a working bibliography for further studies of this ancient but still vibrant philosophical and religious tradition we know as 'Confucianism'." —Henry Rosemont, Jr, George B & Wilma Reeves Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts Emeritus, St Mary’s College of Maryland, and Visiting Professor of Religious Studies, Brown University . (shrink)
Even the most casual observer of Chinese society is aware of the tremendous significance of Confucianism as a linchpin of both ancient and modern Chinese identity. Furthermore, the Confucian tradition has exercised enormous influence over the values and institutions of the other cultures of East Asia, an influence that continues to be important in the global Asian diaspora. If forecasters are correct in labeling the 21st century 'the Chinese century,' teachers and scholars of religious studies and theology will be (...) called upon to illuminate the history, character, and role of Confucianism as a religious tradition in Chinese and Chinese-influenced societies. The essays in this volume will address the specifically pedagogical challenges of introducing Confucian material to non-East Asian scholars and students. Informed by the latest scholarship as well as practical experience in the religious studies and theology classroom, the essays are attentive to the various settings within which religious material is taught and sensitive to the needs of both experts in Confucian studies and those with no background in Asian studies who are charged with teaching these traditions. The authors represent all the arenas of Confucian studies, from the ancient to the modern. Courses involving Confucius and Confucianism have proliferated across the disciplinary map of the modern university. This volume will be an invaluable resource for instructors not only in religious studies departments and theological schools, but also teachers of world philosophy, non-Western philosophy, Asian studies, and world history. (shrink)
This multidisciplinary volume includes philosophical and theological articulations of Confucianism and other spiritual traditions for the modern and globalizing world, and empirical studies of and analytical reflections on Confucianism and ...
Some democratic theorists have argued that contemporary people should practice only a civility that recognizes others as equal persons, and eschew any form of deference to authority as a feudalistic cultural holdover that ought to be abandoned in the modern era. Against such views, this essay engages early Confucian views of ethics and society, including their analyses of different sorts of authority and status, in order to argue that, properly understood, deference is indeed a virtue of considerable importance for contemporary (...) democratic societies and the citizens who constitute them. (shrink)