Katrin Froese
University of Calgary
Kant and Confucius maintain that the art of becoming human is synonymous with the unending process of becoming moral. According to Kant, I must imagine a world in which the universality of my maxims were possible, while realizing that if such a world existed, then morality would disappear. Morality is an impossible possibility because it always meets resistance in our encounter with nature. According to Confucius, human beings become moral by integrating themselves into the already meaningful natural order that is tian 天. Like Kant, he upholds the dignity of human beings. For Kant this dignity rests on the autonomy of each human being’s reason, while for Confucius it is dependent upon our interconnection with each other, demanding ongoing self-extension. Despite these differences, the two thinkers would concur that our efforts at humanization are unceasing and that we may never fully live up to our human potential.
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-008-9070-0
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References found in this work BETA

Ren 仁 and Li 禮 in the Analects.Kwong-loi Shun - 2002 - In Bryan W. Van Norden (ed.), Confucius and the Analects: New Essays. Oup Usa. pp. 53--72.
Freedom and Moral Responsibility in Confucian Ethics.Chad Hansen - 1972 - Philosophy East and West 22 (2):169-186.

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Kant-Bibliographie 2008.Margit Ruffing - 2010 - Kant Studien 101 (4):487-538.

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