Do Not Take Confucians as Kantians: Comments on Liu Qingping’s Interpretation of Confucian Teachings

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7 (1):45-49 (2008)
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Abstract

LIU Qingping’s criticism of Confucian teachings of filial piety, though valuable in stimulating critical attitude toward classic Confucianism, is largely based on misinterpreting Confucians as Kantians. The article tries to show that, unlike the Kantian rule-oriented ethic that provides universal ethical principles, Confucianism focuses on the process of person-making, and the teachings of classic Confucianism are more like gongfu instructions than moral principles. Looking from the gongfu perspective, Liu’s criticism becomes misdirected, if not irrelevant.

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Peimin Ni
Grand Valley State University