Confucian Political Obligation of the People: the Argument from Gratitude

Shu-Shan Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This study is about the theory of Confucian political obligation. While researchers have offered different theories of political obligation in classical Confucianism, I argue that these accounts are problematic. The paper suggests that Confucian theory of political obligation is neither role-based, nor simply reciprocal, nor grounded in voluntary acceptance. In a nutshell, it is based on a special principle of gratitude. After comparing Confucian political obligation with liberal gratitude theory, I note this Confucian theory’s incompatibility with the liberal principle of voluntary choice. To accurately describe the theory of political obligation in classical Confucianism, I conclude that Confucian political obligation is a theory of paternalistic gratitude.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationthe Annual Conference of Midwest Political Science Association
Place of PublicationChicago, United States
Pages1-31
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Confucianism, Reciprocity, Gratitude, Paternalism, Political Obligation

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  • Cite this

    Lee, S-S. (2014). Confucian Political Obligation of the People: the Argument from Gratitude. In the Annual Conference of Midwest Political Science Association (pp. 1-31).