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Confucian Harmony from an African Perspective

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Chenyang Li’s new book, The Philosophy of Confucian Harmony, has been heralded as the first book-length exposition of the concept of harmony in the approximately 3,000 year old Confucian tradition. It provides a systematic analysis of Confucian harmony and defence of its relevance for contemporary moral and political thought. In this philosophical discussion of Li’s book, I expound its central claims, contextualize them relative to other work in English-speaking Confucian thought, and critically reflect on them, particularly in light of a conception of harmony that is salient in the sub-Saharan African tradition. Hence, this article aims to continue the nascent dialogue between indigenous Chinese and African philosophical traditions that has only just begun.

Affiliations: 1: Philosophy Department, APK B-602, University of Johannesburg pob 524, Auckland Park 2006 South Africa


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