A Discourse on the “Person as a Moral Being” in Contemporary Taiwan Society: A Perspective of Confucian and Karol Wojtyła’s Philosophical Anthropology

In Justin Nnaemeka Onyeukaziri & Yang an ren (eds.), 台灣社會的多元發展與融合. pp. 105-128 (2022)
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This work raises the philosophical implications of the contemporary Taiwanese as a Chinese cultural people that socio-philosophically defined herself as a moral or ethical person. The political history of Taiwan has been marked by her struggle for self-determination. Self-determination based and reflected on a self-affirmation and self-identification that is internationally recognized and legitimized. This, no doubt, beyond the generalized bent by all nations towards globalization and multi-culturalism, there has been a more and more openness to the western nations. As she looks towards the West, she ipso facto looks away from the Main Land China. This work is neither an investigation in political science nor a historical critique and reconstruction. It is rather a philosophical critique on the philosophical anthropology of a people that is fundamentally ethical, that is now facing and open to climes of which their philosophical anthropology is not in essence ethical. Put differently, it is an evaluation on the notion of “the Taiwanese person”. An evaluation on how “the Taiwanese person” from the standpoint of philosophical anthropology could still be claimed to be a Confucian. The question is: could the Taiwanese person today be said to be「仁者」, if Confucian philosophical anthropology asserts, 「仁者人也」? Hence, this work will attempt to respond to this question by a philosophical analysis of the notion of 「仁者」as an ethical person based on Karol Wojtyłian notion of the ethical person. To understand the notion of the “ethical” or “moral” person, the concept of “ethics” or “moral” and “person” ought to be exposed. Therefore, in this work Wojtyłian philosophy shall be employed as the epistemological foundation for the definition and explication of the concepts: ethics, moral and person. The writer considers the philosophy of Karol Wojtyłian as a plausible paradigm amongst the western philosophies in the exposition of Confucian ethics and philosophical anthropology. The conception of person as “Person-revealed-in-action” or as it is popularly known, the “Acting Person”, underpins properties of the human person that are very fundamental in the Confucian conception of the person. This “person- revealed-in-action”, is an ethical person, as 「仁者」is 「人」in the Confucian Philosophy. This is as a result of the similarity in the fundamental claims maintained both in the Confucian ethics and philosophical anthropology and in that of Karol Wojtyła. Thus, this work is executed as follows: 1. Exposition of the Problematic. 2. Exposition of Confucian Philosophical Anthropology. 3. Exposition of Karol Wojtyła Ethical Person. 4. A Wojtyłain Reconstruction of 「仁者」and the Notion of Ethical Person. 5. Critique of the Taiwanese Person as「仁者」and Conclusion.



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Justin Nnaemeka Onyeukaziri
Fu Jen Catholic University

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