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Is Mencius's ethics virtue ethics? : a comparative study between Mencius and Alasdair MacIntyre

Comparative study between Mencius and Alasdair Macintyre

Authors Wong, Hau-yee
Issue Date 1999
Summary This is a comparative study between the contemporary Western virtue ethicist, MacIntyre and the ancient Chinese Confucian philosopher, Mencius. The aim of the thesis is to show that interpreting Mencius's ethics within the framework of virtue ethics would lead to misunderstanding of Mencius's ethics. The thesis will discuss the following issues. First, as a reorientation of ethics, virtue ethics is basically not a wrong direction in which to understand morality, although it faces a number of limitations in the contemporary world. Virtue ethics is not just a theory about virtues, but is also an opponent to the modern moral philosophy, aiming at rejecting the morality of rules. Second, MacIntyre reintroduces Aristotelian ideas in a new framework, including three main concepts -- narrative self, practice and tradition -- to solve contemporary problems. His theory provides a comprehensive and systematical picture of virtue ethics. Third, there are some explicit similarities between Mencius's ethics and virtue ethics. They might easily and deceptively bring us to the conclusion that 'Mencius's ethics is virtue ethics'. Finally, there are actually be some crucial, though implicit, differences between Mencius's ethics and MacIntyre's virtue ethics, if we ignored, it would lead to misunderstanding or even distortion of Mencius's ethics. The thesis is intended to clarify these two moral theories, but not to determine which one is better.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 1999
Language English
Format Thesis
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