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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2020, Vol. 15 Issue (4) : 567-585     https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-009-020-0033-2
RESEARCH ARTICLE
Wall, Gate and Self-Other Dynamics: A Confucian Ethics of Separation and Interconnection
YAO Xinzhong()
School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
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Abstract

This paper starts with the social and moral implications of wall in history and in the contemporary world, to usher in the early Confucian discourse on wall and gate. The Confucian discourse implies that walls—either actual, virtual or symbolic—are there to defend and/or to separate, while gates enable the managed access to and opening-up the self-imposed insularity or moderate the self-centred exclusiveness that walls imply. By way of reinterpretation and reconstruction, we will extract from a variety of Confucian discussions the ethical awareness that however strongly built, walls must be associated with gates, and that the wall and the gate are therefore locked in mutuality to make possible the reality of interconnectedness between the inside and the outside and between the self and the other. It will be argued that by using ethical virtues as tools to moderate separation and exclusiveness, Confucian discourses highlight the dynamics of the self-other relationship, and establishes an ethics that may well be still applicable to contemporary situations and can be drawn upon to help dissolve the tension between the values of populist self-centrism and those of globalist interconnectedness.

Keywords wall      gate      self-other dynamics      Confucian ethics      globalization      anti-globalization      COVID-19      isolation      interconnectedness     
Issue Date: 23 December 2020
 Cite this article:   
YAO Xinzhong. Wall, Gate and Self-Other Dynamics: A Confucian Ethics of Separation and Interconnection[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2020, 15(4): 567-585.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/10.3868/s030-009-020-0033-2
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/Y2020/V15/I4/567
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