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Sanford Levinson, Paul Woodruff, and Joel Parker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814785935

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814785935.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Loyalty from a Confucian Perspective

Loyalty from a Confucian Perspective

(p.22) 2 Loyalty from a Confucian Perspective

Kathleen M. Higgins

NYU Press

This chapter discusses Confucian thought, which aims at nurturing human relationships. Loyalty, accordingly, figures centrally in the Confucian worldview, for it is an indispensable element in the achievement of this goal. Confucius emphasized self-cultivation with the aim of developing traits that would facilitate the development of a harmonious network of relationships. The Confucian ethical program prescribes developing a number of relational virtues, several of which touch on matters of loyalty. Xiao—filial piety—involves loyalty toward members of the family, particularly one's parents. Zhong—often translated as loyalty—and shu—deference—are reciprocal virtues, connoting the ideals of different kinds of commitment that characterize subordinates and their superiors. The virtue of li—ritual propriety—maintains allegiance to the tradition, and loyalty to particular persons requires treating them in accordance with ritual.

Keywords:   Confucian thought, loyalty, relational virtues, xiao, filial piety, zhong, shu, deference, li, ritual propriety

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