Review of new book from Bongrae Seok

SEOK, Bongrae, Embodied Moral Psychology and Confucian Philosophy
Lanham: Lexington Books, 2013, xvi + 197 pages

How can Confucian philosophy provide a useful path toward understanding the basic
processes of human moral psychology? This is the question that SEOK Bongrae’s new
book Embodied Moral Psychology and Confucian Philosophy strives to answer.
To the uninitiated, Confucian philosophy will be an unlikely resource, even an
anachronism with respect to current issues in philosophy, especially with regard to
issues in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. However, a revival of
Confucian ideas is taking place, with articles, conferences, monographs, and edited
volumes devoted to its relevance to a variety of areas of current philosophy, both
analytic and continental. Seok’s book is a fine example from this trend. Trained in the
philosophy of mind and cognitive science at the University of Arizona, Seok has turned
to the Confucian tradition for insights that can extend our understanding of how the
human mind makes moral decisions.

Seok divides his book into two parts. The first is a background on embodied
cognition and how Confucian philosophy is a natural candidate for explorations of
embodiment. The second explores and elucidates particular aspects of Confucian moral
psychology and then brings them into dialogue with current debates in moral psychology,
specifically, with regard to the character/situationist debate. In the five chapters of
these two sections, Seok makes a convincing case for the importance of what he calls
situated Confucian virtue. …

Full review can be found here:

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