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Zhu Xi and the Liberalism/Communitarianism Debate: An Imperfect Fit

  • Catherine Hudak KlancerEmail author
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Part of the Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy book series (DCCP, volume 13)

Abstract

This chapter explores how Zhu Xi might engage in the recent debate between liberal and communitarian philosophers concerning the nature of the human self. After giving a brief introduction to arguments on both sides, I consider places of agreement between Zhu and liberal philosophers before identifying points of consensus between him and communitarian thinkers. Having explored this common ground, I present his elitism as a factor that prevents him from fitting neatly into either side of the debate, and claim further that his cosmological theory makes it impossible for him to fit into the debate as a whole. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the broader implications of Zhu’s incompatibility with the other participants in the debate under discussion.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Huang Yong, Ng Kai-chiu, Brian Loh, Michael Ing, and Stephanie Nelson for their valuable feedback and advice concerning earlier drafts of this essay.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Core Curriculum and Department of ReligionBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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