Fred Dallmayr’s postmodern vision of Confucian democracy: a critical examination

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As an advocate of ‘comparative political theory,’ Fred Dallmayr has long engaged with Confucianism with a new vision for democracy suitable in East Asia but little attention has been paid to his idea of Confucian democracy, which he presents as a specific mode of ethical or relational democracy. This paper investigates Dallmayr’s ethical vision of Confucian democracy, first, by articulating his postmodern reconceptualization of democracy in terms of post-humanism and, second, by examining his post-humanist reevaluation of Confucian virtue ethics as a critical resource for ethical democracy. It argues that the ethical vision of Confucian democracy, though morally appealing, should not dismiss the important instrumental value of democracy as a political system and, rather, find a way to integrate democracy’s instrumental and intrinsic values in a way that can enhance the qualitative relationality between people, political agents, and the common good.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-54
Number of pages20
JournalAsian Philosophy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government [Grant Number NRF-2017S1A3A2065772].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy


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