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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front Phil Chin    2012, Vol. 7 Issue (3) : 481-497
research-article |
Kant’s Better Man and the Confucian Junzi
XIE Wenyu()
Center for Judaic and Inter-Religious Studies, School of Philosophy and Sociology, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
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This essay attempts to compare Kant’s better man and the Confucian junzi in the Zhongyong, and argues that Kant’s idea of the better man, which expresses human self-improvement in ultimate freedom, is in fact a conception very similar to that of the Confucian junzi, which denotes an ideal human being in cheng. Kant attributes the lack of emphasis on self-improvement in Western culture to the Christian conception of grace, and demonstrates the possibility of self-improvement on the ground of ultimate freedom. We may call this treatment “the Confucian solution” in Kant’s thought. My intention is to explicate the conceptual commonality between the better man and the junzi and demonstrate the Confucian element in Kant’s religious thought.

Keywords better man      junzi      natural revelation      grace      Zhongyong      Kant     
Corresponding Authors: XIE Wenyu,   
Issue Date: 05 September 2012
 Cite this article:   
XIE Wenyu. Kant’s Better Man and the Confucian Junzi[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2012, 7(3): 481-497.
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