The Moral and Non-Moral Virtues in Confucian Ethics

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Abstract:

The question 'How should one live?' reflects the central concern in the ethics of Socrates. The answer to this question is not merely related to the concepts of obligation and duty, which constitute the major problems of modern moral philosophy, but it can also be considered from the prudential point of view. Therefore both the moral and non-moral realms contribute to a good life. Although there is little doubt concerning the existence of the non-moral realm in Confucianism, yet the relationship between the moral and the non-moral realms has not been carefully examined. Obviously the nature of the existence of the non-moral realm can be clear only if the question whether the non-moral virtues can be defined in terms of, or reduced to, or overridden by moral virtues is resolved. This paper attempts to scrutinize the relationship mentioned so as to determine the status of prudence within the ethics of Confucianism.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09552367.2011.540378

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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