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Aspects of Confucianism

A Study of the Relationship between Rationality and Humaneness

Gregor Paul

The highest goal of classic Confucianism was to contribute to the realization of a humane world. As means toward such a realization, it advocated rational methods, particularly logic, experience, and critically rational discourse. Thus, classic Confucianism reflected the view that rationality is more favorable to humanity than non-rationality. Today, classic Confucianism would belong to those schools which argue against the popular inclination toward mysticism and sectarianism, - an inclination widespread in the «West» and often defended by hinting at alleged evidence from «Eastern» cultures.
Above all else, it is with such points that Confucianism proves its relevance.
In advancing and defending this thesis, Aspects of Confucianism suggests, contrary to a widespread opinion, that we can learn a great deal from such obvious cultural commonalities as the basic features of a universal rationality, that obvious commonalities are by no means uninteresting, and that their description and appreciation is not necessarily an expression of a cultural bias.
Contents: Key Terms: Universality - Humanity - Critical rationality - Criticism - Rational discourse - Logic - Ontologicalization of ethics - Modernization - Democratization.