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What Confucian Philosophy Means for Chinese and Asian Psychology Today: Indigenous Roots for a Psychology of Social Change

  • James H. Liu (a1)
Abstract

It is claimed via analysis of Shu-Hsien Liu's seminal book Understanding Confucian Philosophy that contemporary Confucianism offers: (1) a set of ultimate concerns that can be used to guide life and scholarly endeavour; (2) an axiomatic world view, and a generative model of human nature that not only accords with empirical evidence, but is highly adaptive in organising society; (3) an epistemology that is appropriate for social science research on social change. These qualities suggest that contemporary Confucianism can inform psychological research in a manner that goes far deeper than merely describing popular tendencies among culturally Chinese people. It may be used in constructing a form of social science with depth and utility in addressing both practical and existential concerns of scholars and ordinary people in society that is not restricted to Chinese societies alone, but any society in need of inspiration in seeking to construct humanist ethics for research and governance.

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Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Professor James H. Liu, Co-Director, Centre for Applied Cross Cultural Research, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Email: james.liu@vuw.ac.nz
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Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1834-4909
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-pacific-rim-psychology
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