Confucian Methodology and Understanding the Human Person
Chinese Philosophy may be characterized as concretely rationalistic, organically naturalistic, intrinsically humanistic and morality-oriented pragmatistic.1 Although these features characterize Chinese philosophy in general, they characterize the Confucian philosophy in specific particularity par excellence. With a strong emphasis on the holistic integrity and unity of the human person and with a concentration on the human person as a vehicle for fulfilling the ultimate value in the world, the Confucian philosophy is unquestionably intrinsically humanistic and is staunchly opposed to a bifurcation of human existence by either contrasting and confronting it with an external divinity to be submitted to, or doing so with an external material world to be controlled and exploited. The Confucian philosophy is no doubt concretely rationalistic, specifically because of its dedication to the human use of human reason for solving human problems and for formulating criteria for the solution of human problems in concrete reference to an understanding of human potentiality and perfectibility.
KeywordsHuman Nature Human Person Chinese Philosophy Filial Piety Western Philosophy
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- 1.My article, ‘Chinese Philosophy: A Characterization,’ which first appeared in Inquiry, No.14, April 1971, 95–119.Google Scholar