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“Consider The Other More Important Than The Self ”: Liang Shuming's View Of Confucian Ethics

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Chapter Summary

After the New Culture Movement, Liang Shuming advocated wholesale acceptance of Western culture. He expected that world culture would turn toward socialism, and he advocated the Confucian attitude toward life as the way of the future. Liang's understanding of Confucian ethics not only represents his individual experience, it also epitomizes how the Confucian tradition reacted to and shaped Chinese modernity. This chapter narrates and discusses Liang's thoughts on ethics in order to investigate the reaction of the Confucian tradition to modernity theory, and then finishes with a brief discussion regarding the ethical idea of prioritizing the "other". Liang upholds his earlier theory of the "three great questions of human life" that humanity has faced since its beginnings: the question of how humans should treat material things; the question of how humans should treat each other; and, the question of how humans should treat their own lives.

Keywords: Chinese culture; Confucian ethics; Liang Shuming

10.1163/ej.9789004175167.i-447.10
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