The Demandingness of Confucianism in the Case of Long-Term Caregiving1

Asian Philosophy 23 (2):166-179 (2013)
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Trends of recent demographical development show that the world's population is aging at its fastest clip ever. In this paper, I ask whether adult children should support the life of their chronically ill parents as long as it takes, and I analyze the matter with regard to the doctrine of Confucianism. As the virtue of filial piety plays a central role in the ethics of Confucianism, adult children will face stringent demands while giving care to their chronically ill parents. In this paper, I argue that because of the extreme moral demands Confucians impose on adult children, Confucianism is an objectionable moral theory. I also argue that if Confucianism allows these agents to opt out of the caregiving tasks, it may cause conflict with its own doctrines. For these reasons, I conclude that Confucianism cannot provide a defensible response to the problem of long-term caregiving.



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Caring for parents: a consequentialist approach.William Sin - 2016 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 19 (1):3-10.

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Nicomachean ethics.H. Aristotle & Rackham - 2014 - Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co.. Edited by C. D. C. Reeve.
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Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.

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