In recent discussion on comparative ethics, extensive scholarship has been devoted to a comparative study of Confucian ren 仁(often translated as humaneness or benevolence) and feminist ethics of care, while such cross-cultural study on the Daoist concept of ci 慈 (customarily translated as compassion) and its intersection with care ethics has been lacking. This paper explores the reasons and concludes that Daoists do care. However, their conception of care goes beyond the Confucian ren and pure care ethics or even counter-opposes them so as to bring forward the true meaning of care. Daoist care is a powerful tool in our approach to ecology.
This article reappraises Zhu Xi’s philosophy of women. First, it examines Zhu’s descriptive texts. Second, it analyzes Zhu’s didactic texts on li, qi, yin, yang, and gender. It finds that (i) surprisingly Zhu exhibited a level of flexibility toward women on subjects of education, property rights, and household management; (ii) his view on the male/yang and female/yin relationship was inconsistent; and (iii) improvement on Zhu’s social-political teaching on women’s role could result from a more consistent development of his metaphysics. When thus modified, his metaphysics of yin-yang and li-qi could make a considerable contribution to contemporary feminist discourse.
This paper explores the meaning of Confucian de 德 (often translated as virtue) in the Book of Rites 《禮記》. Using intertextual discussions with texts supplemented by the Analects《論語》, the Mengzi 《孟子》, and the Xunzi《荀子》, I argue that ritual (li 禮) and virtue are closely interrelated. Without ritual, virtue is raw. Without virtue, ritual is barren. De’s interrelationship with ritual is central to Confucian ethics. Ritual is constitutive for all Confucian virtues. This central thesis coupled with subsequent features such as de’s aesthetic dimension and thick interpersonal relationships demonstrate that the Confucian de has multilayered meanings that cannot be fully captured by either the contemporary concept of virtue or the Aristotelian idea of arête.