Moral autonomy, civil liberties, and confucianism

Philosophy East and West 52 (3):281-310 (2002)
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Abstract

Three claims are defended. (1) There is a conception of moral autonomy in Confucian ethics that to a degree can support toleration and freedom. However, (2) Confucian moral autonomy is different from personal autonomy, and the latter gives a stronger justification for civil and personal liberties than does the former. (3) The contemporary appeal of Confucianism would be strengthened by including personal autonomy, and this need not be seen as forsaking Confucian ethics but rather as an internal revision in response to new social circumstances. From this inclusion emerges a new theory of liberties that recognizes the value of personal autonomy and the importance of the ethical good that liberties instrumentally serve to promote

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Joseph Chan
University of Hong Kong

Citations of this work

Xunzi on Moral Expertise.Justin Tiwald - 2012 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (3):275-293.
Confucian freedom: assessing the debate.Robert A. Carleo Iii - 2021 - Asian Philosophy 31 (3):211-228.

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