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"A Productive Dialogue: Contemporary Moral Education and Neo-Confucian Virtue Ethics"
Angle, Stephen (Wesleyan University)
My focus will be on two practices that are central to neo-Confucian conceptions of moral education, namely ritual and attention. As I elaborate on their significances, I will comment on the ways in which contemporary moral psychology can learn from the neo-Confucians, as well as on the ways in which contemporary heirs of neo-Confucianism might learn from the psychologists.

"The Self-Centeredness Objection to Virtue Ethics: Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucian Response"
Huang, Yong (Kutztown University)
As virtue ethics emerges as a viable competitor to deontology and utilitarianism, it also faces some serious objections, one of which is directed to its apparent self-centeredness: the moral agent is primarily concerned with his or her own virtue, and yet a moral person is supposed to be concerned with others. While virtue may require its possessor to be concerned with the interest of others, the objection claims that there is an asymmetry between agent and patient in virtue ethics: it requires the agent to be concerned with his or her own virtue but with material and external goods of the patient, when it regards virtue as more important than these material and external goods. The typical response to such an objection (made by David Solomon and Rosalind Hursthouse) has so far been unsatisfactory, as it is merely a "partner in crime" argument: neither deontology nor utilitarianism can fare any better in this respect. There are some attempts (made by Richard Kraut and Christopher Toner among others) to show that a virtuous person is concerned with the virtue of others as well as one's own, but they are largely based on what I regard as problematic inferences from some ambiguous passages in Aristotle. In this paper, assuming that Confucianism is primarily a virtue ethics, I shall argue that Confucianism can provide a better response to this objection. Particularly I will focus on the neo-Confucian master Zhu Xi. In his interpretation of the Confucian classic The Great Learning and numerous conversations with his students, Zhu makes it clear that a moral agent is indeed concerned with his or her virtue. However, one's own virtue cannot be fully realized and one cannot be regarded as a virtuous person unless one is also interested in the virtue of others. In other words, a virtuous person should be concerned with both external goods and internal characters of others. While one cannot teach others to be virtuous in the same way as one teaches others scientific knowledge, Zhu argues that this does not mean that virtue cannot be taught, and the best way for a virtuous person to teach others to be virtuous is to set a personal example.

"Moral Perception in McDowell, Wang, and Mengzi"
Ivanhoe, Philip. J (City University of Hong Kong)
I want to contrast and compare and thereby explore some of the similarities and differences between Mengzi, Wang Yangming and John McDowell on the issue of the metaphysical status of moral qualities and how we come to perceive them. My intention is that by discussing their views alongside one another and in particular by paying attention to the metaphors and similes they use to express their ideas we not only get a better understanding of what each of them thinks about some basic issues in ethics, we also come to a better understanding of the status of moral qualities and how we can come to perceive them.

"Moral Psychology as 'Political' Psychology"
Kim, Youngmin (Seoul National University-Korea)
In the Chinese intellectual tradition, a well-known debate concerns King Wu's military expedition and the protests against it which were raised by Bo Yi and Shu Qi. King Wu was admired for dethroning the tyrant, King Zhou, and thereby rescuing the people from a tyrannical regime. At the same time, Bo Yi and Shu Qi have also been praised for their loyalty to the existing dynasty. These seemingly contradictory evaluations open a window into how moral decisions can be reached in neo-Confucianism, particularly when one is faced with the possibility of colliding values. By examining neo-Confucian philosophers' moral deliberation over such a complex political issue, this paper aims to unravel various tensions embedded in neo-Confucian moral psychology.

"An Ethics of Authenticity 真—A Comparison of Charles Taylor and Li Zhi 李贄"
Lee, Pauline (Washington University)
In The Ethics of Authenticity (1991), Charles Taylor defends the viability of such an ethics and begins to examine limits necessary to a meaningful authenticity. Central to the thought of 16th century literatus Li Zhi is the concept of zhen 真, the "genuine" or "authentic," which he contrasts with the jia 假, the "phony" or "fake." In this talk, I will compare the two thinkers on the subject of "authenticity," with the primary purpose of better understanding the limits, or "horizons of significance," that Li Zhi assumes or self-consciously embraces in formulating his particular form of an ethics of authenticity.

"Moral Sense, Moral Motivation and the Possibility of Altruism: A Comparative Study of Zhang Zai's and Wang Fuzhi's Moral Psychology"
Liu, JeeLoo (California State University-Fullerton)
Broadly construed, moral psychology investigates the connection between humans' moral behavior and their psychological motivation. Humans' voluntary actions are often accompanied by rational motives, but some motives are moral, some are amoral or even immoral. What kind of motivations would prompt one to take on a moral deed such as being charitable or aiding others in need? If humans are basically self-interested, then how is altruism possible? What kind of moral education or moral transformation is required to bring about a moral agent?

In this paper, I examine and compare Zhang Zai's and Wang Fuzhi's theories of human nature and moral cultivation. Both of them advocate for the view that human nature is good. Both take from Mencius the belief in an innate moral sense. Both philosophers deal with the origin of evil and its prevention. However, Zhang Zai's approach seems to be more rationalistic: he stresses the importance of reason over desires. He takes moral motivation to be a superior motivation derived from the supreme moral agents: the sages. Wang Fuzhi, on the other hand, seems closer to the sentimentalist's approach in his rendering moral status to our emotions and natural desires. He takes moral motivation to reside in the common folks' sense of fairness and sympathy. I shall further develop these theses by drawing upon contemporary analytic philosophy of moral motivation.

"Death as the Ultimate Concern: Taking Wang Yangming's Followers as an Example"
Peng, Guoxiang (Tsinghua University - China)
A prevailing view of Confucianism is that Confucian scholars have paid great attention to the value and significance of life while overlooking the question of death. As far as the Confucian tradition before the mid-Ming dynasty is concerned, this observation is roughly correct. But we cannot consequently assert there has been no deep reflection upon and insight into death at all in the larger Confucian tradition. In fact, among Neo-Confucian scholars in the middle and late Ming Dynasty, especially among the students and followers of Wang Yangming王陽明(1472-1528), death as an ultimate concern had already received considerable attention. When this important period is taken into consideration, the prevailing observation on death in the Confucian tradition mentioned above will need to be largely revised.

In this article, I shall take Confucians in the middle and late Ming dynasty, mostly the followers of Wang Yangming, as an example, to probe death as an ultimate concern in the Neo-Confucian tradition. My account includes three interrelated aspects. First, I will point out, relying upon original evidence, that the taboo of talking about death was dramatically changed and that concern with death became a central focus and explicit problem for a large number of Confucian scholars in general and among the followers of Wang Yangming in particular. Second, I will show that these Confucians’ concern about death arose not only from the influence of Buddhism but also from the political environment in which they lived. Finally, I will compare the striking views advocated by the followers of Wang Yangming about the way to liberate oneself from death with those of Buddhism. I will argue that the origin of the fundamental difference in their responses to death lies in the very different ontological baseses of Confucianism and Buddhism. Spiritually, a Confucian may accept wu 無 in the sense of “detachment” as a kind of living wisdom. Ontologically, however, a Confucian cannot give up you 有, “existence,” or morality as an ultimate commitment. We can see, therefore, that the Confucian tradition contributes, as other religious-ethical traditions in the world have done, a rich resource to our understanding of death as an ultimate concern of human beings.

"On Anger: An Experimental Essay in Confucian Moral Psychology"
Shun, Kwong-loi (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Through a discussion of one's response to a morally challenging situation, the paper discusses the connection between a number of ideas from Confucian thought. Two of these are specifically from neo-Confucian thought:
    - That the mind should ideally be 'pure';
    - That the elements of the mind that can detract from this purity have to do with a form of self-centeredness.

The other ideas discussed in the paper run through the whole Confucian tradition, including both early and later Confucian thought:
    - A distinction between forms of courage, differentiated by their bases and their associated responses;
    - A certain view of honor and disgrace, and its relation to contemporary discussions of self-respect;
    - The idea of the willing acceptance of the external conditions of life, and related to this, a certain ideal form of 'joy';
    - More generally, in contemporary terms, the ideas of equanimity, invulnerability, and solitude in the ethical context.

The intent of the paper is to provide a focused philosophical discussion that draws on these ideas from Confucian thought, while making only minimal reference to them except in footnote references.

"Intuitions, Affections, and the Moral Faculty in the Philosophy of Wang Yangming (1472-1529)"
Tien, David (National University of Singapore)
An emerging trend in moral psychology evinces a renewed appreciation for the powerful role played by intuitions in producing ethical judgements. This new perspective marks a sharp break from traditional, "rationalist" approaches, in which moral evaluations derive from conscious reasoning, and moral cultivation reflects an improved ability to articulate sound reasons for such conclusions. The moral psychology of Wang Yangming presents a compelling view of how our moral judgements result not from a series of conscious calculations, but from an innate moral faculty that produces affective responses to morally significant situations.

"Self-Love, Sympathy, and Virtue: Dai Zhen's Defense of Self-Interest"
Tiwald, Justin (San Francisco State University)
In this paper I defend the thesis that sympathy (of a morally virtuous sort) draws upon desires that are self-consciously self-interested—a claim I find in the neo-Confucian philosopher Dai Zhen (1724-77). My argument in brief is that such desires are (a) necessary to appreciate the full range of human goods and (b) make possible a distinctive way of sharing in the emotional lives of others. I further elaborate on the neglected features of sympathy that this argument presupposes.

"Su Shi on the Psychological Basis of Morality"
Yu, Kam Por (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
This paper looks into the views of Su Shi (1037-1101) on the naturalistic or psychological basis of morality. Unlike his contemporary neo-Confucian philosophers who regard morality as based on some objective or metaphysical principles, Su Shi elaborates his view in a number of his writings that morality is based on yangren (nourishing human beings, or human nourishing) or renqing (human psychology or human condition). His views represent a clear and sophisticated development of some mainstream ideas in classical Confucianism and provide interesting comparison with the thoughts of the neo-Confucians in the Song-Ming periods. This paper will consider the importance of the concept of qing in Confucian ethics, contrast and compare it with the concept of emotion, and examine how well Su Shi's interpretation of classical Confucianism stands in comparison with the moral outlook of the neo-Confucians. The implications of their differences on political ethics will also be drawn.