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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2015, Vol. 10 Issue (4) : 547-567
Special Theme
Confucian Political Philosophy for Non-Confucians
Ralph Weber()
Institute for European Global Studies, University of Basel, Gellertstrasse 27, 4020 Basel, Switzerland
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Contemporary proponents of Confucian political philosophy often ignore the fact that any sizeable future Confucian political order will have to accommodate many “non-Confucians.” The guiding question of this paper is therefore the following: how could a Confucian political philosophy, if it can at all, adequately take into account a plurality of comprehensive worldviews? I first turn to John Rawls and his account of these terms and of reasonable pluralism more generally. I then examine some particularly relevant developments and criticism of Rawls’ account. Finally, I offer a discussion of some recent proposals for a Confucian political philosophy, and examine to what extent each recognizes the fact of pluralism, sees it as a challenge, and deals with it in a persuasive manner. The paper concludes with a depiction of two major stumbling blocks that might stand firmly in the way of such a pluralism-accommodating political Confucianism.

Keywords Confucian political philosophy      liberal democracy      pluralism      comprehensive worldviews      John Rawls     
Issue Date: 26 January 2016
 Cite this article:   
Ralph Weber. Confucian Political Philosophy for Non-Confucians[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(4): 547-567.
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