Reply to Stephen C. Angle

Reply to Stephen C. Angle Note 1 ­ Stephen C. Angle, "Virtue Ethics, The Rule of Law, and the Need for SelfRestriction," in Brian Bruya, ed., The Philosophical Challenge from China (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, forthcoming). Joseph Chan I am grateful to the editors of this journal for the opportunity to respond to Stephen Angle's thoughtful reply to my review of his book. Stephen and I share a "progressive" vision of Confucian political philosophy, and I think his book represents an important attempt to provide a foundation that forges a close connection with the ethical core of Confucianism. What I found most intriguing and provocative in Stephen's book is not only his general claim that Confucian moral progress requires constitutional democracy, but, more importantly, his specific "self-restriction" argument that even sages, if they exist, have to restrict their virtue and submit themselves to the laws of a constitutional democracy, so as to allow their own and other people's virtue to flourish. In my opinion, this argument, if sound, provides the strongest Confucian-based argument for democracy, and this is the target of my critique. I argue that in the (unlikely) event that sages do exist, Confucians should favor benevolent guardianship rather than democracy; that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Reply to Stephen C. Angle

Philosophy East and West, Volume 64 (3)

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

Note 1 ­ Stephen C. Angle, "Virtue Ethics, The Rule of Law, and the Need for SelfRestriction," in Brian Bruya, ed., The Philosophical Challenge from China (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, forthcoming). Joseph Chan I am grateful to the editors of this journal for the opportunity to respond to Stephen Angle's thoughtful reply to my review of his book. Stephen and I share a "progressive" vision of Confucian political philosophy, and I think his book represents an important attempt to provide a foundation that forges a close connection with the ethical core of Confucianism. What I found most intriguing and provocative in Stephen's book is not only his general claim that Confucian moral progress requires constitutional democracy, but, more importantly, his specific "self-restriction" argument that even sages, if they exist, have to restrict their virtue and submit themselves to the laws of a constitutional democracy, so as to allow their own and other people's virtue to flourish. In my opinion, this argument, if sound, provides the strongest Confucian-based argument for democracy, and this is the target of my critique. I argue that in the (unlikely) event that sages do exist, Confucians should favor benevolent guardianship rather than democracy; that

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Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

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