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Title: A Confucian Perspective on Social Justice, Rights, and Welfare: A philosophical exposition
Authors: Wong, Chun Man Gary
Department: Department of Public and Social Administration
Issue Date: 2009
Course: SA4600
Abstract: This project is a theoretical study of the moral and political philosophy of early Confucianism regarding three major topics, namely: social justice, human rights, and the ethical responsibilities of governments and individuals. In this project, I confine my analysis to early Confucian texts, with reference to contemporary scholars’ philosophical interpretations, analysis, and constructions. The first aim of this work is to show that early Confucian philosophers are concerned with questions of social justice. I argue that the discussions of self-cultivation in classical Confucianism contribute to the overall picture of a sense of justice. And I also argue that having a sense of justice plays a crucial role in the Confucian community. The second aim of the study is to show whether right talk is compatible with early Confucianism. I contend that fallback mechanism can be accommodated to Confucianism, it is though shall not be regarded as right-based. Also, I argue that right talk invites some serious problems to the early Confucianism, in which the fundamental doctrines of Confucians will be deteriorated when the conceptions of rights will be added into early Confucianism. The last aim of the study is to explore a Confucian perspective on social welfare provision system. I show that the ethical responsibilities are assigned reasonably to different people, mainly family members, community members and governments. I further demonstrate that implicit in early Confucianism perspective is the notion of a multi-layered system of welfare provision in which the family, community and government all have particular roles to perform. In short, I argue that early Confucian perspective may contribute insightful ideas regarding the above-mentioned issues that can influence and inspire western approaches. And I will show that early Confucianism, as an invaluable philosophical perspective, is able to deal with different complicated moral issues in the contemporary world.
Appears in Collections:Public and Social Administration - Undergraduate Final Year Projects

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