Education as a human right : a Confucian perspective
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Joseph Chan’s Confucian Perfectionism: A Political Philosophy for Modern Times is a milestone in the contemporary study of Confucian political philosophy. In this remarkable work, Chan presents his version of Confucian perfectionism, aiming to balance liberalism and Confucianism as a solution to reconstructing a political philosophy in response to contemporary challenges. I am sympathetic to much of what Chan has to say in the book. I agree that, rather than merely being an ethical theory, Confucianism can and should have a place in political philosophy. I also agree that Confucianism can coexist with democracy1 and that human rights can and should be instituted as a fallback apparatus. This essay is not meant to give a comprehensive assessment of Chan’s book, nor is it about praise. This essay is about how his version of Confucian perfectionism can be strengthened—from a Confucian standpoint.
Philosophy East and West
© 2017 University of Hawai’i Press. This paper was published in Philosophy East and West and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of University of Hawai’i Press. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/pew.2017.0004]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.