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Classical Confucianism as a vision for the exemplary treatment of persons-a contribution to the East-West discourse on human rights

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Item Summary

Title: Classical Confucianism as a vision for the exemplary treatment of persons-a contribution to the East-West discourse on human rights
Authors: Akina, William Kelii
Keywords: Confucius
Great Learning
Human Rights
show 6 moreEast-West
Chung-Ying Cheng
John Rawls
Wesley Hohfeld
Comparative Philosophy
Political Philosophy

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Issue Date: Dec 2010
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2010]
Abstract: Classical Confucianism, through its repository of canonical texts, offers a compelling vision for the exemplary treatment of persons that is ancient in origin, relevant to the needs of present-day China, and contributory to future East-West discourse on human rights. The first of two independent prongs in this dissertation argues that Classical Confucianism generates a foundation for cultivating human creativity and excellence. Imbedded within a picture of the ideal functioning society in the Da Xue 大學, (conventionally translated "Great Learning") and explicated as exemplary personhood (junzi 君子) within the Lun Yu 論語 (the "Analects") are the rudiments for a universal, normative standard of exemplary treatment of all members of society. The metaphysical roots for this standard are presumed by Classical Confucian literature such as the Shujing 書經 ("Book of History") and most notably the Yijing 易經 ("Book of Changes") in which principles such as the harmonization and creativity of nature are understood also as human processes which society is called to cultivate within all individuals. Through the application of Onto-hermeneutics (a hermeneutical method developed by Professor Chung-ying Cheng) to the relevant texts, the concept Tianming 天命 as moral authority (conventionally, Mandate of Heaven), emerges as the universal, normative standard for the exemplary treatment of persons. The effective implementation of the Classical Confucian vision, resulting in such widespread personal cultivation at the level of self-actualization (as in Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs), entails the prior satisfaction of lower order human needs.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Philosophy

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