Abstract

The Confucian relational concept of the person has been proposed as an epistemically more cogent and ethically more attractive alternative to that of liberal individualism. Two arguments are raised against this proposal without defending liberal individualism. Ethically, Confucianism is vitiated by certain unattractive features that cannot be removed without reducing the Confucian relational concept of the person to an abstract and not very helpful notion of human relatedness. Epistemically, Confucianism commits the essentialist fallacy of treating its own concept of human relations as reflecting the nature of things. In view of these limitations, the Confucian relational concept of the person does not provide a viable framework for dealing with social issues including bioethics.

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3249
Print ISSN
1054-6863
Pages
pp. 325-346
Launched on MUSE
1999-12-01
Open Access
No
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