As China continues to transform itself, many assume that the nation will eventually move beyond communism and adopt a Western-style democracy. But could China develop a unique form of government based on its own distinct traditions? Jiang Qing--China's most original, provocative, and controversial Confucian political thinker--says yes. In this book, he sets out a vision for a Confucian constitutional order that offers a compelling alternative to both the status quo in China and to a Western-style liberal democracy. A Confucian Constitutional Order is the most detailed and systematic work on Confucian constitutionalism to date. Jiang argues against the democratic view that the consent of the people is the main source of political legitimacy. Instead, he presents a comprehensive way to achieve humane authority based on three sources of political legitimacy, and he derives and defends a proposal for a tricameral legislature that would best represent the Confucian political ideal. He also puts forward proposals for an institution that would curb the power of parliamentarians and for a symbolic monarch who would embody the historical and transgenerational identity of the state. In the latter section of the book, four leading liberal and socialist Chinese critics--Joseph Chan, Chenyang Li, Wang Shaoguang, and Bai Tongdong--critically evaluate Jiang's theories and Jiang gives detailed responses to their views. A Confucian Constitutional Order provides a new standard for evaluating political progress in China and enriches the dialogue of possibilities available to this rapidly evolving nation. This book will fascinate students and scholars of Chinese politics, and is essential reading for anyone concerned about China's political future.
This volume addresses the proper character of patient informed consent to medical treatment and clinical research. The goal is critically to explore the current individually oriented approach to informed consent which grew out of the dominant bioethics movement that arose in the United States in the 1970s. In contrast to that individually oriented approach, this volume explores the importance of family-oriented approaches to informed consent for medical treatment and clinical research. It draws on both East Asian moral resources as well as a critical response to the ways in which the practice of informed consent has developed in the United States
Contrasting with conventional Neo-Confucian attempts to recast the Confucian heritage in light of modern Western values, this book offers a Reconstructionist Confucian project to reclaim Confucian resources to meet contemporary moral and public policy challenges. Ruiping Fan argues that popular accounts of human goods and social justice within the dominant individualist culture of the West are too insubstantial to direct a life of virtue and a proper structure of society. Instead, he demonstrates that the moral insights of Confucian thought are precisely those needed to fill the moral vacuum developing in post-communist China and to address similar problems in the West. The book has a depth of reflection on the Confucian tradition through a comparative philosophical strategy and a breadth of contemporary issues addressed unrivaled by any other work on these topics. It is the first in English to explore not only the endeavor to revive Confucianism in contemporary China, but also brings such an endeavor to bear upon the important ethical, social, and political difficulties being faced in 21st century China. The book should be of interest to any philosopher working in application of traditional Chinese philosophy to contemporary issues as well as any reader interested in comparative cultural and ethical studies.
A new generation of Confucian scholars is coming of age. China is reawakening to the power and importance of its own culture. This volume provides a unique view of the emerging Confucian vision for China and the world in the 21st century. Unlike the Neo-Confucians sojourning in North America who recast Confucianism in terms of modern Western values, this new generation of Chinese scholars takes the authentic roots of Confucian thought seriously. This collection of essays offers the first critical exploration in English of the emerging Confucian, non-liberal, non-social-democratic, moral and political vision for China's future. Inspired by the life and scholarship of Jiang Qing who has emerged as China's exemplar contemporary Confucian, this volume allows the English reader access to a moral and cultural vision that seeks to direct China's political power, social governance, and moral life. For those working in Chinese studies, this collection provides the first access in English to major debates in China concerning a Confucian reconceptualization of governance, a critical Confucian assessment of feminism, Confucianism functioning again as a religion, and the possibility of a moral vision that can fill the cultural vacuum created by the collapse of Marxism.
In the twentieth century, in both China and the West, ritual became marginalized in the face of the growth of secularism and individualism. In China, Confucianism and its essentially ritualistic comportment to the world were vigorously suppressed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) under Mao Zedong. But de-ritualization already took place as a result of the Chinese Revolution of 1911 under Sun Yat-Sen. In the West, while the process of de-ritualization has been generally more gradual, it has been nonetheless drastic. In contrast to this situation, this volume investigates the crucial role ritual plays in constituting the human understanding of their place in the cosmos, the purpose of their lives, and imbues human existence with a more complete sense of meaningfulness. This volume presents the work of philosophers from both China and the West as they reflect upon the constitutive role that ritual plays in human life. They reflect not only on ritual in general but also on specific Confucian and Christian appreciations of ritual. This provocative volume is a beacon of warning to Western philosophers, who think they have graduated from the trappings of ritual, and a beacon of hope for Eastern thinkers, who wish to avoid cultural fragmentation. The Editors, both Eastern and Western, have together created a seamless work that not only introduces ritual, but advances an argument for the contribution that ritual makes to cultural renewal. This volume is a work of philosophical thinking about ritual doing, but challenges those who think to realize that the salvation of philosophical thinking rests in the particularity and contingency of ritual doing. Let us hope this volume is widely read, for it points to that which might renew the West. - Jeffrey P. Bishop, Saint Louis University
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