This chapter argues that involvement in politics is necessary for the full development of virtue. According to the Confucian view, a person cannot become fully virtuous in isolation from politics. The chapter argues against the contention that the Confucians adopted a purist approach, rejecting any involvement in political regimes that they deemed corrupt. Instead, they advocated involvement in politics based on a consequentialist logic: involvement is permitted, even advisable, insofar as it can bring about political order. The chapter challenges Robert Eno's reading of the early Confucian texts—particularly the Analects and Mencius—in which the Confucians reveal themselves to be in favor of political engagement, even in troubled times.
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