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Western, Chinese, and Universal Values
Telos (2015)
  • Stephen C. Angle, Wesleyan University
Efforts to resist “Western values” and to promote “Chinese values” are often based on a crude cultural relativism which is implausible on both historical and philosophical grounds. Admittedly, worries about a facile equation of “West” with “universal” are sometimes well-founded, but the answer is not to retreat to a relativism that would limit all parties’ abilities to seek self-improvement. Rather, building on examples like Chinese new cosmopolitans and modern Confucians—including the great Confucian thinker Mou Zongsan (1909-1995)—current reformers should look to undermine dichotomous, monolithic “East versus West” views of the world. Chinese (and, for that matter, non-Chinese) education, cultural life, and politics will be strengthened by the continuing development of distinctively Chinese perspectives that draw on the best the world has to offer.
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Citation Information
Stephen C. Angle. "Western, Chinese, and Universal Values" Telos Vol. 171 (2015)
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