•  316
    : Here a moral principle called the "Copper Rule" is developed and defended as an alternative to the Golden Rule. First, the article focuses on two problems with the Golden Rule's traditional formulation of "Do (or don't do) unto others what you would (or would not) have them do unto you": it assumes (1) the uniformity of human needs and preferences and (2) that whatever is universally desired is good. Second, it examines three attempts to reformulate the Golden Rule—Marcus Singer's general inte…Read more
  •  115
    Charles Taylor's transcendental arguments for liberal communitarianism
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 24 (4): 79-106. 1998.
    This paper sees Charles Taylor's moral discourse as a version of liberal communitarianism, an attempt to reconcile liberalism and communitarianism, by examining his three transcendental arguments: the liberal transcendence from the parochial to the universal; the communi tarian transcendence from the instinctual to the ontological; and the theistic transcendence from the good to God. While this liberal communi tarianism absorbs some great insights from both liberalism and communi tarianism and o…Read more
  •  108
    Two Dilemmas in Virtue Ethics and How Zhu Xi’s Neo-Confucianism Avoids Them
    Journal of Philosophical Research 36 247-281. 2011.
    Virtue ethics has become an important rival to deontology and consequentialism, the two dominant moral theories in modern Western philosophy. What unites various forms of virtue ethics and distinguishes virtue ethics from its rivals is its emphasis on the primacy of virtue. In this article, I start with an explanation of the primacy of virtue in virtue ethics and two dilemmas, detected by Gary Watson, that virtue ethics faces: (1) virtue ethics may maintain the primacy of virtue and thus leave v…Read more
  •  106
    "WHY BE MORAL?" The Cheng Brothers' neo-confucian answer
    Journal of Religious Ethics 36 (2): 321-353. 2008.
    In this article, I present a neo-Confucian answer, by Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi, to the question, "Why should I be moral?" I argue that this answer is better than some representative answers in the Western philosophical tradition. According to the Chengs, one should be moral because it is a joy to perform moral actions. Sometimes one finds it a pain, instead of a joy, to perform moral actions only because one lacks the necessary genuine moral knowledge—knowledge that is accessible to every common p…Read more
  •  100
    The Self-Centeredness Objection to Virtue Ethics: Zhu Xi’s Neo-Confucian Response
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4): 651-692. 2010.
    As virtue ethics has developed into maturity, it has also met with a number of objections. This essay focuses on the self-centeredness objection: since virtue ethics recommends that we be concerned with our own virtues or virtuous characters, it is self-centered. In response, I first argue that, for Zhu Xi’s neo-Confucianism, the character that a virtuous person is concerned with consists largely in precisely those virtues that incline him or her to be concerned with the good of others. While su…Read more
  •  93
    Confucius and mencius on the motivation to be moral
    Philosophy East and West 60 (1). 2010.
    Focusing on the Analects and the Mencius, this article attempts to provide a Confucian answer to "why be moral?"—a question about the motivation to be moral that is neither tautological nor self-contradictory, as some philosophers claim. The Confucian answer to this question is that to be moral is joyful. While one may find joy in doing non-moral and even immoral things, one ought to seek joy in being moral or at least in being not immoral, as being moral is uniquely human. As the Confucian moti…Read more
  •  69
    Cheng Brothers’ Neo‐Confucian Virtue Ethics: The Identity of Virtue and Nature
    Journal of Chinese Philosophy 30 (3-4): 451-467. 2003.
    This article attempts to see whether value can be independent of fact. I argue that, in this regard, the two traditional models of ethics, Kant's deontology and Bentham/Mill's utilitarianism are both faulty. In comparison, while contemporary Aristotelian virtue ethics does seem more promising, I argue that such a version of virtue ethics is still deficient. The main purpose of this article is to develop an alternative version of virtue ethics, what I call neo-Confucian ontological virtue ethics,…Read more
  •  67
    Knowing-that, Knowing-how, or Knowing-to?
    Journal of Philosophical Research 42 65-94. 2017.
    Gilbert Ryle has made the famous distinction between intellectual knowing-that and practical knowing-how. Since knowledge in Confucianism is not merely intellectual but also practical, many scholars have argued that such knowledge is knowing-how or, at least, very similar to it. In this essay, focusing on Wang Yangming’s moral knowledge, I shall argue that it is neither knowing-that nor knowing-how, but a third type of knowing, knowing-to. There is a unique feature of knowing-to that is not shar…Read more
  •  62
    Religious beliefs have often been taken either as absolutely foundational to all others or as ultimately founded on something else. This essay starts with an endorsement of the contemporary critique of foundationalism but sets its task as to search for the foundation of religious belief after foundationalism. In its third and main part, it argues for a Wittgensteinian reflective equilibrium as such a foundation. In this reflective equilibrium, religious beliefs are no more and no less foundation…Read more
  •  59
    In this postmodern era, God-talk is facing serious challenges. Is it still possible to have a meaningful concept of God after the demise of metaphysical realism? How can we make sense of the idea of absolute transcendence in a secularized world? In what sense can we still believe something as divine revelation when foundationalism is no longer taken for granted? While some believe that we can go about our old theological business as usual, others have entirely given up on the hope of any intelli…Read more
  •  57
    Religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue: Beyond universalism and particularism (review)
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 37 (3). 1995.
  •  50
    There is an increasing awareness that we are living in a global village, which demands a global ethics. In this article, I shall explore what contributions Confucianism, particularly its conception of love, can make. It has often been claimed that Confucian love is love with distinction, as a natural feeling, and as merely human love and so it is inferior to the Christian love, which is universal, commanded, and based on divine love. Drawing on the resources of the Cheng brothers' neo-Confuciani…Read more
  •  43
    Though this is not a comparative study of Hegel and Heidegger, this article brings Heidegger's thinking of Being to shed light on some ambiguous parts of Hegel's Godtalk, which is fundamentally postmodern. Its main arguments are (1) as real, Hegel's God is not a metaphysical Being but an absolute activity; (2) as transcendent, Hegel's God is not beyond this world but immanent in this world to bring it beyond itself; and (3) as revealing, God is not external but internal to human knowing. Largely…Read more
  •  39
    In this article, I attempt to provide a new interpretation of li in the neo-Confucian brothers Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi. I argue that the two brothers' views on li are not as radically different as many scholars have made us to believe; li in both brothers is a de-reified conception, referring not to some entity, including the entity with activity, but to activity, the life-giving activity of the ten thousand things; and this life-giving activity, in terms of its mysterious wonderfulness, is calle…Read more
  •  31
    Patient Moral Relativism in the Zhuangzi
    Philosophia 46 (4): 877-894. 2018.
    Moral relativism familiar in the Western philosophical tradition, according to David Lyons, is either agent relativism or appraiser relativism or appraiser group). As Lyons has convincingly argued, they are both problematic. However, in the ancient Chinese Daoist classic, the Zhuangzi, we can find a different type of moral relativism, which I call patient relativism. In the essay, I aim to argue in what sense Zhuangzi is a patient relativist and how patient relativism can avoid the problem of ag…Read more
  •  30
    Cheng Yi’s Neo-Confucian Ontological Hermeneutics of Dao
    Journal of Chinese Philosophy 27 (1): 69-92. 2000.
  •  25
    Can virtue be taught and how? Confucius on the paradox of moral education
    Journal of Moral Education 40 (2): 141-159. 2011.
    In this paper I shall first examine an apparent paradox in Confucius? view on whether everyone is perfectible through education: on the one hand, he states that education should be provided to all, on the other hand, he says that common people cannot be made to know things. To understand this apparent paradox, I shall argue that education for Confucius is primarily moral education, as he teaches his students to become virtuous persons. So the apparent paradox is really one about whether virtue c…Read more
  •  22
    Feng Qi on Wisdom: Guest Editors' Introduction
    with Yang Guorong
    Contemporary Chinese Thought 42 (3): 3-7. 2011.
    Feng Qi explored many areas of Chinese and Western, ancient and modern philosophy, but he was always most concerned with the idea of wisdom. The selections translated here are examples of his earliest and last work on this subject.
  •  21
    Virtue Ethics and Moral Responsibility: Confucian Conceptions of Moral Praise and Blame
    Journal of Chinese Philosophy 40 (3-4): 381-399. 2013.
    This essay discusses how Confucianism can deal with two related issues of virtue ethics and moral responsibility: praise and blame. We normally praise a person because the person has done something difficult, but a virtuous person does the virtuous things effortlessly, delightfully, and with great ease. Thus the question arises regarding whether such actions are indeed praiseworthy. We can blame a person for doing something wrong only if the person does it knowingly. However, according to virtue…Read more
  •  19
    IntroductionThe idea of neutrality is one of the trademarks and also one of the most controversial ideas of contemporary liberalism as a political philosophy. One part of this idea is that, in determining the political principle of justice, the state should be neutral with respect to individuals’ religious and metaphysical conceptions of the good or the lack thereof. In their argument against political liberalism, communitarian philosophers such as Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor have argu…Read more
  •  18
    Taiwanese Confucianism: Guest Editor's Introduction
    Contemporary Chinese Thought 41 (1): 3-9. 2009.
    This collection demonstrates not only that any Confucianism is localized and historical, but also that any of these historical and localized forms of Confucianism is pregnant with ideas that have significant implications beyond its own location and time.
  •  18
    Dao Companion to Zhu Xi’s Philosophy (edited book)
    with Kai-Chiu Ng
    Springer. 2020.
    Zhu Xi has been commonly and justifiably recognized as the most influential philosopher of Neo-Confucianism, a revival of classical Confucianism in face of the challenges coming from Daoism and, more importantly, Buddhism. His place in the Confucian tradition is often and also very plausibly compared to that of Thomas Aquinas, slightly later, in the Christian tradition. This book presents the most comprehensive and updated study of this great philosopher. It situates Zhu Xi’s philosophy in the h…Read more
  •  17
    Analects 13.18 continues to be the central focus of a prolonged debate among contemporary scholars in the mainland China. The newest stage of this debate is initiated by Liao Mingchun of Tsinghua University and Liang Tao of Renmin University of China, respectively, and responded to by Guo Qiyong and his students. There are three main issues involved in this new round of debate: whether the Chinese character yin in this passage means nondisclosure, as has been traditionally interpreted, or rectif…Read more