Confucianism, Perfectionism, and Liberal Society

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Abstract
Confucian scholars should satisfy two conditions insofar as they think their theories enable Confucianism to make contributions to liberal politics and social policy. The liberal accommodation condition stipulates that the theory in question should accommodate as many reasonable conceptions of the good and religious doctrines as possible while the intelligibility condition stipulates that the theory must have a recognizable Confucian character. By and large, Joseph Chan’s Confucian perfectionism is able to satisfy the above two conditions. However, contrary to Chan and many other Confucian scholars, I argue that any active promotion of Confucianism will violate the liberal accommodation condition. I propose the “wide view of moderate perfectionism,” which enables Confucianism to shed light on a wide range of political and social issues without promoting Confucianism actively. Thus, I present a new approach to the long-standing question of how Confucianism may improve political and social development in a liberal society.
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PhilPapers/Archive ID
MANCPA-7
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Archival date: 2020-08-15
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2017-12-21

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