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postgraduate thesis: Democratic means to Confucian ends : a philosophical analysis of the conceptual relationship between Confucian ethics and democracy in the theories of Xu Fuguan, Tang Junyi, and Mou Zongsan

TitleDemocratic means to Confucian ends : a philosophical analysis of the conceptual relationship between Confucian ethics and democracy in the theories of Xu Fuguan, Tang Junyi, and Mou Zongsan
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lai, C. [賴卓彬]. (2014). Democratic means to Confucian ends : a philosophical analysis of the conceptual relationship between Confucian ethics and democracy in the theories of Xu Fuguan, Tang Junyi, and Mou Zongsan. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5350993
AbstractIn the light of the unproductive attempts to reviving China since late Qing as well as the terrible threats and devastations by Chinese communism, there had been pursuits of improving Chinese governance. It was against this backdrop that Xu Fuguan, Tang Junyi, and Mou Zongsan made their claims. Believing in the actualization of Confucian political and ethical ideals as a panacea, they commonly argued, as stated in A Manifesto for a Re-appraisal of Sinology and Reconstruction of Chinese Culture that they co-drafted with Zhang Junmai, that Confucianism should be re-developed. But this is only the first of their two claims; the second one is that Confucianism should not be re-developed by the orthodox top-down, monarchical approach; they instead argued that Confucian ends should be achieved by a democratic approach. This thesis aims to reconstruct and critically evaluate their common claims. It argues that Xu, Tang, and Mou commonly suggest a means-end conceptual framework as for democracy and Confucianism. Democratic institutions and democratic political participation are the two means to realize the Confucian Outward Kingliness and Inward Sageliness. In terms of political development, they argue that the traditional monarchical system falls short of realizing the Confucian political ideal and this task should be achieved by democratic institutions. Similarly, they assert that political participation plays a significant role in ethical development. This thesis consists of six core chapters. After the Introduction that lays out the context that the three contemporary Confucians were in, as well as the questions they had in mind when they made their claims, the first three chapters, each devoted to one of them, look into their specific claims on the significance of democratic institutions in realizing the Confucian political ideal. Chapter 4 summarizes their arguments and evaluates a synthesis of these arguments. Chapters 5 and 6 address their thesis on political participation and ethical development, and argue that (1) the lack of the appreciation of people’s position to take part in politics is detrimental to their ethical development; (2) taking part in politics is desirable to people’s ethical advancement; (3) only the appreciation of people’s political subjectivity and political participation are not enough, in that the more one participates in politics does not necessarily make one more ethically advanced; moral education that edifies Confucian virtues is also crucial. Based on the legacy of Xu, Tang, and Mou, this thesis argues for a more convincing Confucian theory of democracy.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectDemocracy
Confucianism
Dept/ProgramPolitics and Public Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/216227

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLai, Cheuk-bun-
dc.contributor.author賴卓彬-
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-28T23:11:01Z-
dc.date.available2015-08-28T23:11:01Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationLai, C. [賴卓彬]. (2014). Democratic means to Confucian ends : a philosophical analysis of the conceptual relationship between Confucian ethics and democracy in the theories of Xu Fuguan, Tang Junyi, and Mou Zongsan. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5350993-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/216227-
dc.description.abstractIn the light of the unproductive attempts to reviving China since late Qing as well as the terrible threats and devastations by Chinese communism, there had been pursuits of improving Chinese governance. It was against this backdrop that Xu Fuguan, Tang Junyi, and Mou Zongsan made their claims. Believing in the actualization of Confucian political and ethical ideals as a panacea, they commonly argued, as stated in A Manifesto for a Re-appraisal of Sinology and Reconstruction of Chinese Culture that they co-drafted with Zhang Junmai, that Confucianism should be re-developed. But this is only the first of their two claims; the second one is that Confucianism should not be re-developed by the orthodox top-down, monarchical approach; they instead argued that Confucian ends should be achieved by a democratic approach. This thesis aims to reconstruct and critically evaluate their common claims. It argues that Xu, Tang, and Mou commonly suggest a means-end conceptual framework as for democracy and Confucianism. Democratic institutions and democratic political participation are the two means to realize the Confucian Outward Kingliness and Inward Sageliness. In terms of political development, they argue that the traditional monarchical system falls short of realizing the Confucian political ideal and this task should be achieved by democratic institutions. Similarly, they assert that political participation plays a significant role in ethical development. This thesis consists of six core chapters. After the Introduction that lays out the context that the three contemporary Confucians were in, as well as the questions they had in mind when they made their claims, the first three chapters, each devoted to one of them, look into their specific claims on the significance of democratic institutions in realizing the Confucian political ideal. Chapter 4 summarizes their arguments and evaluates a synthesis of these arguments. Chapters 5 and 6 address their thesis on political participation and ethical development, and argue that (1) the lack of the appreciation of people’s position to take part in politics is detrimental to their ethical development; (2) taking part in politics is desirable to people’s ethical advancement; (3) only the appreciation of people’s political subjectivity and political participation are not enough, in that the more one participates in politics does not necessarily make one more ethically advanced; moral education that edifies Confucian virtues is also crucial. Based on the legacy of Xu, Tang, and Mou, this thesis argues for a more convincing Confucian theory of democracy.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshDemocracy-
dc.subject.lcshConfucianism-
dc.titleDemocratic means to Confucian ends : a philosophical analysis of the conceptual relationship between Confucian ethics and democracy in the theories of Xu Fuguan, Tang Junyi, and Mou Zongsan-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5350993-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePolitics and Public Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5350993-

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