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Confucianism And The Is-Ought Question

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Chapter Summary

The author chapter aims to give a reading of Confucianism such that, if he is right, we can say that the Confucians showed us how to derive 'ought' from 'is' long before Searle did in his 1964 paper. In what follows, the author will examine the Confucian processes of the rectification of names and of being sincere, and what they aim at, namely being true to our human nature as the exemplification of Nature, of the Way (Dao). This will reinforce the claim made here, the claim that the Confucian self entails a 'moral ought'. However, by way of closing, the author wants to suggest, below, that, supporters of Hume's law as well as Searle's critics might have reasons to insist that Confucianism does not give rise to a counter-example to the Humean thesis.

Keywords: Confucianism; Dao; exemplification of Nature; Hume's law; Humean thesis; moral ought



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