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Psychology’s past in Eastern civilizations were an inherent part of the religious and moral philosophies. In an overview of those non-Western traditions in psychology, points of interaction between East and West occurred in Persia, which served as a crossroad between India and the Arab world. Ancient Indian culture followed the traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism. The writings of the Vedas, especially the Upanishads, provided the foundation for Hindu philosophy. In China, imported Buddhism taught that self-denial and proper thinking were necessary to achieve well-being. However, the older philosophical movement of Confucianism offered a stronger basis for Chinese intellectual progress. Both Buddhism and Confucianism were exported to Japan, where they were transposed into Japanese philosophies to support nationalistic aspirations. Two Middle Eastern cultures, Egyptian and Hebrew, are important as predecessors for the ancient Greeks whose philosophical formulations would provide the foundations for the emergence of psychology. Egyptian achievements in art and architecture left us a legacy, especially expressed in astronomy and medicine. The Jewish foundation of monotheism and law, along with an understanding of the person as a unity of spirit and matter, interfaced with the Greek culture that was to dominate the Mediterranean world.
In recent years, Confucian philosophers have vigorously explored the ideal of human dignity by reinterpreting key classical Confucian texts, giving rise to two contending accounts of human dignity: egalitarian dignity versus meritocratic dignity. Meritocratic dignity understands human dignity as an achievement, the outcome of a long process of moral self-cultivation, while egalitarian dignity, inspired by Mencius who believes that human nature is good, disagrees with the strong virtue-ethical account of human dignity and shift attention to universal moral potentiality. After showing that each Confucian account underpins a distinctive political system – Confucian constitutional democracy and Confucian political meritocracy, respectively – this chapter attempts to reinforce the egalitarian account of Confucian dignity from the standpoint of Xunzian Confucianism predicated on the assumption that human nature is bad. The chapter argues that, whereas meritocratc dignity is limited in justifying the independent judiciary and protecting citizens’ rights, egalitarian dignity can coherently undergird the principle of the separation of power and the right to political participation.
Chapter 1 provides background by introducing concepts of Confucianism and Confucian culture, and by emphasizing the diversity of the Confucian tradition as it evolved in different countries. It is suggested that approaches to competition law and policy in East Asian countries should be shaped and implemented in ways that respond adaptively and strategically to cultural factors. The characteristics of East Asian firms should also be taken into account for purposes of competition law and policy, not merely in the sense that particular vigilance is required, but also because it underlines the need for proactive and creative efforts to change cultural attitudes. The chapter suggests that existing attitudes and mental frames are not always aligned with the legal rules that appear on the books, and they may impede the emergence of cultural pre-conditions that could support or catalyse desirable legal and behavioural change. The chapter describes the various dimensions of Confucian cultural influences that are discussed in the substantive chapters of the book; and it outlines the structure of the book.
This essay, which focuses on the reigns of Emperors Xuan and Yuan in Western Han, complicates the prevailing presumption that Ban Gu identified as a Ru 儒, and valued the Ru contributions to good governance above those who were identified with other forms of expertise. By a close reading of biographies of all major Ru scholars active during the time of these two emperors as well as some later ones, this essay provides further proof in support of points registered by Michael Loewe throughout his long career.
Competition law is a significant legal transplant in East Asia, where it has come into contact with deeply rooted variants of Confucian culture. This timely volume analyses cultural factors in mainland China, Japan and Korea, focusing on their shared but diversely evolved Confucian heritage. These factors distinguish the competition law systems of these countries from those of major western jurisdictions, in terms of the goals served by the law, the way enforcement is structured, and the way subjects of the law respond to it. Concepts from cultural studies inform a new and eclectic perspective on these dynamics, with the authors also drawing on ideas from law and economics, comparative law, East Asian studies, political science, business management and ethics, and institutional economics. The volume presents a model for cultural analysis of comparative legal topics and contributes to a greater understanding of the challenges to deeper convergence of competition laws between East and West.
This concluding chapter suggests a new approach to realigning the corporate-political ecosystem toward an ecologically friendly approach to development. Basing its proposals on a combination of traditional Chinese philosophical principles drawn from Daoism and Confucianism, especially channeling "vital energy" (qi), and contemporary ecological science and behavioral economics, the chapter suggests expanding intraparty democracy within the Chinese Communist Party, altering official incentive systems, and testing a more transparent approach to official entrepreneurialism. Combining these reforms will continue to allow the incredible energy of Chinese people and private firms (not to mention pragmatic and competent government officials) to improve their living standards and quality of life, while channeling that energy in less harmful directions with the aim of preventing ecological and climate change catastrophe.
After expounding the conceptions of harmony that are central to Confucianism and the sub-Saharan ethic of ubuntu, I apply them to three major topics pertaining to ageing. I show that indigenous East Asian and African values of harmony both entail that only the elderly can be truly virtuous, that the elderly have a strong claim to life-saving resources, and that they are entitled to care from their children, views that I point out are not characteristic of moral thinking in the contemporary West, either for prominent philosophies or the cultures out of which they grew. I suggest that many Anglophone moral philosophers should be given pause by the existence of different perspectives on the part of at least two long-standing philosophies, and conclude by briefly proposing some ways that cross-cultural debate might be undertaken.
This chapter proposes a theory of legal instrumentalism – contextually, a more explanatory framework than either Marxist or Confucian legal theories – to explain the function and role of law in Chinese society. This kind of instrumentalism, which differs from the debate over this theory in the Anglo-American tradition, is situated in China’s authoritarian regime, where a primary concern is the maintenance of political stability through strengthening authoritarian legality for the ruler. On this premise, economic development, as well as other social goals – such as efficiency of the government – for which the law can undoubtedly be placed in an instrumental position may become a priority in the ruler’s political agenda. When it comes to dispute resolution, the primary matter of concern is not the achievement of the formalist justice of Western tradition via either a formal or informal process but rather the settlement of disputes for which the law primarily plays a facilitative role as a tool, regardless of what strategies it may use. Instrumentalism of this kind, which is suitable for Chinese society both culturally and historically, shows that law is visible and does matter in China, although it cannot be completely understood through the lens of other legal traditions.
It is Zheng Xuan (127–200), more than any other commentator, to whom we owe our current understanding of the Confucian Classics – Zheng Xuan, his subcommentators, Kong Yingda (574–648), and Jia Gongyan (fl. 637), who canonised his readings in the early Tang (618–907). Zheng Xuan made mistakes, however, and this chapter offers a case in point: the calculation of physically impossible target geometries for the royal archery meet reputedly held in the Western Zhou (1045–771 BCE), the ‘Big Shoot’ (dashe). In transforming the ambiguous language of the Classics into an elaborate mathematics problem with definite quantities, Zheng Xuan neglects to account for the targets being in three dimensions, and his subcommentators supply mathematical proofs for numbers that are ‘flat wrong’. It is not as if they could not have known, I argue, as the Big Shoot was living practice in their respective days, and as Zheng and Kong were trained in mathematics. Faced with this curious dissonance between exegesis, experience, and mathematical training, I suggest that we might better understand the work of the exegete as reconstructing abstract, ideal forms which were necessarily divorced from their reality and for which mathematics suggested itself as the perfect tool.
In the seventeenth century, European thought about the capacities of a perfectly rational mind (i.e. that of the best pagan philosopher) underwent a major transformation. This transformation had three sources: (i) philological scholarship concerning the history of religion that rejected patristic narratives of pagan/Judaeo-Christian similarity; (ii) reconsiderations of Asian theology as reported by missionaries and travellers; (iii) new approaches to pagan philosophy, which was more and more conceived of as fundamentally incapable of achieving the ‘true’ metaphysical and cosmological worldview held by Christians, above all because of its universal adherence to the rational principle of ex nihilo nihil fit. As a result, by 1700 a consensus emerged that the rational pagan mind bereft of revelation would tend to some kind of animism, pantheism, vitalism, or even monism. The debate was whether this pagan worldview concealed a latent monotheism (a view held by John Selden, G.J. Vossius, Tobias Pfanner, Ralph Cudworth, and others) or to a monistic atheism (a position first articulated by Pierre Gassendi, and then further developed by Jakob Thomasius, Samuel Parker, François Bernier, and many others). By the end of the century, the second view had largely triumphed.
Are legal traditions incommensurable? Professor H. Patrick Glenn argued that the idea that legal traditions were not suitable for comparison was a result of the reification of cultures. This chapter discusses Glenn’s insights of tradition and commensurability by examining the variants of the concepts and practices of lineage property in historical Confucianism. In the Confucian sphere of influence, marked by the shared precept of ancestral worship and primacy of ritual obligation, legal developments concerning lineage organization and property converged and diverged, revealing the complexity in humanity’s efforts to respond to the various challenges it faced. This examination illustrates Glenn’s central idea that legal traditions of the world are not only comparable and translatable but also transplantable. Transformation and transmission of law in East Asia underscore the need to compare legal traditions, both within and without in all its independence and interdependence, and further to understand the past in its own terms in all the interconnectedness of autonomous dimensions of life at a given time.
The Aura of Confucius is a ground-breaking study that reconstructs the remarkable history of Kongzhai, a shrine founded on the belief that Confucius' descendants buried the sage's robe and cap a millennium after his death and far from his home in Qufu, Shandong. Improbably located on the outskirts of modern Shanghai, Kongzhai featured architecture, visual images, and physical artifacts that created a 'Little Queli,' a surrogate for the temple, cemetery, and Kong descendants' mansion in Qufu. Centered on the Tomb of the Robe and Cap, with a Sage Hall noteworthy for displaying sculptural icons and not just inscribed tablets, Kongzhai attracted scholarly pilgrims who came to experience Confucius's beneficent aura. Although Kongzhai gained recognition from the Kangxi emperor, its fortunes declined with modernization, and it was finally destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Unlike other sites, Kongzhai has not been rebuilt and its history is officially forgotten, despite the Confucian revival in contemporary China.
Chapter 3 shows how the legal mechanisms of state-sponsored filiality integrated with Qing political order. The notion of “parental infallibility” materialized in imperial politics as the logic of attributing power and merit to the emperor and the magistrate who “parented the people,” and liabilities to children-subjects. The principle of “united under the most revered” allowed the empire to effectively organize a top-down chain of delegating parental authority from Heaven the ultimate father to various levels of bureaucratic and familial authorities while channeling political loyalty upwards. The universally duplicatable filial inequality appealed to the emotional attachment between parent and child, especially mother and child, to naturalize political and social hierarchies of almost all kinds. These mechanisms operated correspondingly in li (ritual propriety) and fa (law), not because Chinese law was “Confucianized” or “ritualized” but because both li and fa were molded and instrumentalized to serve the imperial state.
This essay analyzes the early Chinese elite discourse on filial death rituals, arguing that early Chinese texts depict these rituals as performance events. Building on spectacle of xiao sacrifices in the Western Zhou Dynasty, Eastern Zhou authors conceived of filial death rituals as dramaturgical phenomena that underscored not only what needed to be performed, but also how it should be performed, and led to an important distinction between personal dispositions and inherited ritual protocol. This distinction, then, led to concerns about artifice in human behavior, both inside and outside the Ruist (Confucian) tradition. By end of the Warring States Period and in the early Western Han Dynasty, with the embracement of artifice in self-cultivation, the dramatic role of the filial son in death rituals became even more developed and complex, requiring the role of cultivated spectators to be engaged critics who recognized the nuances of cultivated performances.
Decision makers inevitably face a variety of tensions when managing strategic change. Research from organization and strategy perspectives, such as paradox and organizational learning, has offered useful but limited insight into the systematic mindset and thinking processes involved in decision making. We draw on theoretical and philosophical foundations of the transparadox perspective and related theories to build a dynamic process cycle of transparadoxical decision making. Three interrelated dimensions make up our model: (1) Transparadox Information Navigation, which includes embracing oppositional tendencies, syncretic focus, and creative transcendence; (2) Transparadox Contextual Consideration, characterized by prudent precision and recognizing the flux of temporality and spatiality; and (3) Transparadox Integration, which comprises design-type integration and exploration-type integration. We then present propositions on the interdependent and reinforcing mechanism among the three dimensions. Our work expands the paradox literature with specific mindset dimensions and constituent elements, connecting paradox research with the cognitive perspective by adding dynamic, cyclical processes to paradox cognition study.
This chapter examines the ethics of war in Ancient China, focusing specifically on the development of Warring States political philosophy. It argues that the development of humanitarian values originated in the formation of the sovereign states system during the Warring States period. As states arose, they increasingly relied on peasant labor for agricultural resources and miltiary expeditions, which led to the development of political and moral ideas that reflected theinterests of ordinary people. Political theorists from the major intellectual schools (e.g., Confucianism, Taoism, and Mohims) developed humanitarian ideas as a way of reflecting the interests of the people. Throughout, it examines textual evidence that shows that humanitarian ideals shaped how Warring States theorists approached issues of war and peace.
Humor has been positively perceived in general. However, research has shown that a leader should adopt humor with care and only after considering the relevant context, such as cultural differences. This study was undertaken to gain insight into how leader humor is perceived in the predominantly Confucian culture of Taiwan, through a series of in-depth interviews with individuals from throughout the hierarchies of various organizations. Overall, our participants expressed conflicting attitudes toward leader humor in the workplace, depending on the place and time of their leader humor experience. Specifically, leader humor was deemed more effective in informal domains and when a good leader–follower relationship exists. The findings echo the implicit theory of leadership and highlight the need to consider the context when exercising leader humor in Confucian cultures. Implications and future study directions are discussed.
The literature on International Relations theory has yet to align relational theory with role theory, despite the fact that these two theories share so much epistemological common ground. This article uses role theory to bridge the gap between the Confucian and Western conceptions of relationality, whose practitioners regard each other as strangers. With the support of role theory, the comparative analysis of relationality in this article has mainly focused on two different types of relations: prior rule-based relations and improvised relations. The differences in the cultural preparation for these two relations partially explain the plurality of the relational universe and the perception of stranger. Role theory is one way to reconnect the seemingly irreconcilable relational universes. To illustrate the value of a composite agenda of relational theory and role theory, the article will use Kim Jong-un of North Korea as its case. Confucian relations propose that, for all nations, the necessity of having a certain role relation is a more important agenda than insisting on exactly what role to take.
Comparative cross-disciplinary study shows how East Asian thought, theater, and poetry, while situating cultural analogies, helped shape Brecht’s work. The narrative clarity and distancing techniques of Japanese theater undercut superficial naturalism, and comparison with sophisticated, graceful Chinese theater later relativized his own. In Chinese philosophy he encountered witty discrimination, an estranging critique of virtues, dialectical social interrelations, a stimulating flow of things, focus on practical engagement, warnings (apropos Confucius) of accommodation with power and, in his crucial Me-ti, what he intimated to Korsch as an “anti-systematic … epic science” realized through individual productivity, not by a top-down imposed social order. East Asian imagination stimulated an unconventional aesthetics. In ethics, the social paradox of self-love would avoid turning people into “the servants of priests.” Even another global politics once briefly seemed conceivable, when China appeared to confront European Stalinism, but in the end that revolution disappointed as well.
This chapter traces the history of the critical reception of Ibsen in Japan which started in the Meiji period (1868–1912). It discusses Ibsen’s breakthrough in the late nineteenth century, Ôgai Mori’s novelistic reinterpretation of Ibsen’s individualism through a Confucian lens, Ibsen-inspired female characters in Sôseki Natsume’s novels, and gives an overview of the development of Ibsen’s position in Japanese theatre up to the present. The chapter also takes up a variety of modern Ibsen performance with Japanese twists, from a Noh-inspired Doll’s House and a female Dr Stockman, to the ever-popular Hedda Gabler whose problematization of the ‘calculated’ marriage strikes a chord with contemporary audiences. The chapter ends with some reflections on the evolving quality of translations, from ad hoc experimental translations via English and German in the Meiji period, to the present situation in which the reader can choose among a selection of skilful translations from the original Norwegian.