Please wait a minute...
Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front Phil Chin    2012, Vol. 7 Issue (1) : 1-19     DOI: 10.3868/s030-001-012-0001-8
research-article |
Confucian Ethics and Impartiality: On the Confucian View about Brotherhood
FANG Xudong()
Department of Philosophy, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
Download: PDF(302 KB)   HTML
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks

This essay reviews Confucian ethics with regard to impartiality and Confucian notion of brotherhood. It focuses on the comments by Song Neo- Confucians, Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi, about a famous case involving brotherhood. In this case Diwu Lun of the Han dynasty treated his diseased son and his diseased nephew in different ways. The author argues that Confucianism, starting from a naturalist standpoint, affirms the partiality in the relations between brothers, and judges deliberate impartiality negatively. On this point, one cannot simply view Confucianism as analogous to the Kantian ethics which promises impartiality or the virtue ethics which opposes impartiality.

Keywords Confucian ethics      Neo-Confucian      impartiality      virtue ethics      Kantian ethics      brotherhood     
Corresponding Authors: FANG Xudong,   
Issue Date: 05 March 2012
URL:     OR
[1] WANG Kai. Xunzi: A Paradigm of Rationalistic Virtue Ethics in Early Confucianism[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(3): 388-396.
[2] CHEN Lai. The Basic Character of the Virtue Theory of Mencius’ Philosophy and Its Significance in Classical Confucianism[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(1): 4-21.
[3] Michael Slote. On Virtue Ethics[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(1): 22-30.
[4] Rina Marie Camus. The Wiseman and the Sage: Metaphysics as Wisdom in Aristotle and the Neo-Confucian School of Principle[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(1): 120-139.
[5] HUANG Zhuoyue. Way of Post-Confucianism: Transformation and Genealogy[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2010, 5(4): 543-559.
[6] GAN Shaoping. The Destiny of Modern Virtue Ethics[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2010, 5(3): 432-448.
[7] DING Weixiang. Taking on Proper Appearance and Putting It into Practice: Two Different Systems of Effort in Song and Ming Neo-Confucianism[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2010, 5(3): 326-351.
[8] ZHU Renqiu , . The formation, development and evolution of Neo-Confucianism ― With a focus on the doctrine of “stilling the nature” in the Song period[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2009, 4(3): 322-342.
[9] YU Jiyuan. The “Manifesto” of New-Confucianism and the revival of virtue ethics[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2008, 3(3): 317-334.
[10] CHEN Shaoming. Endurance and non-endurance: From the perspective of virtue ethics[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2008, 3(3): 335-351.
[11] WANG Yunping. Confucian ethics and emotions[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2008, 3(3): 352-365.
[12] LIU Gang. Philosophy of information and foundation for the future Chinese philosophy of science and technology[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2007, 2(1): 95-114.
[13] Chai Wenhua. Traditional Confucianism in modern China: Ma Yifu’s ethical thought[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2006, 1(3): 366-381.
[14] Guo Qiyong. An exposition of Zhou Yi studies in modern Neo-Confucianism[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2006, 1(2): 185-203.
Full text