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Other titles in the Cambridge Modern China series:
Human Rights and Chinese Thought (Cambridge Modern China)by Stephen Angle
Synopses & Reviews
What should we make of claims by members of other groups to have moralities different from our own? Human Rights in Chinese Thought gives an extended answer to this question in the first study of its kind. It integrates a full account of the development of Chinese rights discourse with philosophical consideration of how various communities should respond to contemporary Chinese claims about the uniqueness of their human rights concepts. The book elaborates a plausible kind of moral pluralism and demonstrates that Chinese ideas of human rights do indeed have distinctive characteristics, but it nonetheless argues for the importance and promise of cross-cultural moral engagement.
Book News Annotation:
Assessing the claim that different cultures have varying conceptions of rights and ought not to criticize each other, Angle (philosophy, Wesleyan U.) examines Chinese rights discourse from 1902 to the 1990s. He notes that, while the earliest examples of rights discourse borrowed from such Western thinkers as Jean Jacques Rousseau and Rudolf von Jhering, they cannot be properly understood without recognizing their neo-Confucian concerns. In order to demonstrate that dialogue between East and West is often possible he examines the often-enthusiastic Chinese reception given to the ideas of John Dewey and Karl Marx. He concludes that there is indeed a separate Chinese rights discourse, but argues that conversations between cultures helps shape that discourse.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This book is about the history of Chinese ideas of human rights.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction; 2. Languages, concepts, and pluralism; 3. The consequences of pluralism; 4. The shift toward legitimate desires in neo-Confucianism; 5. Nineteenth century origins; 6. Dynamism in the early twentieth century; 7. Change, continuity, and convergence prior to 1949; 8. Engagement despite distinctiveness; 9. Conclusions.
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