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Summary ‘Neo-Confucianism’ typically refers to the revival of classical Confucianism developed between the eleventh and the eighteenth century in China, spanning over four dynasties in Chinese history: Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911). In Chinese intellectual history, neo-Confucianism is standardly divided into two periods: Song-Ming neo-Confucianism and Qing neo-Confucianism. Neo-Confucianism was a new form of Confucianism that came after the dominance of Daoism and subsequently Buddhism within Chinese intellectual circles. Neo-Confucianism revitalized classical Confucianism and expanded the traditional philosophical discourse to new dimensions. Neo-Confucianism invigorated the metaphysical speculation found in classics such as the Yijing and incorporated different concepts and perspectives from Chinese Daoism and Buddhism into its discourse. Neo-Confucians’ metaphysical views lay the foundation for their moral theories. In their various debates, Neo-Confucians touched on the possibility of an innate moral sense and the various means of moral knowledge. In Neo-Confucians’ views, morality takes its root either in the universal goodness of human nature, or in the individual’s moral reflection and cultivation of the human mind. This debate between the School of Nature and the School of Mind was one of the major themes in Neo-Confucianism. Finally, in Neo-Confucianism we see a consistent effort not only to redefine a realist worldview that affirms the world as existing independently of human conception, but also to reassert (after Daoism and Buddhism) a humanist worldview that places human beings at the center of meaning and values. These trends delineate the spirit of Neo-Confucianism.
Key works Other than the short selective translation in the Source Book (Chan 1963, under General Overview), there is little translation of primary texts (the ones available will be mentioned under individual philosopher). Of secondary materials, Makeham 2010 gives the most complete coverage of neo-Confucianism, but it is a collection of essays by different authors. Cheng 1991 is a collection of a seasoned scholar’s essays on Confucianism, and Part III is devoted to Neo-Confucianism.  Both Bol 2008 and De Bary 1981 take the historical approach.  Bol 2008 covers the cultural and political background in which neo-Confucianism emerged and developed, while De Bary 1981 traces the development of neo-Confucian orthodoxy from the Yuan dynasty to Tokugawa Japan. Liu 1998 provides a short beginner’s guide to neo-Confucianism in addition to classical Confucianism.
Introductions

Bol 2008 takes an intellectual historical approach to Neo-Confucianism. It is useful for readers who want to know the historical background of Neo-Confucianism.

Cheng, Chung-ying. New Dimensions of Confucian and Neo-Confucian Philosophy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. 1991.

This book is a collection of essays by the author, who has been plowing the field for many years and is instrumental in promoting Chinese philosophy in the West. These essays were written over a span of twenty years from 1965 to 1985. Part III of this book contains seven sophisticated papers on key thinkers such as Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming. The final essay, a comparative study on Neo-Confucianism and A. N. Whitehead’s process philosophy, led an important direction for comparative philosophy.

De Bary 1981, written by a distinguished historian de Bary, contains three essays.  The first essay explains the historical and political background of neo-Confucianism in the Yuan dynasty. The second essay analyzes how neo-Confucian orthodoxy was established and fortified.  The final essay traces the intellectual history of neo-Confucian orthodoxy in Tokugawa Japan. This book is probably of interest only to scholars of intellectual history.

Liu 1998 provides a general introduction to Confucianism, and Part II deals specifically with Neo-Confucianism. The analysis is accessible but traditional.

Makeham 2010: This collection contains comprehensive essays that devote to the following Neo-Confucians: Zhou Dunyi, Shao Yong, Zhang Zai, Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao, Hu Hong, Zhang Shi, Zhu Xi, Lu Zuqian, Chen Chun, Lu Xiangshan, Wang Yangming, Liu Zongzhou, Wang Fuzhi, Li Guangdi and Dai Zhen. Each chapter provides solid introduction to the philosopher covered. Individual chapters will not be mentioned separately in the following bibliography.

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  1. Rethinking the Foundation and Development of “East Asian Silhak”: With a Focus on the Establishment of Its Concept and Periodic Classification.Kim Gyeol - 2024 - Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture 41:177-202.
    In the seventeenth to the eighteenth centuries, East Asia witnessed new academic trends emphasizing social practice and reform over theoretical considerations. These trends gave rise to Silhak 實學 (“Practical Learning”) in Korea in the late Joseon dynasty, Qixue 氣學 (“Learning of Vital Forces”) in China in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, and Kogaku 古學 (“Ancient Learning”) in Japan in the Edo period. A concept of “East Asian Silhak 東亞實學 (East Asian Practical Learning)” can be conceived in the context (...)
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  2. Novelty and Innovation, the Joy of Experimentation, and the “Investigation of Things” (gewu) in Pre-modern China: The Example of Gunpowder.David Bartosch, Aleksandar Kondinski & Bei Peng - 2024 - International Communication of Chinese Culture 11 (1):23–40.
    In this transdisciplinary investigation, we focus on the invention and development of gunpowder. We aim to answer the questions regarding (1) the inspiration behind the invention, including historical, mythological, and intellectual backgrounds, (2) how it came about in concreto, and (3) its impact on the history of science in China. We argue that the invention has to be viewed in a broader context and that various factors come into play with regard to the above questions. The discussion starts by examining (...)
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  3. Meritocracy and the Tests of Virtue in Greek and Confucian Political Thought.Justin Tiwald & Jeremy Reid - 2024 - Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture 41:111–147.
    A crucial tenet of virtue-based or expertise-based theorizing about politics is that there are ways to identify and select morally and epistemically excellent people to hold office. This paper considers historical challenges to this task that come from within Greek and Confucian thought and political practice. Because of how difficult it is to assess character in ordinary settings, we argue that it is even more difficult to design institutions that select for virtue at the much wider political scale. Specifically, we (...)
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  4. Song ming li xue tong lun: Yi zhong wen hua xue de quan shi.Hanmin Zhu - 2000 - Changsha shi: Hunan Sheng xin hua shu dian jing xiao.
    本书包括四篇内容:第一篇总论;第二篇北宋的理学;第三篇南宋、元代的理学;第四篇明代的理学。.
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  5. Song Ming li xue yan jiu.Liwen Zhang - 1985 - Beijing: Ren min chu ban she.
    本书包括;绪论;横渠学——张载的气学思想;二程学——程颢、程颐的道学思想;阳明学——王守仁的心学思想;船山学——王夫之的气学思想等。.
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  6. Yu Zhu Xi Wang Yangming dui hua.Meihua Guo - 2002 - Shanghai: Shanghai gu ji chu ban she.
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  7. Ming Qing zhi ji san da si xiang jia.Wan'geng Zheng - 1992 - Beijing: Xin hua chu ban she.
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  8. Karl Jaspers’s philosophischer Glaube (Philosophical Belief) and Wang Yangming’s zixin 自信 (Self-Believing).David Bartosch - 2019 - Minima Sinica. Zeitschrift Zum Chinesischen Geist 31:45-64.
  9. Tierethik in der chinesischen Tradition [Animal Ethics in the Chinese Tradition].David Bartosch - 2015 - Coincidentia. Zeitschrift für Europäische Geistesgeschichte 6 (2):449-468.
  10. Orchideen als konfuzianisches Charakterbild im klassischen China [Orchids as Confucian Character Image in Classical China].David Bartosch - 2009 - Die Orchidee 60 (5/6):25-27.
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  11. Zur Rede vom immanenten guten (Ge-)Wissen (liángzhī 良知) bei Wáng Yángmíng (王陽明 1472–1529) aus interkulturell-komparativer Perspektive [On Wáng Yángmíng’s (王陽明 1472–1529) Understanding of an Immanent Good-Knowing (liángzhī 良知) from an Intercultural and Comparative Perspective].David Bartosch - 2011 - In Christine Zinke (ed.), Oldenburger Jahrbuch für Philosophie 2010 [Oldenburg Yearbook for Philosophy 2010]. BIS-Verlag der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg. pp. 7-37.
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  12. 卫礼贤与“道”——《中国哲学导论》中“道”的一词多译之探究 [Richard Wilhelm and "Dao": The Five Translations of "Dao" in Chinese Philosophy: An Introduction].David Bartosch & Bei Peng - 2022 - Guowai Shehui Kexue 国外社会科学 Social Sciences Abroad 354 (6):180-188.
    本文通过对德国著名汉学家、翻译家卫礼贤的最后一部哲学论著《中国哲学导 论》(1929)的翻译和研究,整理归纳了卫礼贤对中国哲学的核心词“道”的五种不同译法, 深入剖析了他如何用“一词多译”的方法,对中国哲学史上不同文本、不同哲学家、不同时代 及不同思想维度中的“道”进行诠释。同时,本文以术语学(Terminologie)为研究方法,聚焦 于卫礼贤用来翻译“道”的几个德语哲学术语,并对这些词汇进行溯源。以此为切入点, 本文 分析了卫礼贤作为对中国哲学与德国哲学均有深刻理解的汉学家,有意识地从跨文化比较哲学 的角度出发,将“道”转换为德国哲学中与之相匹配的哲学概念,并将其介绍给德国思想界的 路径。重新审视卫礼贤对“道”的“一词多译”,在加强当今中外文化互鉴和中文著作外译方面 具有积极且重要的作用。[This contribution is based on the translation and study of the book Chinesische Philosophie: Eine Einführung (Chinese Philosophy: An Introduction, 1929). It is the last philosophy-related work by the famous German sinologist and translator Richard Wilhelm. The article provides a compilation, summary, and in-depth analysis concerning Wilhelm's handling of the translation of "Dao", the "Urwort" (Heidegger) of Chinese philosophy. The study provides insight into how Wilhelm has used a poly-perspective method to (...)
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  13. A Dilemma for Yong Huang’s Neo-Confucian Moral Realism.James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    Yong Huang presents criticisms of Neo-Aristotelian meta-ethical naturalism and argues Zhu Xi’s Neo-Confucian approach is superior in defending moral realism. After presenting Huang’s criticisms of the Aristotelian metaethical naturalist picture, such as that of Rosalind Hursthouse, I argue that Huang’s own views succumb to the same criticisms. His metaethics does not avoid an allegedly problematic ‘gap,’ whether ontological or conceptual, between possessing a human nature and exemplifying moral goodness. This ontological gap exists in virtue of the fact that it is (...)
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  14. Neo-Confucianism in Human Relations of Japanese Management.Robert Elliott Allinson - 1989 - Asian Culture Quarterly (3):57-70.
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  15. Confucian Perspectives on Civil Society and Government.Peter Nosco - 2001 - In Nancy L. Rosenblum & Robert C. Post (eds.), Civil Society and Government. Princeton University Press. pp. 334-359.
  16. Chinese Philosophy and Its Thinkers.Dawid Rogacz (ed.) - 2024 - Bloomsbury.
  17. Xin ru jia lun cong: Taibei qi nian: zhe xue pian.Guang Luo - 1972 - Taibei Shi: Taiwan xue sheng shu ju.
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  18. Hsin ju chia ssu hsiang shih.Chia-sen Chang - 1979
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  19. Ru xue yu xian dai shi jie.Zhongming Xie - 1986 - Taibei Shi: Tai wan xue sheng shu ju.
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  20. Xin ru jia si shu.Jianfu Chen - 1984 - Taibei Shi: Xin ru shu ju.
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  21. Ru jia zheng zhi si xiang yu min zhu zi you ren quan.Fuguan Xu - 1988 - Taibei Shi: Taiwan xue sheng shu ju you xian gong si. Edited by Xinyi Xiao.
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  22. Zhongguo li xue shi.Fengzhen Jia - 1937 - Shanghai: Xin hua shu dian Shanghai fa xing suo fa xing.
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  23. Xin xue yu mei xue.Shilin Zhao - 1992 - Beijing: Xin hua shu dian jing xiao.
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  24. Lu Wang xue shu: yi xi jing shen zhe xue.Fancheng Xu - 1994 - Shanghai: Shanghai yuan dong chu ban she.
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  25. Zum Beginn abendländisch-chinesischer Tierphilosophie: Reflexionen zu einem wiederentdeckten Text [On the Beginnings of European-Chinese Animal Philosophy: Reflections on a Rediscovered Text].David Bartosch - 2022 - Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 47 (3):391-430.
    Der Text "Sing-li-tchin-thsiouan die wahrhafte Darstellung der Naturphilosophie (erster Theil)" kann als erstes Dokument einer transkulturellen abendländisch-chinesischen Perspektive im Bereich der Tierphilosophie gelten. Es handelt sich um die deutsche Übersetzung (1840) eines Mandschu-Texts durch Hans Conon von der Gabelentz. Obwohl für das Werk eines Chinesen erachtet, geht die Schrift auf einen chinesischen Urtext (1753) des Jesuiten Alexandre de Lacharme zurück. Eher implizit und allusiv begegnen sich in den inhaltlichen und übersetzungsgeschichtlichen Zusammenhängen cartesianische, neokonfuzianische und mandschurische Denkelemente. Im ersten Teil des (...)
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  26. Confucianism and the Three Timeless Truths: A Study of the Chinese Concept of Order (Part Two).Abhilash G. Nath - 2022 - The Philosopher 2 (THURSDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2022):19 - 31.
    The present study tries to understand the worldview associated with Confucianism and examines the concept of “order” in relation to its three timeless truths – the concept of time, the relativistic worldview, and the clan.
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  27. Confucianism and the Three Timeless Truths: A Study of the Chinese Concept of Order (Part One).Abhilash G. Nath - 2022 - The Philosopher 2 ( FRIDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2022):10 - 19.
    The present study tries to understand the worldview associated with Confucianism and examines the concept of “order” in relation to its three timeless truths – the concept of time, the relativistic worldview, and the clan.
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  28. Thinking the Starting Point of Chinese Theology through Dharma as Nonduality in Chan Buddhism.Jizhang Yi - 2022 - Cultural China 2 (111):70-78.
    Though scholars of Chinese Theology have expanded the inter-religious dialogue between Christian theology and traditional Chinese philosophy and culture from Neo-Confucianism to other fields such as Taoism, the dialogue with Chinese Buddhism, especially Chan Buddhism, has not been carried out yet. This article mainly reflects on the starting point of Leung In-sing’s Chinese Theology through the perspective of Dharma as Nonduality in Chan. Firstly, it briefly outlines the background and basic ideas of Chinese Theology formulated by Leung In- sing, focusing (...)
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  29. On Chinese Philosophy.Justin Tiwald - 2022 - 3:16AM.
    Interview of Justin Tiwald on Chinese philosophy.
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  30. The Individualistic Roots of Virtue.Yvonne Chiu - 2022 - Journal of Social and Political Philosophy 1 (1):79-84.
    In *Against Political Equality: The Confucian Case*, BAI Tongdong says that his main target is democracy, but he focuses much of his critiques on liberalism, rejecting its foundational value of autonomy in favor of Confucian grounds for governance. Given the extent of his concurrence with liberalism, however, it would be more consistent with Bai’s stated aim (of tempering the democratic part and shoring up the liberal side of liberal democracy) to make common cause with liberalism against populism. Mencian compassion and (...)
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  31. Political Philosophy in the Global South: Harmony in Africa, East Asia, and South America.Thaddeus Metz - 2023 - In Uchenna B. Okeja (ed.), Routledge Handbook of African Political Philosophy. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 369-383.
    Harmony as a basic value is neglected in internationally influential philosophical discussions about rights, power, and other facets of public policy; it is not prominent in articles that appear in widely read journals or in books published by presses with a global reach. Of particular interest, political philosophers and policy makers remain ignorant of the similarities and differences between various harmony-oriented approaches to institutional choice from around the world. In this chapter, I begin to rectify these deficiencies by critically discussing (...)
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  32. The problem of evil in the Neo-Confucian context: Wang Yangming’s view on evil.Xiaomei Yang - 2020 - Asian Philosophy 30 (4):351-366.
    Wang Yangming believes that human nature is entirely good. A question naturally arises: where is evil from? It has been argued that Wang’s idealism gives rise to the problem of evil. I first argue...
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  33. Review of Wm. Theodore de Bary, The Trouble with Confucianism. [REVIEW]Joseph A. Adler - 1993 - Journal of Chinese Religions 27:137-142.
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  34. Review of Lee Dian Rainey, Confucius and Confucianism: The Essentials. [REVIEW]Joseph A. Adler - 2010 - Journal of Chinese Religion 38:127-129.
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  35. Review of Xinzhong Yao, ed., RoutledgeCurzon Encyclopedia of Confucianism. [REVIEW]Joseph A. Adler - 2005 - Religious Studies Review 39:267-268.
  36. Review of Paul Goldin, Confucianism. [REVIEW]Joseph A. Adler - 2013 - China Review International 19 (1):67-71.
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  37. Chinese Religious Traditions.Joseph Alan Adler - 2002 - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, USA: Prentice-Hall.
    A short textbook survey of Chinese religion, from ancient times to the present.
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  38. 與非洲相比在中國的價值.Thaddeus Metz - 2000 - In Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (ed.), 汉学与当代中国座谈会文集(2017). China Social Sciences Press. pp. 612-619.
    Chinese (character) translation of part of an article that appeared in Philosophy East and West (2017).
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  39. Shen Gua's Empiricism by Ya ZUO. [REVIEW]James D. Sellmann - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (1):1-5.
    History of science students will want to read this book. Professor Zuo animates the life, career, and thought of SHEN Gua in this delightful historical, biographical work. SHEN Gua embodied the classical spirit of the scholar-official during the Song dynasty. Shen is the author of Brush Talks from Dream Brook, a canonical text in the study of the history of science in China and in the Notebook style of writing. Zuo argues, using a double-narrative structure, that Shen’s intellectual life and (...)
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  40. Makeham, John, ed., Dao Companion to Neo-Confucian Philosophy: Dordrecht: Springer, 2010, xliii + 488 pages.Deborah A. Sommer - 2014 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 13 (2):283-287.
    This volume includes nineteen articles by scholars from Asia, North America, and Europe on Chinese thinkers from the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries. Included here are intellectual biographies of literati such as Zhou Dunyi, the Cheng brothers, Zhu Xi, Zhang Shi, Hu Hong, Wang Yangming, and Dai Zhen. Essays are arranged chronologically, and most begin with a biographical sketch of their subject. They provide variety rather than uniformity of approach, but all in all these essays are remarkably rich and offer (...)
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  41. Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy.Justin Tiwald (ed.) - forthcoming - New York: Oxford University Press.
    The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy is a collection of essays on important texts and figures in the history of Chinese thought. The essays cover both well-known texts such as the Analects and the Zhuangzi as well as many of the lesser-known thinkers in the classical and post-classical Chinese tradition. Most of the chapters focus on thinkers or texts in one of three important historical movements: Classical ("pre-Qin") Chinese philosophy, Chinese Buddhism, and the Confucian response to Buddhism ("neo-Confucianism" broadly construed).
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  42. Intellectual Intuition, Moral Metaphysics, and Chinese Philosophy.Jingjing Li - 2018 - In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur und Freiheit. Akten des XII. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. De Gruyter. pp. 3731–3738.
    In this paper, I scrutinize Mou Zongsan’s doctrine of Moral Metaphysics in which Mou fuses Kant’s architectonic of knowledge with Chinese philosophy. Through this doctrine, Mou contends that: 1) according to Chinese philosophy, humans do have access to intellectual intuition; 2) this possibility justifies the legitimacy and priority of Chinese philosophy. To examine Mou’s argument, I first present Mou’s reading of Kant’s conception of intellectual intuition; then, I elucidate the way in which Mou identifies intellectual intuition as the intuitive knowledge (...)
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  43. Neo-Confucianism: Metaphysics, Mind, and Morality.JeeLoo Liu - 2017 - Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
    Solidly grounded in Chinese primary sources, Neo Confucianism: Metaphysics, Mind, and Morality engages the latest global scholarship to provide an innovative, rigorous, and clear articulation of neo-Confucianism and its application to Western philosophy. -/- Contextualizes neo-Confucianism for contemporary analytic philosophy by engaging with today’s philosophical questions and debates Based on the most recent and influential scholarship on neo-Confucianism, and supported by primary texts in Chinese and cross-cultural secondary literature Presents a cohesive analysis of neo-Confucianism by investigating the metaphysical foundations of (...)
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  44. Kurdistan: The Taiwan of the Middle East?Yvonne Chiu - 2018 - Society 55 (4):344-348.
    Taiwan and Kurdistan appear to have little in common, but the progressive values of these two societies embedded within hostile regions make them both natural allies and important strategic assets in the U.S.’s and international community’s long-term fight against authoritarianism and radical religious theocracies. Instead, they have been ignored and/or exploited in the pursuit of short-term geopolitical and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, which comes at great cost to American and international values as well as long-term (...)
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  45. The Four-Seven Debate: An Annotated Translation of the Most Famous Controversy in Korean Neo-Confucian Thought.Michael Levey, Michael C. Kalton, Oaksook C. Kim, Sung Bae Park, Young-Chan Ro, Tu Wei-Ming & Samuel Yamashita - 1998 - Philosophy East and West 48 (2):355.
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  46. Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism.Justin Tiwald - 2018 - In Nancy E. Snow (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 171-89.
    In this chapter the author defends the view that the major variants of Confucian ethics qualify as virtue ethics in the respects that matter most, which concern the focus, investigative priority, and explanatory priority of virtue over right action. The chapter also provides short summaries of the central Confucian virtues and then explains how different Confucians have understood the relationship between these and what some regard as the chief or most comprehensive virtue, ren (humaneness or benevolence). Finally, it explicates what (...)
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  47. Moral authority and rulership in Ming literati thought.Peter Ditmanson - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 16 (4):430-449.
    This article explores the crises and debates surrounding the management of imperial family matters, especially succession, under the Ming Dynasty as an approach to understanding the limits of imperial power and the nature of literati discourse on the imperium. Ming officials and members of the literati community became passionately engaged in the debates on imperial family decisions, regarding the moral order of the imperial family as a key feature of their prerogatives over imperial power. This prerogative was based upon claims (...)
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  48. Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction.Stephen C. Angle & Justin Tiwald - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Polity. Edited by Justin Tiwald.
    Neo-Confucianism is a philosophically sophisticated tradition weaving classical Confucianism together with themes from Buddhism and Daoism. It began in China around the eleventh century CE, played a leading role in East Asian cultures over the last millennium, and has had a profound influence on modern Chinese society. -/- Based on the latest scholarship but presented in accessible language, Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction is organized around themes that are central in Neo-Confucian philosophy, including the structure of the cosmos, human nature, ways (...)
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  49. Democracy without Autonomy: Moral and Personal Autonomy in Democratic Confucianism.Yvonne Chiu - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (1):47-60.
    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 (...)
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  50. On the Aesthetic Significance of Wang Fuzhi's Theory of the Unity of Poetry and Music, with Criticisms of Certain Biases in the Study of His Theory of Poetics.Zhang Jiemo - 1990 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 21 (3):26.
    In recent years, studies on Wang Fuzhi's theory of poetics have tended to emphasize his depiction of circumstantial relationships. After reading Wang Fuzhi's theoretical writings on poetry, this author has come to believe that the proposition, "Poetry and music derive from the same principle" [shi yue zhi li yi],1 is also one of the fundamental perspectives in Wang Fuzhi's theory of poetry and song-making. Wang Fuzhi clearly described the relationship between poetry and music as one in which "music and poetry (...)
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