Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

BAI Tongdong’s new book on Confucian alternatives to liberal democratic orders

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My new book, Against Political Equality—The Confucian Case was just published by Princeton University Press.  In this book, I offer a viable political alternative to liberal democracy that is inspired by Confucian ideas.  In domestic governance, I argue that Confucianism can embrace the liberal aspects of democracy along with the democratic ideas of equal opportunities and governmental accountability to the people.  But Confucianism would give more political decision-making power to those with the moral, practical, and intellectual capacities of caring for the people. While most democratic thinkers still focus on strengthening equality to cure the ills of democracy, the proposed hybrid regime—made up of Confucian-inspired meritocratic elements with democratic elements and a quasiliberal system of laws and rights—recognizes that egalitarian elements are sometimes in conflict with good governance and the protection of liberties, and defends liberal aspects by restricting democratic ones.  I apply these views to the international realm by supporting a hierarchical order, the “Confucian New Tian Xia Order,” based on how humane each state is toward its own and other peoples, and the principle of international interventions under this order whereby humane responsibilities override sovereignty.

 

PUP’s official link: https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691195995/against-political-equality

(Enter discount code BAI1 on the PUP website to get 30% off, through June 30, 2020. *Shipping charges and local import fees apply*)

 

Amazon’s page:

https://www.amazon.com/Against-Political-Equality-Confucian-Princeton-China/dp/0691195994/

Author: baitongdong

Dr. Tongdong Bai is a full professor and the Shanghai Dongfang Chair Professor at the School of Philosophy at Fudan University in China. He held a bachelor degree in nuclear physics and a master degree in the philosophy of science from Peking University, and obtained his doctoral degree in philosophy from Boston University. He was a tenured associate professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati before he moved to Fudan. He was the first and so far the only tenured philosophy teacher from the U.S. who has returned to China as a full time faculty member. His research interests include Chinese philosophy and political philosophy, especially the comparative and contemporary relevance of classical Chinese political philosophy. He has published many articles in some prestigious journals in these areas, and has a book out in Chinese by the Peking University Press, A New Mission of an Old State: the Comparative and Contemporary Relevance of Classical Confucian Political Philosophy. The English and revised version of this book is now under review for its publication in the English-speaking world. He has also finished an introduction to traditional Chinese political philosophy that is presented from a comparative perspective, showing its contemporary relevance (China: The Middle Way of the Middle Kingdom), which is published by Zed Books in its “World Political Theories.” At Fudan, he launched an MA, Visiting Student, and Auditing program in Chinese philosophy with courses taught in English. This program is intended to promote the studies of Chinese philosophy in the world, and is targeted at students who wish to learn Chinese philosophy, but whose Chinese is not good enough yet for them to do so in Chinese. Approaching the second year of its establishment, the program is the most successful program of its kind in China, with students and applicants who major in philosophy, classical studies, East Asian studies, and etc., and who have the honor of Summa Cum Laude or study at the honor programs from their colleges that include Oxford, Columbia, Toronto, Leiden, Tel Aviv, and etc. Dr. Bai can be reached at: baitongdong@gmail.com

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