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1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Sariya Arunkhajornsak Normativity of Filial Piety (xiao) in Early Confucian Ethics
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This paper aims to discuss normative reasons of filial piety in early Confucian ethics by proposing that the source of value and normative claim of filial piety could be explained by a process of “reflective endorsement”. The paper argues that the assertion of filial love’s authority, coming either from the mandate of heaven (tianming 天命) or from human nature, can be normative when one reflects on and endorses the value of the parents in one’s life. One, thus, considers this value as “good”, and then allows oneself to be guided by “natural” affection. When one respectfully follows or gently remonstrates with the parents, the normative reason of such filial practices could be explained that one endorses the parents to be a “priority” in one’s life. According to reflective endorsement theory, our identities including human identities give rise to our obligation to any person or thing we place value. Thus, when individuals and people in community collectively endorse filial piety as the most important virtue in moral cultivation and social harmonization, this means that they also endorse what kind of human being and good life should be developed, including what appropriate virtue should be cultivated for expressing human identities. For this reason, filial piety in Confucian ethics has a strong normative force.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
David Adam Brubaker Jing Hao’s Bifaji: Neo-Confucianism, Li Zehou and Utterly Unique Sensuous Existence
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Jing Hao’s Notes on Brushwork (Bifaji) describes two principles: vital energy (qi) and resonance (yun). How to uphold them? Li Zehou helps us: he interprets Jing Hao and the complementarity of Confucianism and Daoism. However, Li Zehou also makes that puzzling. Qi is born from an a priori or noumenal rationality, and Daoist aesthetic delight arises from a content that is noumenal (invisible). I explain: Li Zehou is held back by his use of Kant’s frameworks for ethics and aesthetic judgment. Pragmatist writers (Murashige, Ames, Hall) do interpret qi as an observable extensiveness. But they fail to account for Jing Hao’s claim that vital painting resonates with nature at a level more basic than resemblance to perceptible shapes and events. I suggest a path. I begin with Li Zehou’s own statement “the “individual sensuous existence” of each person is “completely and utterly unique.” Stephen Owen helps, by interpreting Jing Hao’s principle qi in relation to xiang, a manifest image that is not perceived as a shape or event. Peng Feng takes us further, by explaining how Wang Yangming describes xiang. My conclusion: Jing Hao and neo-Confucianism are live-options today for improved thinking about nature, ethics and aesthetic delight.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Rina Marie Camus “In Image Near Together, in Meaning Far Apart”: Virtue Metaphors in Confucius and Aristotle
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Metaphors have long been valued as powerful literary devices. Lately however the discovery of the cognitive content of metaphors is drawing the attention of contemporary scholars. For those of us engaged in comparative philosophy, metaphors seem to promise to be a much-needed hermeneutic tool for understanding independent traditions and working out balanced comparisons. In this paper, I shall examine two metaphors for virtue that are used in both the Confucian Analects and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. These common metaphors are archery and the middle, or mean. If Confucius and Aristotle use similar images to speak of moral virtue, do they make the same claims about virtue? In other words, do these images convey the same meaning? My paper attempts to unpack the referential meanings of these metaphors by first contextualizing them and then by tracing the associated ideas and structures behind the images.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Yonghwan Chung Hate, Resentment, and Righteousness in Mengzi’s Moral Sentimentalism
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In this essay, I clarify the role of negative moral emotions to attain the virtue of righteousness by analyzing Mengzi’s moral sentimentalism, which states that our moral cognition can be traced back to inborn emotions of the “four sprouts” (si duan 四端). For Mengzi, the negative moral emotions of shame and hate, which are among the four sprouts, imply the virtue of righteousness. The negative moral emotion is one of the most important components of righteous knowledge and practice. The virtuous cognition can be confirmed with moral emotion as long as the negative moral emotion implies righteousness. While righteousness can be practiced with the negative emotion, benevolence ensures the affirmative emotion of love and gratitude. In case of collision between righteousness and benevolence, the practice of negative emotion should be limited to harmonize with benevolence because the latter is considered more valuable than the former. Mengzi thinks that righteousness is a virtue to be coordinated with benevolence so that we can maximize the goodness of life. Consequently, the negative moral emotion of hate and resentment should be practiced within the limitation of unified virtues.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Keyang Dou The Yijing as a Receptive Text: A Phenomenological Research
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In the interpretation of Yijing by the Yizhuan, the receptive text of Yijing should be regarded as a stratified living structure, from solid writing, to metaphysical images, and ultimately, to the ontological idea. It is by no means an “objective” historical book or record of divination. It is closely related to the concrete social lives and practical behaviors, which cannot be confined as a materialized existence, because this stratum of text, composed by the solid symbols of hexagrams and lines as well as characters, does not mean the accomplishment of the text of Yijing. The life existence of the receptive text of Yijing would not be integral until it is interpreted by the later interpreters, during which the interpretation of Yijing goes through the stratified intentional structure of Writing-Image-Idea, along with the life transcendence of Yi. In this sense, the receptive text of Yijing is not a fixed and purely objective text, but an appealing text which is always inclusive of the interpretation by the later receptors.
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Fabian Heubel Self-Cultivation and Democracy in Contemporary Neo-Confucianism
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Since the end of the 19th century Chinese intellectuals struggle with the problem of how to reconcile “self-cultivation”, a fundamental motive of Confucian philosophy, and the model of government related to it, with democratic politics. By looking at the interpretations of The Great Learning (Daxue) given by the philosophers Xiong Shili (1886-1968) and Mou Zongsan (1909-1995) I try to enter into the idea of democratization in contemporary Confucian thought by taking into account the perspective of a disastrous tension between cultural continuity and revolutionary break with the past in the process of Chinese modernization. Mou Zongsan’s distinction between “way of politics” and “way of governing” will serve as a starting point for critical reflections on the contemporary and transcultural significance of his political philosophy.
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Marina Koutsoubou Friendship in the Philosophical Thought of Aristotle and Confucius: Convergences and Divergences
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Both Aristotle and Confucius dealt with the moral virtue of friendship, each one on different grounds and for different reasons. Most contemporary scholars conclude that their views on friendship are quite contrary. In this brief essay I will first outline the differences in the way each one conceives the moral virtue of friendship. Then I will focus on the account of friendship both provide; in particular I will examine whether and in what degree Aristotle and Confucius conceive friendship as a natural and, therefore, necessary bond between men, or as a matter of personal choice; following that I will discuss their views on whether utility-based concerns should be admitted in friendship or not. I will try to prove that beyond the undeniable divergences there are also essential convergences in their views on friendship, especially when it comes to the way they perceive friendship of the good itself.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Elizabeth Li Zhang Zai on “Becoming a Sage”: An Interpretation Based on Virtue Ethics, Philosophical Psychology and Moral Cognitive Development
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Recent attention to Confucianism takes Western virtue ethics as a way of focusing Neo-Confucianism in general and Zhang Zai (张载) in particular. This paper will summarize some recent views of virtue ethics and apply them to Zhang Zai’s theories. The paper will begin with an account of Neo-Confucianism, in particular the ideal state of development towards sagehood. Aspects of virtue ethics as it concerns this theme in areas of philosophical psychology and developmental theories will be introduced. Finally Western virtue ethics will be applied to selected themes in Zhang Zai, specifically the aspects of practical wisdom (phronesis) emphasized by strands of virtue ethics is foundationally relevant to the moral philosophy of Zhang Zai. I hope to suggest by comparing and contrasting Zhang Zai’s views with more recent aspects of virtue ethics that the Chinese scholar’s views now deserve renewed attention.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Jana S. Rošker Modern Confucianism and the Cultural Conditionality of Modernity: Ontological Approaches
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As a major source of social values, Modern Confucian theory assumes essential significance amidst the proliferation of instrumental rationality in contemporary China. This current is distinguished by a multifaceted attempt to revitalize traditional thought by means of new influences borrowed or derived from Western systems. It defines itself with a search for a synthesis between “Western” and traditional Chinese thought, aiming to elaborate a new system of ideas and values, suitable for the modern, globalized society. Modern Confucian discourses are based on the supposition that Confucian thought could be amalgamated with capitalistic development. Its proponents also believe that a renewed form of this traditional Chinese system of philosophical and moral thought could serve as a basis for endowing modern life with ethical meaning and as a “spiritual salve” for the alienation which appeared as an undesirable side-effect of capitalist competition and profit-seeking. The present contribution examines the ways in which Modern Confucian philosophers changed the framework within which traditional Chinese philosophical inquiry has been carried out. The article investigates the ontological approaches that have led to this paradigm shift which became axiomatic for the further development of intercultural theoretical syntheses between Europe and China.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Xianxia Shao A Defense of Mencius’ Moral Sentimentalism
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Mencius’ moral philosophy is essentially a sort of moral sentimentalism that is very similar to the one that David Hume and Michael Slote have defended. Mencius took the “four beginnings” as the foundation of his moral sentimentalism. He claimed any virtue norm or virtuous act must originate from the natural, involuntary emotional reactions of human beings. His normative ethics is a sort of sentimentalist normative virtue ethics. His evaluative terms, such as “benevolent,” “human,” “gentleman” and their antonyms such as “malevolent,” “inhuman,” “villain,” etc., are in fact virtuous evaluative terms suffused with passions or emotional attitudes. In his view, virtues and behavior norms do not come from our empirical or rational cognition of the world but from human natural feelings. Therefore, the most efficient means of moral education is not to inculcate into the people empirical and rational knowledge about the world but to “seek the cause in oneself,” and foster and develop the feelings of the “four beginnings” already in the moral agent. As long as one keeps those feelings and extends them, one will be able to “know virtue,” to “know heaven,” and thus, “Everyone potentially could be a sage.”
11. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Wei Sun Is Fa a Way for Achieving Good Government?: A Re-examination of Xunzi’s Political Teachings
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Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi had different views of good government. Due to their different understandings of good government, Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi formulated their different approaches to achieving a good government. Confucius argued for li and allowed some room for fa in achieving a good government. However, since Mencius’ view is that a good government results from the moral cultivation of the ruler, ministers and people and moral persuasion, he neglected li as the approach to achieve a good government. In this case, Xunzi developed Confucius’ teachings of li and fa and not only regarded li as necessary for achieving a good government, but also, beyond Confucius, regarded fa as an indispensable way in cultivating the people to be moral.
12. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Kai Wang Confucian Ethics as Virtue Ethics: A Case Study Based on Xunzi
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Against the background of modern academic study, this article consciously uses Aristotle’s virtue ethics as a tool to theoretically analyze Xunzi’s ethical philosophy. This article tries to briefly analyze the basic structure of Xunzi’s moral philosophy and to reveal its unique rationalist theoretical character by exploring the following three topics: “the understanding of human beings,” “the establishment of a moral foundation,” and “the accomplishment of virtue in practice.” From the perspective of comparative philosophy, this article can also be viewed as a model for bringing about communication and synthesis between two philosophical traditions, namely Confucian ethics and Western virtue ethics.
13. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Yi Wang, Xiaowei Fu Confucius on the Relation between Beauty/Yue and Goodness/Li
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Yuejiao (Music Education) was the primary form of education ever since the time of Emperors Yao and Shun. This tradition of valuing Yue (樂 music, beauty) over Li (禮 ritual, goodness) lasted till the Three Dynasties period. After the Spring and Autumn Period, Lijiao (Moral Education) became the dominant form, but it still consisted of a lot of yue (music education). Seeing the declining of this tradition, Confucius claimed to “follow upon Zhou”. That is, he wanted to recover and inherit this ideology that engages primarily in music cultivation supplemented by ritual normalization. His statement: “Let a man be first incited by the Songs, then given a firm footing by the study of ritual (Li), and finally perfected by music(yue),” also shows his emphasis on Yue. More proofs can be found in Confucian classics such as Analects and the Record of Rites, in which discourses on/ about beauty and goodness are characterized by the juxtaposition of Li and Yue to serve a higher purpose for the pre-Qin Confucians. However, this ideology was not inherited by later Confucians. And the consequence is with the increasing status and impact of Confucianism in China in the past 2500 years, such a tradition of valuing Yue over Li gradually turned into a tradition of valuing Li over Yue. This, however, is inconsistent with both Confucius’ ideology of Li and Yue and the real characteristic of Chinese cultural tradition.
14. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Keqian Xu Zhongdaology: A Confucian Way of Philosophical Thinking and Moral Life
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Due to the differences of languages, “ontology” in its original Western sense has not been conceptualized in ancient China. The most prominent and unique feature of Confucian philosophy in early ancient China is “Zhongdaology” instead of “ontology”. Zhongdaology is the philosophical inquiring for the way of “Zhong”, which is based on all the primordially related semantic meanings embodied in the Chinese character “zhong”. Zhongdaological philosophy indicates an association between human beings and their world, a coincidence between subjectivity and objectivity, a harmony of internal world and external world, an intersubjective perspective between self and others, an equilibrium among different ideas and divergences. Zhongdaology advocates inclusiveness and harmony when dealing with conflicts and contradictions. The rich historical and cultural background of Zhongdaology enriches it with profound philosophic significance, and makes it a general philosophy of Confucianism. Zhongdaology not only provides a Confucian approach to some fundamental ontological and epistemological issues, a philosophical methodology for establishing ethical norms, moral standards, social justice and political principles, but also provides an angle to understand certain aspects of Chinese way of life.
15. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Leonid E. Yangutov Confucianism and Buddhism in the era of Wei (221-262) and Jin (265-420)
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Confucianism continued to maintain its positions in the bureaucratic sphere and in the daily life of people in the periods of Wei and Jin. After its deep crisis at the end of the Han empire, it continued to be the ideology of the serviceman class in the bureaucratic field. In the Chinese daily life its significance was determined by Confucian principles of social regulation. The mentality of the Chinese was Confucian. Buddhism had to encounter that mentality. That’s why Confucianism significantly adjusted to the process of assimilation of Buddhism in China. Confucian social position was one of the main obstacles for Buddhism and led to a clash between the Buddhist Sangha and the state bureaucracy. The dialogue between the Sangha and the state bureaucracy ended with the Buddhist defeat. The periods of Wei and Jin became critical for Confucianism. At those periods Confucianism defended its right to be an ideology of serviceman class and kept its main positions in the field of social regulation.
articles in chinese
16. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Shaoming Chen Between Benevolence and Righteousness
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The notion of benevolence-righteousness (ren-yi 仁义) un-doubtedly constitutes the core of Mencius’s theory concerning the goodness of human nature, it also holds the key to the entire Confucian ethics. Despite the fact that we normally give Confucius credit for his discussion over the concept of benevolence (ren 仁), it is Mencius who creates the conjoint of benevolence-righteousness (ren-yi 仁义).But as a category benevolence-righteous-ness (ren-yi 仁义) does not represent a sheer combination of benevolence (ren 仁) and righteousness (yi 义), but suggests a new or reformative version of this line of thought in the intellectual development within Confucian tradition. Mencius’s unique contribution by no means lies in an effort of simply forming a linkage between the two terms, but in the fact that he gives this concept a deeper connotation so as to transform it into an intrinsic-meaning-structure. Mencius’s thinking on this regard is mainly expressed through his theory of human nature, which forms the relation of benevolence (ren仁) and righteous-ness (yi 义), the two most important among the four starting point (si-duan四端). This paper aims to seek a comprehension of the Confucian stance towards evil or the negative phenomena in morality. According to Mencius’s under-standing, the meaning of righteousness is twofold, namely the sense of shame and the hatred of evil. Insofar as consciousness-structure is concerned, both pertain to the compassion for the innocent victims. The former refers to sort of reflection and repentance due to one’s sense of compassion; the latter to one’s coming forward against evil driven by the sense of compassion. Together they depict the whole picture of the Confucian treatment of the evil or immoral phenomena. Thus the sense of shame and that of the hatred of evil become an essential resource for the study of the sense of justice in Confucianism. In a word, the notion of benevolence-righteousness (ren-yi 仁义) indicates the combination of promoting the good and prohibiting the evil, whose function can be taken in both ethical and political terms.
17. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Zhang Haiyan “Good by Beauty” or “Unification of Beauty and Good”: Comparison of Aesthetic Status in Kant’s and Mou Zong-san’s Theory
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Both Kant’s and Mou Zong-san’s aesthetics have its own moral idea. The central concept of Kant’s theory (free will) is only a postulate by which beauty connects nature and freedom and beauty can be free of the dependency of good. Kant’s great works “Three Critics” reveal that and emphasize on the independency of beauty, which regards beauty as the intermedium of “Beauty by Good”. But the central concept of Mou Zong-san’s moral metaphysics (goodness) is the noumenon of “Unification of Noumenon and Function”. It means the dependency of objectivity on subjectivity, transcendent on empirical, then beauty have the moral connotation and the meaning of empirical experiences. Beauty is brought into the field of goodness and loses its independency, and then beauty is united into morality and under the shadow of good. In conclusion, Kant’s theory unfolds the western tradition of reason and Mou Zon-san’s theory unfolds the oneness of Chinese tradition.
18. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Jinglin Li On the Kingcraft Spirit of Confucianism
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The Confucian theory of kingcraft represented a spirit of “moral supremacy”. Confucius and Mencius distinguished “kingcraft” from “rule by force”, which not only emphasized their essential difference at the level of value, but also paid great attention to their relevancy and overlapping of the meaning of existence at the level of being beneficial to society and achievements. The Confucian put emphasis on “justice and humanity” as the highest principle in ethical community, instead of “profit”. Only with morality and justice as the ultimate purpose and the highest principle, can utilitarian successes be purified and can the value as a human being be realized, therefore, constituted the true connotation and internal elements of “kingcraft”. Confucian kingcraft theory can be summarized as: a kind of morality-based principle of the unity of morality-utility. With regard to the principles of international relations, the Confucian kingcraft theory put particular emphasis on the internal unity of the way of heaven, god’s will, benevolent heart, the public opinion, people’s emotions and feelings, and highlighted the transcendental meaning of the principle of moral supremacy. Nowadays, the kingcraft spirit is still of great significance theoretically and practically.
19. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Lanfen Li An Alternative Interpretation of Neo-Confucianism: An Analysis on Tang Yongtong’s Li Xue Zhan Yan
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Tang Yongtong’s contribution is not directly related to the topic we discussed, that is the interpretation of classic works. However, his study on the history of the classical interpretaion has played a special role in this field, that’s why we should take him into the horizon of our discussion. Li Xue Zhan Yan is one of his early works, the theme of which is to interpret the thoughts of Neo-Confucianism. Therefore, through analyzing this article, this paper wants to disclose Tang’s unique concern on the thoughts of Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming, and elucidate his particular opinions on classic and interpretation, as well as his unique style of interpretaion. This job will be divided into four parts, and it will point out that, the way of Tang’s interpretation is neither traditional explaination of word, e.g. commentary sentence by sentence, nor pure theoretical construction, by exerting Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming’s thoughts freely. In contrast, Tang has his own concern. From his own understanding of Chinese culture and the faith that Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming’s thoughts can rescue man’s mind, moral and malady of his time, Tang convinces that in the classics of Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming, there is some special ‘meaning’. In his classical interpretation, Tang not only has some cultural conservative feelings, but also requires ‘content’ (An) and ‘practical’(Shi). However, actually, in his afterwards life, this kind of interpreting style is not persisted.
20. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 9
Yongming Li 墨子环境思想的现代意义
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现代社会发展,强调的是可持续发展。其核心是经济发展与保护资源、保护生态环境的协调一致,是为了让子孙后代能够享有充分的资源和良好的自然环境。即要求在严格控制人口、提高人口素质和保护环境、资源永续利用的前提下进行经济和社会的发展。墨子“尊天” 、“崇地”,就是尊重大自然的规律,顺应自然。他的核心思想“兼爱”,除了要求处理好人与人之间的关系,更希望人与自然之间兼相爱交相利。他提出“节用”,看到了环境容量的有限性。墨子倡导人与自然的和谐相处,在今天看来,特别难能可贵。可以说,墨子的环境思想是中国古代环境思想的一个重要里程碑。今天,环境问题发展到十分尖锐的地步,在全球范围内出现了不利于人类生存和发展的征兆,资源短缺、耗竭,表明了环境问题的复杂性和长远性。兼爱,显示出墨子这位伟大哲人思想之深刻。循此,可以为人类的现代发展找到一条可行的出路,使子孙后代能够永续发展和安居乐业。