Human Rights in Chinese Thought: A Cross-Cultural Inquiry (Cambridge Modern China Series)

Human Rights in Chinese Thought: A Cross-Cultural Inquiry (Cambridge Modern China Series)

Stephen C. Angle

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0521007526

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

What should we make of claims by members of other groups to have moralities different from our own? Human Rights in Chinese Thought gives an extended answer to this question in the first study of its kind. It integrates a full account of the development of Chinese rights discourse with philosophical consideration of how various communities should respond to contemporary Chinese claims about the uniqueness of their human rights concepts. The book elaborates a plausible kind of moral pluralism and demonstrates that Chinese ideas of human rights do indeed have distinctive characteristics, but it nonetheless argues for the importance and promise of cross-cultural moral engagement.
















Fikentscher, Wolfgang, 144n6 guojia quanli (state rights), Four Modernizations, 71 191 free speech, 118–19, 137, 187, 227 guojia zhuyi (nationalism), free will, 131, 133, 192 186 French Revolution, 186, 202 Guomindang Party (GMD, Fukuzawa Yukichi, 122–3 Nationalist Party), 139, 180, 200–4 Fung, Edmund, 203n24 guoquan (state rights), 191 Gao Yihan, 188–95, 202, 237, 245–6, Haakonssen, Knud, 99 248 Habermas, Jürgen, 16n23 geming minquan Haeckel, Ernst, 147 (revolutionary

important role as the child matures. 60 Static Attitudes way from the hunter-gatherer environments in which our ancestors evolved.6 I have been disagreeing with Gibbard’s assertion that repression must always be a bad, but I certainly agree that it will typically have costs. It may of course undermine the sort of respect that Gibbard emphasized, supposing that we value such respect. Depending on how we go about coercing the others, it will probably have other costs as well, though these will

our way of judging. We are attempting to woo them into looking at it from our moral perspective rather than from the competing perspective. Suppose that this is all that can be said in the case of incommensurate languages. In most cases, though, communication is less problematic. We may not be supremely confident that we are understanding them correctly, but the snags that we are hitting seem minor (at worst). Their terms are different from ours, but as I suggested earlier, languages like

large-scale social transformations, as evidence of which he cites the French and American revolutions and the Japanese Meiji Restoration. This idea that the people must unite in order to move the nation forward is given more explicit discussion in “The Direction of Contemporary Education.” One of the directions in which Chen argues Chinese education must direct people is toward “populism ( weimin zhuyi).” He explains that in feudal times, China (like other countries) lacked “group thought,” since

of the nation will be likewise. If the power of the individuals is consolidated, then the power of the nation will be likewise” [Chen 1984g (1916), p. 103]. It thus 186 Chen Duxiu makes sense for Chen to put so much stress on the need for independent individuals with lofty personalities, even while he also recognizes that nation-building will, at times, demand sacrifices of these same individuals. It remains in the individual’s best interest to devote himself or herself to collective action

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