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Confucian Self-Cultivation and Daoist Personhood: Implications for Peace Education

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This essay argues that the concept of reaching peace within in order to sustain peace outside in classical Confucianism and Daoism offers us important lessons for peace education in the contemporary age. Building harmonious connections between differences in one’s personhood paves a path for negotiating interconnections across conflicting multiplicities in the outside world. The essay starts by discussing the Confucian and Daoist notions of personhood as a microcosmic universe connected to a macrocosmic universe. Second, the historical context of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Period in which Confucianism and Daoism emerged are briefly reviewed. Third, Confucian self-cultivation and the Daoist conception of personhood are discussed. Fourth, relational issues of harmony in difference and tranquility in turbulence are analyzed. Lastly, inner peace reaching outer peace in leadership and governing is formulated in terms of the unity between means and end in peace education.


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