Li in the Analects: Training in Moral Competence and the Question of Flexibility

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Abstract
It is proposed here that the Confucian li, norms of appropriate behavior, be understood as part of the dynamic process of moral self-cultivation. Within this framework li are multidimensional, as they have different functions at different stages in the cultivation process. This novel interpretation refocuses the issue regarding the flexibility of li, a topic that is still being debated by scholars. The significance of this proposal is not restricted to a new understanding of li. Key features of the various stages of moral development in Confucian thought are also articulated. This account presents the picture of a Confucian paradigmatic person as critically self-aware and ethically sensitive.
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Lai, Karyn Lynne
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2006
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Journal Article
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download Li in the Analects Phil East-West.pdf 106.63 KB Adobe Portable Document Format
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