Filiality, compassion, and confucian democracy

Asian Philosophy 18 (3):279 – 298 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


_Ren, the Confucian virtue par excellence, is often explained on two different accounts: on the one hand, filiality, a uniquely Confucian social-relational virtue; on the other hand, commiseration innate in human nature. Accordingly there are two competing positions in interpreting ren: one that is utterly positive about the realization of universal love by the graduated extension of filial love, and the other that sees the inevitable tension between the particularism of filial love and the universalism of compassionate love and champions the latter in that filial love appears to create a serious obstacle to modernizing Confucianism. Nevertheless, both interpretations agree that compassion, given its universal and humanist implications, can be unquestionably conducive to the modern project of 'Confucian democracy'. This paper counters this shared view by arguing that in order to make Confucian democracy culturally meaningful and politically viable, it must accommodate uniquely Confucian relational virtues, particularly filiality_



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,923

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

92 (#189,918)

6 months
14 (#199,860)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sungmoon Kim
City University of Hong Kong

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations