To become a filial son, a loyal subject, or a humane person?—On the confucian ideas about humanity

Asian Philosophy 19 (2):173 – 188 (2009)
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Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi regard the human as an emotional being and especially consider such moral feelings as humane love, filial piety and devoted loyalty to be the constituent elements of humanity. On the one hand, they try to integrate the corresponding multiple roles of the humane person, filial son and loyal subject in harmony in order to make one become a true human in the ethical sense; on the other hand, they assign a supreme position merely to filial piety or loyalty in cases of conflict because they regard one's parents or ruler as the greatest root of one's life, respectively. As a result, their ideas about humanity fall into some in-depth moral paradoxes, which might be resolved by a post-Confucian transformation of the traditional Confucian framework from particularistic consanguinism to universalistic humanism



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