Skip to main content

Social Morality and Social Misfits: Confucius, Hegel, and the Attack of Zhuangzi and Kierkegaard

Buy Article:

$47.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

There is a remarkable and surprising connection to be found between an argument of Søren Kierkegaard's and one of Zhuangzi's—what I call the ‘social misfit’ critique. I will argue that this connection highlights a hitherto unacknowledged parallel between the moral thought of their respective targets: Hegel in the case of Kierkegaard and Confucius in the case of Zhuangzi. Specifically, it reveals a significant parallel between Hegel's movement from Moralitat to Sittlichkeit and Confucius’ position on the central and irreducible role of li (ritual or propriety) in morality. I will begin by briefly tracing the ‘social misfit’ critique as it is found in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling and in the Zhuangzi. In Section 2, I will sketch Hegel's argument for the indispensability and irreducibility of social norms (Sittlichkeit) for morality, and reflect on the implications of this move for the possibility of social criticism. Finally, I will argue that Confucius can be understood as articulating a vision of morality and of social criticism very close to Hegel's.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more