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The Feasibility of Ethical Constructivism
Author: Heather Salazar
In Creating a Shared Morality, Heather Salazar develops a consistent and plausible account of ethical constructivism that rivals the traditional metaethical theories of realism and subjectivism (without lapsing into subjectivism as do previous constructivist attempts). Salazar’s Enlightenism argues that all people have moral obligations and that if they reflect well, they will naturally come to care about others as extensions of themselves. Enlightenism resolves difficulties within constructivism, builds bridges between the two traditional Western views of metaethics and employs concepts from Eastern (Buddhist) philosophy. It embraces universal morality while elevating the importance of autonomy, diversity and connectedness. Constructivist enlightenment entails understanding the interdependence of people on others such that we are all co-responsible for the world in which we live.
By examining the life and thought of self-exiled Chinese intellectuals after 1949 by placing them in the context of the global Cold War, Kenneth Kai-chung Yung argues that Chinese intellectuals living in Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas Chinese communities in the 1950s could not escape from the global anti-utopian Cold War currents. Each of them responded to such currents quite differently. Yung also examines different models of nation-building advocated by the émigré intellectuals and argues in his book that these émigré intellectuals inherited directly the multifaceted Chinese liberal tradition that was well developed in the Republican era (1911–1949). Contrary to existing literature that focus mostly on the New Confucians or the liberals, this study highlights that moderate socialists cannot be ignored as an important group of Chinese émigré intellectuals in the first two decades of the Cold War era. This book will inspire readers who are concerned about the prospects for democracy in contemporary China by painting a picture of the Chinese self-exiles’ experiences in the 1950s and 1960s.