Introduction: Confucian Perfectionism ’s Wary Embrace of Democracy

Introduction: Confucian Perfectionism ’s Wary Embrace of Democracy SPECIAL FEATURE: JOSEPH CHAN'S CONFUCIAN PERFECTIONISM Introduction: Confucian Perfectionism 's Wary Embrace of Democracy Yvonne Chiu Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong yvchiu@hku.hk With the stunning spread of democracy over large swathes of the globe since 1975 seemingly coming to a halt and perhaps receding in recent years, it is now a fitting time to revisit the question of whether democracy is really compatible with all types of cultures and philosophies, particularly those from Asia, where nearly two-thirds of the world's population lives. Joseph Chan's Confucian Perfectionism: A Political Philosophy for Modern Times (Princeton University Press, 2014) tackles an enormously important project by reconstructing Confucianism in order to meld it with democracy in a mutually advantageous marriage. Among the many reasons that democracy has become popular as a form of governance is that it can address the dangerous problem of the lack of accountability -- the historical record is quite clear about what happens when rulers, even those who are wise and well-meaning, are unconstrained. This, unfortunately, is a problem that Confucianism shares. On the other hand, Confucianism can bring to the table not just virtues in general, but particular virtues that are http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Introduction: Confucian Perfectionism ’s Wary Embrace of Democracy

Philosophy East and West, Volume 67 (1) – Dec 28, 2017

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
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Abstract

SPECIAL FEATURE: JOSEPH CHAN'S CONFUCIAN PERFECTIONISM Introduction: Confucian Perfectionism 's Wary Embrace of Democracy Yvonne Chiu Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong yvchiu@hku.hk With the stunning spread of democracy over large swathes of the globe since 1975 seemingly coming to a halt and perhaps receding in recent years, it is now a fitting time to revisit the question of whether democracy is really compatible with all types of cultures and philosophies, particularly those from Asia, where nearly two-thirds of the world's population lives. Joseph Chan's Confucian Perfectionism: A Political Philosophy for Modern Times (Princeton University Press, 2014) tackles an enormously important project by reconstructing Confucianism in order to meld it with democracy in a mutually advantageous marriage. Among the many reasons that democracy has become popular as a form of governance is that it can address the dangerous problem of the lack of accountability -- the historical record is quite clear about what happens when rulers, even those who are wise and well-meaning, are unconstrained. This, unfortunately, is a problem that Confucianism shares. On the other hand, Confucianism can bring to the table not just virtues in general, but particular virtues that are

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Dec 28, 2017

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