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Virtue Ethics and Consequentialism in Early Chinese Philosophy
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  • Cited by 52
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    Cline, Erin M. 2016. The Boundaries of Manners: Ritual and Etiquette in Early Confucianism and Stohr’s On Manners. Dao, Vol. 15, Issue. 2, p. 241.

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    Tan, Leonard 2016. ConfucianCreatio in situ– philosophical resource for a theory of creativity in instrumental music education. Music Education Research, Vol. 18, Issue. 1, p. 91.

    Van Norden, Bryan W. 2016. Principles, Virtues, or Detachment? Some Appreciative Reflections on Karen Stohr’s On Manners. Dao, Vol. 15, Issue. 2, p. 227.

    D’Ambrosio, Paul J. 2015. The value of falsity in the Mencius: early confucianism is not consequentialism. International Communication of Chinese Culture, Vol. 2, Issue. 2, p. 137.

    Huff, Benjamin I. 2015. Eudaimonism in the Mencius: Fulfilling the Heart. Dao, Vol. 14, Issue. 3, p. 403.

    Hutton, Eric L. 2015. On the “Virtue Turn” and the Problem of Categorizing Chinese Thought. Dao, Vol. 14, Issue. 3, p. 331.

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    Walker, Matthew D. 2015. How Narrow is Aristotle's Contemplative Ideal?. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, p. n/a.

    Walsh, Sean Drysdale 2015. Contemplation and the Moral Life in Confucius and Aristotle. Dao, Vol. 14, Issue. 1, p. 13.

    Chiu, Wai Wai 2014. Assessment of Li 利 in the Mencius and the Mozi. Dao, Vol. 13, Issue. 2, p. 199.

    Cline, Erin M. 2014. Justice and Confucianism. Philosophy Compass, Vol. 9, Issue. 3, p. 165.

    Fraser, Chris 2014. Wandering the Way: A Eudaimonistic Approach to the Zhuāngzǐ. Dao, Vol. 13, Issue. 4, p. 541.

    Jin, Wen 2014. Sentimentalism and the “Cult of Qing”: Writing Romantic Love in 18th-Century England and Late Ming China. Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol. 7, Issue. 4, p. 551.

    Kim, Myeong-seok 2014. Respect in Mengzi as a Concern-based Construal: How It Is Different from Desire and Behavioral Disposition. Dao, Vol. 13, Issue. 2, p. 231.

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Book description

In this book Bryan W. Van Norden examines early Confucianism as a form of virtue ethics and Mohism, an anti-Confucian movement, as a version of consequentialism. The philosophical methodology is analytic, in that the emphasis is on clear exegesis of the texts and a critical examination of the philosophical arguments proposed by each side. Van Norden shows that Confucianism, while similar to Aristotelianism in being a form of virtue ethics, offers different conceptions of 'the good life', the virtues, human nature, and ethical cultivation. Mohism is akin to Western utilitarianism in being a form of consequentialism, but distinctive in its conception of the relevant consequences and in its specific thought-experiments and state-of-nature arguments. Van Norden makes use of the best research on Chinese history, archaeology, and philology. His text is accessible to philosophers with no previous knowledge of Chinese culture and to Sinologists with no background in philosophy.


'Brian Van Norden has made a remarkable and thought provoking contribution … I strongly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Chinese philosophy and comparative philosophy.'

Source: Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy

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