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From the Publisher"This is the most comprehensive and intriguing scholarly treatment of the concept of harmony in Confucianism. Li’s arguments are clearly articulated with the support of erudite intellectual history, textual exegesis, and most convincingly, crystal clear conceptual analysis. This book is a must for those students and scholars in philosophy, China Studies, and East Asian Studies, who want to understand the core of Confucianism, both classical and modern."
Vincent Shen, University of Toronto, Canada
"The ideal of liberty is central to the liberal tradition, but the value of liberty was not discussed in any systematic way prior to John Stuart Mill's On Liberty in the nineteenth century. The ideal of harmony is central to the Confucian tradition, but perhaps even more surprising, not a single book-length manuscript has explored its value in the three thousand year Confucian tradition. Chenyang Li's book finally fills the gap. Westerners tend to think of harmony as synonymous with conformity and uniformity, but Li shows that this view is fundamentally mistaken. Li's comparative outlook is particularly helpful for helping the reader grasp what makes harmony a precious and unique value and why Confucians tend to think harmony is central to any decent ethical system. This book is a tour de force, a must read for anybody who wants to learn about the ideals that make Confucian-influenced cultures tick."
Daniel A. Bell, author of East Meets West: Human Rights and Democracy in East Asia (2000) and Confucianism for the Modern World (2003)