By May Sim
In many ways, Aristotle and Confucius appear like promising matters for comparative philosophy. either emphasize the cultivation of advantage and versatile responsiveness to concrete events over summary ethical principles. despite the fact that, Aristotle and Confucius have importantly diverse conceptions of what it truly is to dwell good. For Aristotle, the lifetime of the theoretical pupil (the scientist or thinker) could be intrinsically necessary, and the family members exists basically as a device for generating and keeping virtuous members. by contrast, Confucius thinks that studying should always be within the provider of society, and whole advantage may be exercised simply by being an excellent father, mom, son or daughter. moreover, a few have argued that Confucius is admittedly extra like "postmodern" critics of Aristotle than Aristotle himself.
In this booklet, may perhaps Sim starts through arguing opposed to those that see Confucius as essentially in contrast to Aristotle. She says that Confucius's "commonsense" view of the self and fact isn't exact with that of Aristotle, yet is mostly in keeping with it. She then is going right into a specified comparability, noting (with a refined eye) the similarities and ameliorations among Aristotle and Confucius. She focuses particularly on 4 matters: advantage as a "mean" among extremes (e.g., braveness is a median among rashness and cowardice), the features of the moral "self," the relationship among politics and advantage, and the connection among friendship and virtue.
This booklet is written in an obtainable demeanour, so non-scholars can comprehend it. although, it does cross into element on a few technical matters, so it isn't for informal readers unwilling to learn slowly and thoughtfully. For these attracted to comparative philosophy and prepared to take the time, i like to recommend this publication strongly.
Incidentally, this booklet is one among 3 facing Confucianism and Aristotelianism that got here out in 2007. the opposite are The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle: Mirrors of advantage and advantage Ethics and Consequentialism in Early chinese language Philosophy. moreover, Mencius and Aquinas: Theories of advantage and Conceptions of braveness was once a groundbreaking past learn on a comparable subject.
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Extra info for Remastering Morals with Aristotle and Confucius
Aristotle and Confucius both pursue the question of the good life, and both recognize that the question of what kind of person is happy is a question that admits a fairly definite sort of answer. Moreover, the answer of these two quite disparate masters is strikingly similar: the happy life is the life of exemplary 1 Hall and Ames attempt to reconstruct Confucius’ thinking by appealing to the process philosophy of John Dewey; Heiner Roetz reconstructs Confucian ethics by using Karl Jasper’s ‘‘Axial Age’’ theory along with Lawrence Kohlberg’s cognitivedevelopment theory; and Cheng Chung-ying uses Martin Heidegger for a hermeneutic investigation into the Confucian framework and Alfred North Whitehead for a reconstruction of the conditions of creativity in Confucian thought.
Our human nature or rational soul, for Aristotle, dictates how we function well. And functioning well is part of what makes us happy. See NE 1102a15–1103a10 and also 1097b35–1098a16. For a contemporary discussion of how the proper function of the rational soul includes the control of the nonrational parts, see Terence Irwin’s Aristotle’s First Principles (New York: Oxford Clarendon Press, 1988), in which he says: ‘‘In confining the human function to a life of action of the rational part, Aristotle does not exclude all animal or vegetative activities.
As for Aristotle, the three senses involved in justice require knowledge of the universal, particular, and concrete universal that the phronimos embodies. He will never act incorrectly, otherwise he will not be a phronimos. See 1140b20, b23–25. 34 Remastering Morals with Aristotle and Confucius and hence correct one’s character that one is culpable. 24). Confucius’ view is that continuous learning (xue) is needed to sustain the virtues. Because the junzi is committed to an endless prospect of learning and improvement, he takes his transgressions as opportunities for learning and hence for bettering a self that already possesses the relevant virtues.
Remastering Morals with Aristotle and Confucius by May Sim