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The “Manifesto” of New-Confucianism and the revival of virtue ethics

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In 1958, a group of New-Confucians issued “A Manifesto for a Re-Appraisal of Sinology and Reconstruction of Chinese Culture.” Equally in 1958, the British philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe published her classical paper “Modern Moral Philosophy.” These two papers have the same target — modern Western morality — and the solutions they proposed respectively. Yet Anscombe’s paper did not mention Confucianism, and the “Manifesto” ignored Aristotelian tradition of virtue. Furthermore, from 1960s to 1990s, the revival movement of Confucianism and the revival movement of Aristotelian ethics have not had much dialogue. This paper seeks to explain this phenomenon by comparing these two historically important documents. In particular it tries to understand why the “Manifesto” fails to see the similarities between Aristotle and Confucius.


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