Confucian Harmony from an African Perspective

African and Asian Studies 15 (1):1-22 (2016)
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Chenyang Li’s new book, The Philosophy of Confucian Harmony, has been heralded as the first book-length exposition of the concept of harmony in the approximately 3,000 year old Confucian tradition. It provides a systematic analysis of Confucian harmony and defence of its relevance for contemporary moral and political thought. In this philosophical discussion of Li’s book, I expound its central claims, contextualize them relative to other salient work in English-speaking Confucian thought, and critically reflect on them in light of a conception of harmony that is salient in the sub-Saharan African tradition. Hence, this article aims to continue the nascent dialogue between indigenous Chinese and African philosophical traditions that has only just begun. Li responds to this critical notice in the same issue of the journal.

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Thaddeus Metz
University of Pretoria


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