, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 81–101

Moral Dilemmas in Chinese Philosophy: A Case Study of the Lienü Zhuan


DOI: 10.1007/s11712-015-9475-5

Cite this article as:
Guarde-Paz, C. Dao (2016) 15: 81. doi:10.1007/s11712-015-9475-5


From classical antiquity to contemporary times, challenging situations of dilemmatic or paradoxical nature continue to fascinate both scholars and the casual reader. Although Western literature provides a fruitful source of philosophical discussion on the circumstances under which a morally competent agent faces incompatible moral requirements, Sinology has rarely accepted the idea of moral dilemmas in Chinese philosophy in general and Confucianism in particular. The present paper explores moral and morally motivated dilemmas in Liu Xiang’s 劉向 Lienü Zhuan 列女傳 and the philosophical strategies employed for their resolution within the framework of the Confucian tradition, emphasizing similarities with Western traditions such as Greek tragedy or Thomistic philosophy.


Moral dilemma Lienü Zhuan 列女傳 Liu Xiang 劉向 Greek tragedy Comparative ethics 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Western Languages and LiteratureNankai UniversityNankaiChina

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