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Crisis of Cultural Identity in East Asia: on the meaning of Confucian ethics in the age of globalisation

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How can people from diverse and different cultural backgrounds balance and reconcile their autonomous cultural identity with the universal dictates of the global age? My approach to this question is from an East Asian perspective, in particular by addressing the issue of 'Confucian cultural identity' under four broad topics: (1) the truth and falsehood of the discourse on 'Asian Values' and 'Confucian-style Capitalism'; (2) the spread of modern science and the tragic consequences of 'Instrumental Reason'; (3) criticism of instrumental reason and its encounter with Confucian virtue ethics; and (4) a reassessment of the 'Anthropocosmic Moral Metaphysics' of (Neo-) Confucianism. In conclusion, on the impending demand to cope with the crisis of our cultural identity in the age of globalisation, our project to strive for the viability of Confucian humanism in the age of globalisation, I think, should mean no other than the invocation of care-ethics that takes care of our alienated neighbours on the one hand and a thrust of an eco-friendly world view to the anthropocentric hegemony over nature, which has been appreciated by 'modern' men since the Enlightenment, on the other hand.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2002

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