If Confucius met Scanlon: Understanding filial piety from Confucianism and Contractualism

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Abstract

How much should adult children sacrifice to care for their chronically ill parents? If parents commit crimes, should their children report them to the authorities? What are the demands of filial obligation in these cases? Traditionally, Confucians have favoured a somewhat stringent view of filial obligation. By this view, adult children have to provide long-term care to their parents as well as place their parents' interests over any concerns of justice, should the two happen to conflict. I will call these stringent views the principles of filial caregiving and filial favoritism. In this paper, I will use Scanlon's Contractualism to analyze the two principles, and juxtapose the Contractualist analysis with the Confucian filial piety. By doing this, we sharpen Confucianism's critical elements, and highlight the coherence of Contractualism with this ethical ideology from a non-analytic tradition. Copyright © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12792
JournalPhilosophy Compass
Early online dateOct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 2021

Citation

Sin, W. (2021). If Confucius met Scanlon: Understanding filial piety from Confucianism and Contractualism. Philosophy Compass. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/phc3.12792

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