By laying bare the historical roots and biases of certain modern deprecations of Confucianism, this article defends the integrity of Confucian civilization and reclaims its significance for the modern world. Taking on a typical criticism of Confucian ethics by Alasdair MacIntyre, it is argued that the ideal of Confucian self cannot be defined in terms of Western concepts of either autonomy or heteronomy; it consists rather in a kind of virtuosity as inspired by the empathetic openness of the self. Through a comparative study of Confucian and typical Western ethical theories, I will demonstrate further how the empathetic embodiment of the Confucian self may inform an order of ritual that may still be relevant for the modern world in promoting harmonious social and political orders and transforming conventional power hierarchies into the virtuous rule of benefaction.


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pp. 1222-1247
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