Virtue Ethics and Confucian Ethics

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, 9(3) 275-287

By Chen Lai

Abstract: This essay focuses on the unity of several virtues in pre-Qin Confucians. Confucius maintains the proper application and coherence of such virtues as benevolence, wisdom, trustworthiness, straightforwardness, courage, and firmness. Further, Confucius takes benevolence and nobility as characteristic of human being. Particular attention is paid to the distinction and relationship between virtuous characters and virtuous actions.

There has been a significant development of virtue ethics in recent decades. The following
discussion first considers the possible light that virtue ethics might shed on the study of
ancient Confucian ethics and examines the Confucian theory of virtue from the perspective
of virtue ethics; secondly, a limited comparative discussion between Confucius Lunyu
(Analects) and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics will be made, with the former as
representative of the Confucian theory of virtue and the latter as representative of Greek
philosophy.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Friday, June 10, 2011 by agomberg
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