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Confucian PerfectionismA Political Philosophy for Modern Times$
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Joseph Chan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158617

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158617.001.0001

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Mixing Confucianism and Democracy

Mixing Confucianism and Democracy

(p.81) Chapter 4 Mixing Confucianism and Democracy
Confucian Perfectionism

Joseph Chan

Princeton University Press

This chapter elaborates on the relationship between Confucian political perfectionism and democracy, suggesting that the two are complementary and can strengthen each other. Democracy promotes Confucian political ends such as the improvement of people's well-being and directly expresses the Confucian ideal political relationship. Meanwhile, the Confucian perfectionist approach to ethics and politics provides a robust ethical foundation for a well-functioning democracy. The chapter argues that Confucian moral education, which is humanity-based rather than citizen-based, provides a stronger incentive for citizens to cultivate civility than liberal civic education, as well as a more comprehensive foundation of virtues. Confucian political perfectionism can also offer some reflection on how to select virtuous and competent people to serve in politics.

Keywords:   Confucian political perfectionism, democracy, political ideals, ethics, humanity, civility, liberal civic education

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