FEATURE REVIEW "Self-Restriction" and the Confucian Case for Democracy Joseph Chan University of Hong Kong Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy: Toward Progressive Confucianism. By Stephen C. Angle. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012. Pp. x + 204. Paperback $24.95. isbn-13: 978-0-7456-6130-8. Although Confucianism is an old tradition of thought, with political ideas and recommendations generally thought to need significant revision and update, many people today still find its ethical ideas and teachings relevant and attractive. However, as the common understanding of Confucianism is that its ethics and politics are tightly linked, any revision of its political ideas and recommendations presents a special challenge: how can its politics be significantly revised without revising its ethics? In Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy, Stephen Angle makes a bold and very interesting attempt to update Confucian politics in a way that does not sacrifice core Confucian ethics. More importantly, he claims that the revision of Confucian politics is internally required by its ethical ideal. Arguing that Confucianism can be progressive, Angle calls the contemporary Confucian political philosophy that he develops "Progressive Confucianism" and makes his case by drawing upon and further developing the arguments of the Neo-Confucian philosopher Mou Zongsan, in particular his idea of "self-restriction."
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
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