The Confucian Virtue Theory

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Essentially, the Confucian moral theory is considered to be a form of virtue ethics. This philosophy advocates for ideal character traits or values and put more emphasis on the cultivation of moral excellence and other moral contexts of human relations. In the East Asian tradition, morality is considered to be the father of living and a way of life (Lecture notes). This belief forms the basis of the reason why Confucius designed the theory. In its broader context, Confucian theory sheds light on the moral psychology of the human heart where the affective, the relational foundations and the intuitive aspects of the human person are examined. This insightfulness is particularly through a pursuit of moral excellence in humans and a focus on …show more content…
The values propagated in the philosophy are said to be the foundation of stability social relationships, and prosperity and peace of the state, family and individuals (Yao, 2000). The Confucian theory is based on two important thesis. The first thesis is that goodness is an aspect that can be taught and learned while the second thesis is that the society can only be in harmony by receiving a guidance of wisdom. In order to explicate the principal thesis, Confucius who is the founder of the Confucian theory developed a number of concepts that ultimately formed the foundation of the Confucian theory. The concepts include the way (dao), ritual/ propriety (li), humaneness (ren) and virtue (de). Confucianism counts a lot as a form of virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is a western phrase that mainly focusses on the kind of a person an individual should become and the kind of life they should live (Van Norden, 2003). Although it is not a Chinese concept, Confucius moral theory derives a lot from the logic of virtue given that the theory is also concerned about the moral behavior of humanity. The East Asian logic of virtue examines the virtues of self-cultivation, harmony, trust worthiness, justice and respect (Lecture …show more content…
In fact, filial piety is considered to be the root of all the other values. From a Confucian point of view, filial piety marks the starting point of virtue while humaneness is the primary goal (Yao, 2000). From the analects “few of those who are filial sons and respectful brothers will show disrespect to superiors, and there has never been a man who is respectful to superiors and yet creates disorder’ (Yao, 2000). A superior man is considered to be committed to the basics and when the root has a firm foundation, the moral law is bound to grow. Based on the Confucian teachings, respect between brothers and filial piety are the basis of humanity. The filial piety is mainly founded on the basic human bond between the parent and the child (Yao, 2000). Although the child is a junior family member, reciprocity is also important in the understanding of filial piety (Lecture notes). In this case, the same way the parents look after their children in their tender age and brought them up, children are also expected to look after their parents once they grow old. Moreover, they should revere them and make sacrifices for them even after their deaths. Parents are revered as they have made so many sacrifices for their children (Yao,

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