The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle: Mirrors of Virtue

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As a comparative study of the virtue ethics of Aristotle and Confucius, this book explores how they each reflect upon human good and virtue out of their respective cultural assumptions, conceptual frameworks, and philosophical perspectives. It does not simply take one side as a framework to understand the other; rather, it takes them as mirrors for each other and seeks to develop new readings and perspectives of both ethics that would be unattainable if each were studied on its own.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[T]his is a very valuable volume. It is a rich and textually grounded discussion of these two thinkers. It is an illuminating account of the parallels and divergences between them." — Brad Wilburn, Chadron State College, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Yu's book is the best book on comparative philosophy I have ever read. He has proposed a creative methodology and he applies his expert knowledge of Greek and Chinese philosophy with great care and insight. I recommend this book without reservation." — Nicholas F. Gier, University of Idaho, Journal of Chinese Philosophy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415803052
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/16/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 12
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Jiyuan Yu is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, State University of New York at Buffalo. He is author of The Structure of being in Aristotle's Metaphysics, co-author (with Nick Bunnin) of The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy, and co-editor (with Jorge Gracia) of Rationality and Happiness and Uses and Abuses of the Classics.

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Table of Contents

Preface and acknowldgements     ix
Abbreviations     xi
Introduction     1
Two revivals     1
The meaning of comparison     3
The possibility of comparison     6
The nature of ethical thinking     10
The scope of comparison     17
The structure of the book     20
Eudaimonia, dao, and virtue     24
Human good: eudaimonia and dao     25
Virtue: arete and de     28
De and ren     32
The beginning of ethics     35
Doing ethics and being pious     43
The ways of ethics     46
Humanity: xing and ergon     53
Human nature and humanity     54
Function and good nature     57
Humanity as the foundation of ethics     61
Justifying humanity     67
Actualization of humanity     71
From humanity to virtue     74
Virtue, the mean, and disposition     79
The mean: inner and outer     80
Hitting the mean     83
The inner mean and virtue     88
Disposition and second nature     90
The components of virtue     92
Habituation and ritualization     96
Social value: li and ethos     96
The training of emotion     102
Political animal and relational self     108
Nature and cultivation     113
Family and virtue     120
Politics and virtue     130
Practical wisdom and appropriateness     140
Ethical wisdom and traditional value     142
The structure of ethical wisdom     148
Harmony of emotion and reason     152
Ethical reasoning     154
Particular virtues     158
The unity of virtues     162
The highest good and external goods     169
Virtue, activity, and happiness     171
Contemplation and self-completion     177
Being one with God and being one with Heaven     180
External goods     185
Virtue and good     192
The practical and the contemplative     195
Contemplative activity and contemplative life     196
Self and self-actualization     200
Self and the others     205
The value of contemplation     219
Greek glossary     222
Chinese glossary     224
Notes      226
Selected bibliography     263
Index of names     272
Index of subjects     274
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