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Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary by Roger Ames (review)

Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary by Roger Ames (review) Reviews Roger Ames. Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary. Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 2011. xvii, 332 pp. Paperback $31.00, isbn 978-0-8248-3576-7. Roger Ames has written an important book, from which I have learned, on the broad cultural context of philosophical elements in Confucianism. Social roles and their acting out in personal interactions have a central presence in this. Confucian role ethics looks primarily to the contours of our familiar and social roles for guidance. "We are . . . the sum of the roles we live in consonance with our fellows" (p. 122). The analysis starts with the family: "[F]amily feelings serve as entry points for developing moral competence" (p. xiv). This process broadens out. Ames sees friendship "as an open conduit that leads from the security and stability of one's own family out into the more uncertain and taxing social, political, and cultural realm" (p. 114). This analysis points toward a broader picture of human life and social development than some of those that appeal to many philosophers, especially those with existentialist leanings. Individualistic approaches have encouraged us to regard our paths of life as personally chosen without being much affected by our interactions with other people. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary by Roger Ames (review)

China Review International , Volume 18 (4) – Jan 30, 2011

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9367
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Abstract

Reviews Roger Ames. Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary. Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 2011. xvii, 332 pp. Paperback $31.00, isbn 978-0-8248-3576-7. Roger Ames has written an important book, from which I have learned, on the broad cultural context of philosophical elements in Confucianism. Social roles and their acting out in personal interactions have a central presence in this. Confucian role ethics looks primarily to the contours of our familiar and social roles for guidance. "We are . . . the sum of the roles we live in consonance with our fellows" (p. 122). The analysis starts with the family: "[F]amily feelings serve as entry points for developing moral competence" (p. xiv). This process broadens out. Ames sees friendship "as an open conduit that leads from the security and stability of one's own family out into the more uncertain and taxing social, political, and cultural realm" (p. 114). This analysis points toward a broader picture of human life and social development than some of those that appeal to many philosophers, especially those with existentialist leanings. Individualistic approaches have encouraged us to regard our paths of life as personally chosen without being much affected by our interactions with other people.

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 30, 2011

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