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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front. Philos. China    2009, Vol. 4 Issue (3) : 385-399     DOI: 10.1007/s11466-009-0025-2
Research articles |
Between public and private life: Traditional ethics in modern society
YAN Hui ,
School of Philosophy and Sociology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
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Abstract  In terms of life space, individuals are usually settled in different spaces according to relationships of blood, geography, and profession. In pre-modern societies, ethics were realized through customs, conventions, taboos, magical practices, and politics. Because this was not an open process in which rationality was sufficiently employed, non-reflectiveness and non-criticality were its essence, and intuitions and feelings were its basic modes of existence. In modern societies, the logic of capital movement settles groups of people according to their economic dependence, and interactions based on individuals’ desires and self-serving calculations have become widespread and frequent. A space for public interaction and life in which rationality is sufficiently employed and rational bases of the rules are constantly questioned thus finally came into being. Families and villages lost their centrality, resulting in a crisis of private interactions and life, and of its system of norms.
Keywords public life      private life      ethical reconstruction      
Issue Date: 05 September 2009
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