1st Edition

Secret Subversion I Mou Zongsan, Kant, and Early Confucianism

By Tang Wenming Copyright 2020
    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    146 Pages
    by Routledge

    Mou Zongsan (1909–1995), one of the representatives of Modern Confucianism, belongs to the most important Chinese philosophers of the twentieth century. From a more traditional Confucian perspective, this book makes a critical analysis on Mou’s "moral metaphysics," mainly his thoughts about Confucian ethos.

    The author observes that Mou simplifies Confucian ethos rooted in various and specific environments, making them equal to modern ethics, which is a subversion of the ethical order of life advocated by traditional Confucianism. The author believes, also, that Mou has twisted Confucian ethos systematically by introducing Kant’s concept of autonomy into the interpretation of Confucian thoughts.

    Scholars and students in Chinese philosophy, especially those in Confucian studies, will be attracted by this book. Also, it will appeal to readers interested in comparative philosophy.

    Part 1 The Reduction of Morality 

    Chapter I. Autonomy and Altruism: On the Moralistic Interpretation of Confucian Thought 

    Chapter II. Do the Zhou People’s Concern-Consciousness and Respect for Virtue Constitute a Moral Breakthrough? 

    Chapter III. Is the Confucian Doctrine of Benevolence a Moralistic Doctrine? 

    Chapter IV. Is Mencius’ Theory of Goodness of Human Nature a Moral Metaphysics? 

    Part 2 The Appropriation of Autonomy 

    Chapter I. The Spirit of Confucian Ethics and Autonomous Morality 

    Chapter II. Mencius on the Internality of Benevolence and Righteousness 

    Chapter III. "The Internality of Benevolence and Righteousness" and Autonomous Morality 

    Chapter IV. Confucian Ethics: Virtue-Based or Law-Based? 


    Tang Wenming is a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Deputy Director of the Institute for Ethics and Religions Studies at Tsinghua University. He is also Secretary General of the Chinese Confucian Academy. His research areas are ethics, Chinese philosophy and religious studies.