Dao
, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 397-411
Date: 05 Dec 2007

Is Tu Wei-ming Confucian?

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Abstract

Tu Wei-ming’s discourse has been badly understood by some Western philosophers who study Confucianism. I suggest that this misunderstanding stems from the fact that these philosophers fail to realize that Confucian discourse is in an entirely different register from Western philosophical discourse. I then propose my own preliminary definition of Confucian discourse in five points and present a structural analysis of a text by Tu Wei-ming. Finally, I consider which features of Tu’s discourse can properly be called Confucian. The answer to this question reflects not only on Tu but also on Confucian discourse and the study of Confucianism in general.