PIA2405 - Introduction to Confucian Political Philosophy

Offering Academic Unit
Department of Public and International Affairs
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
Equivalent Course(s)
Course Offering Term*:
Semester B 2023/24

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

This course aims to introduce the formation, development, and contemporary relevance of Confucian political philosophy. It examines (1) what Confucian virtue ethics looks like; (2) what kind of a political paradigm Confucianism supports; (3) what are the core stipulations of “Confucian virtue politics” and how it is distinct from Legalism; (4) how later Confucian thinkers during the Warring States period such as Mencius and Xunzi further developed Confucian virtue politics in a way corresponding with their distinctive account of human nature; (5) whether Mencius’s and Xunzi’s political theories can be captured in terms of “constitutionalism”; (6) the distinction between moral virtue and civic virtue in Confucian constitutionalism; (7) what implications can be drawn from classical Confucian constitutionalism for contemporary Confucian political theory; and (8) how to evaluate recent debate between Confucian meritocrats and Confucian democrats in light of Confucian constitutionalism.  

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 100%
Detailed Course Information


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Department of Public and International Affairs