The demandingness of Confucianism in the case of long-term caregiving

Wai Lam William SIN

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Trends of recent demographical development show that the world’s population is aging at its fastest clip ever. In this paper, I ask whether adult children should support the life of their chronically ill parents as long as it takes, and I analyze the matter with regard to the doctrine of Confucianism. As the virtue of filial piety plays a central role in the ethics of Confucianism, adult children will face stringent demands while giving care to their chronically ill parents. In this paper, I argue that because of the extreme moral demands Confucians impose on adult children, Confucianism is an objectionable moral theory. I also argue that if Confucianism allows these agents to opt out of the caregiving tasks, it may cause conflict with its own doctrines. For these reasons, I conclude that Confucianism cannot provide a defensible response to the problem of long-term caregiving. Copyright © 2013 Routledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-179
JournalAsian Philosophy
Issue number2
Early online dateApr 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


Sin, W. (2013). The demandingness of Confucianism in the case of long-term caregiving. Asian Philosophy, 23(2), 166-179.


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