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The Foundation of Human Rights: A Confucian Perspective


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人權 尊嚴 儒家 基督教 品德

Parallel abstracts

The idea of human rights is deeply rooted in Christian tradition. Some scholars even argue that we can only fully understand and justify the value of human rights in Christian theology. This article does not challenge this idea. Instead, this article argues that Confucianism is compatible with the idea of human rights. Firstly, it surveys the current debates on whether Confucianism is compatible with the idea of human rights. Then, it discusses the historical and non-historical approach to human rights, and the virtue ethics reading and role ethics reading of Confucian moral theory. The first thesis in this article is to agrue that Confucianism is indeed compatible with the idea of human rights. After that, with regard to a possible foundation of human rights, human dignity, the Confucian idea of human nature and virtues can provide a better foundation than the idea of autonomy. This is the second thesis of the paper. It also addresses some objections to this argument. Finally, this article suggests further dialogue between Confucianism and Christianity on the issue of human rights.

Parallel keywords

Human Rights Human Dignity Confucianism Christianity Virtues