Category Archives: Confucianism

New book: Mastery, Dependence, and the Ethics of Authority, by Aaron Stalnaker

Oxford University Press has just published my new book on early Confucian social thought, and what contemporary people might learn from it: Mastery, Dependence, and the Ethics of Authority.  The publisher’s page is here.  At present the cheapest way to purchase it is directly from Oxford, with a discount code for 30% off (AAFLYG6).

This comes with hearty thanks to Steve Angle and Bryan Van Norden, who were belatedly revealed as the press’s referees.

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CFP: The 4th Biennial Conference World Consortium for Research in Confucian Cultures

The Organizing Committee of the 4th biennial conference of the World Consortium for Research in Confucian Cultures gladly announces a call for papers.

Conference theme: “Gender, Family, and Global Confucianism”

Conference and Organizing and Program Committee:

Heisook Kim (Ewha Woman’s University), Roger T. Ames (PKU), Jeong Keun Shin (Sungkyunkwan University) (co-chairs)

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Bin and Butina, Empirical Study on Perceptions of Ruism in the U.S.

Bin Song and Ben Butina have co-authored a paper titled “An Empirical Study and Theoretical Reflection on the Knowledge and Perceptions of Ruism in the United States,” which is newly published by Confucian Academy 2019 (1). The article is bilingual, and its English version is on p.82-98. The full issue is available here. Its results are somewhat surprising!

New edited collection on role ethics

Routledge has published a collection of essays on role ethics edited by Tim Dare and Christine Swanton, which includes two essays on early Confucian ethics. More information is here.

The publisher’s description is as follows:

Although our moral lives would be unrecognisable without them, roles have received little attention from analytic moral philosophers. Roles are central to our lives and to our engagement with one another, and should be analysed in connection with our core notions of ethics such as virtue, reason, and obligation.

This volume aims to redress the neglect of role ethics by confronting the tensions between conceptions of impartial morality and role obligations in the history of analytic philosophy and the Confucian tradition. Different perspectives on the ethical significance of roles can be found by looking to debates within professional and applied ethics, by challenging existing accounts of how roles generate reasons, by questioning the hegemony of ethical reasons, and by exploring the relation between expertise and virtue. The essays tackle several core questions related to these debates:

What are roles and what is their normative import?
To what extent are roles and the ethics of roles central to ethics as opposed to virtue in general, and obligation in general?
Are role obligations characteristically incompatible with ordinary morality in professions such as business, law, and medicine?
How does practical reason function in relation to roles?
Perspectives in Role Ethics is an examination of a largely neglected topic in ethics. It will appeal to a broad range of scholars in normative ethics, virtue ethics, non-Western ethics, and applied ethics interested in the importance of roles in our moral life.

Roberts, “Why Confucius Rubs America the Wrong Way”

Moss Roberts has published an opinion piece in the Asia Times entitled “Why Confucius Rubs America the Wrong Way.” Roberts begins:

The campaign to eliminate the Confucius Institutes from American education marks a level of ideological insecurity that has characterized this country for a long time. Willful ignorance about China has been an important part of that insecurity. The mission of the institutes is not ambitious; it is mainly devoted to offering Chinese language courses in colleges that lack them or have fledgling programs. As for Confucius himself, in America, interest in his thinking has never been strong; in China relatively greater attention is given to American thinkers and writers.

Vol 32 of The Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture (JCPC)

The editors are delighted to announce the publication of Volume 32 of The Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture (JCPC), the inaugural issue of the revised format of the journal. JCPC is published biannually (in February and August) and welcomes contributions of both articles and book reviews by qualified authors from around the world. This attached file contains the front matter, including a complete table of contents, of Volume 32. The complete volume will be available on line, within the week at our web site: http://jcpc.skku.edu/.

CEACOP Monthly Talk by Eirik Lang Harris

Title: A Han Feizian Worry with Confucian Meritocracy – and a Non-Moral Alternative

Speaker: Eirik Lang Harris (Hong Kong Baptist University)

Date: 27 September 2019 (Friday)

Time: 16:00 – 17:30

Venue: Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy (Room 4433, Mong Man Wai Building)

For detailed information, please see the event flyer here.

Updates on SKKU Conference “Confucianism, Buddhism, and Kantian Moral Theory”

The Sungkyun Institute for Confucian Studies and East Asian Philosophy (SICEP) at Sungkyunkwan University will be hosting an international conference on September 6-7th, featuring the title: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Kantian Moral Theory.

For further details, please see here for the poster and the webpage.

New Book: O’Dwyer, Confucianism’s Prospects


SUNY Press has published Shaun O’Dwyer, Confucianism’s Prospects: A Reassessment. SUNY’s website is here.

The publisher’s blurb: In Confucianism’s Prospects, Shaun O’Dwyer offers a rare critical engagement with English-language scholarship on Confucianism. Against the background of historical and sociological research into the rapid modernization of East Asian societies, O’Dwyer reviews several key Confucian ethical ideas and proposals for East Asian alternatives to liberal democracy that have emerged from this scholarship. He also puts the following question to Confucian scholars: what prospects do those ideas and proposals have in East Asian societies in which liberal democracy and pluralism are well established, and individualization and declining fertility are impacting deeply upon family life? In making his case, O’Dwyer draws upon the neglected work of Japanese philosophers and intellectuals who were witnesses to Japan’s pioneering East Asian modernization and protagonists in the rise and disastrous wartime fall of its own modernized Confucianism. He contests a sometimes Sinocentric and ahistorical conception of East Asian societies as “Confucian societies,” while also recognizing that Confucian traditions can contribute importantly to global philosophical dialogue and to civic and religious life.