Public reason confucianism: Democratic perfectionism and constitutionalism in East Asia

Research output: Book/ReportBook

63 Citations (Scopus)


Recent proposals concerning Confucian meritocratic perfectionism have justified Confucian perfectionism in terms of political meritocracy. In contrast, 'Confucian democratic perfectionism' is a form of comprehensive Confucian perfectionism that can accommodate a plurality of values in civil society. It is also fully compatible with core values of democracy such as popular sovereignty, political equality, and the right to political participation. Sungmoon Kim presents 'public reason Confucianism' as the most attractive option for contemporary East Asian societies that are historically and culturally Confucian. Public reason Confucianism is a particular style of Confucian democratic perfectionism in which comprehensive Confucianism is connected with perfectionism via a distinctive form of public reason. It calls for an active role for the democratic state in promoting a Confucian conception of the good life, at the heart of which are such core Confucian values as filial piety and ritual propriety.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages276
ISBN (Electronic)9781316226865
ISBN (Print)9781107106222
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 21

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Sungmoon Kim 2016. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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