The Deep Structure of Confucianism

  • Kwang-Kuo Hwang
Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP, volume 1)


Following the principle of cultural psychology: “one mind, many mentalities” (Shweder et al. 1998), this chapter used Hwang’s (Am J Sociol 92(4), 944–974, 1987) Face and Favor model as a framework to analyze Confucianism and to explain how it accounts for the ethics of ordinary people, i.e., the ethical system of benevolence–righteousness–property, which emphasizes the principle of respecting the superior as procedural justice and the principle of favoring the intimate as distributive justice. Confucian conception of destiny requests everyone to cultivate oneself with respect to humanity, while it endows scholars with a mission to benefit the world with the way of humanity and urges them to utilize their knowledge to serve the community beyond their family. Both Confucian ethics for scholars and for ordinary people are supposed to be ideal which can be used as cultural theories for studying people’s mentalities on the psychological level in Chinese society.


Confucian conception of destiny Ethics for ordinary people Ethics for scholars Self-cultivation Way of humanity 


  1. Bao, Z. X. (1986). A critical review on the history of studies on Hsun-tze. Essays of stepping forward (pp. 128–164) (in Chinese). Si-Chuan People’s Publisher.Google Scholar
  2. Cai, S. S. (1982). System of Confucian thoughts. Shanghai, China: Shanghai People’s Publisher.Google Scholar
  3. Cheng, C. Y. (1986). The concept of face and its Confucian roots. Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 13, 329–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. De Bary, W. T. (1983). The liberal spirit in Neo-Confucianism (H.-C. Li, Trans.). Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Fu, B. Y., & Lei, T. (1991). Studies on development of social thinking in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In C. F. Yang & H. S. R. Kao (Eds.), Chinese people and Chinese mind: Development and teaching (pp. 214–304). Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  6. Fu, W. X. (1973). Philosophy. In X. J. Kao (Ed.), Essays on contemporary American behavioral and social science (pp. 317–334). Taipei: Student Bookstore (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  7. Harris, C. G. (1989). Concepts of individual, self, and person in description and analysis. American Anthropologist, 91(3), 599–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hsu, F. G. (1963). The emergence of the humanistic century with a focus on rites and the humanization of religion: Spring-and-Autumn period. A history of the theory of Chinese human nature: Pre-chin period (pp. 36–62) (in Chinese). Tai-zhong: Tunghai University.Google Scholar
  9. Hu, S. (1919). History of ancient philosophy in China. Shanghai: Commercial Publisher.Google Scholar
  10. Hu, S. (1967). The scientific spirit and method in Chinese philosophy. In C. A. Moore (Ed.), The Chinese mind (pp. 104–131). Honolulu: University of Hawaii.Google Scholar
  11. Hwang, K. K. (1987). Face and favor: The Chinese power game. American Journal of Sociology, 92(4), 944–974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hwang, K. K. (1988). Confucianism and East Asian modernization (in Chinese). Taipei: Chu-Lin Book Co.Google Scholar
  13. Hwang, K. K. (1995). Knowledge and action: A social-psychological interpretation of Chinese cultural tradition (in Chinese). Taipei: Sin-Li (內文未引用).Google Scholar
  14. Hwang, K. K. (2000). The discontinuity hypothesis of modernity and constructive realism (in Chinese). Hong Kong Journal of Social Sciences, 18, 1–32.Google Scholar
  15. Hwang, K. K. (2000b). Chinese relationalism: Theoretical construction and methodological considerations. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 30(2), 155–178 (內文未引用).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kant, I. (1781). Critique of pure reason (N. K. Smith, Trans.). NY: Humanities Press.Google Scholar
  17. Kant, I. (1788). Critique of Practical Reason (M. Gregor, Trans.). NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Kao, M. (1983). Confucius’ ideal of life. Essays of studies on Confucian thoughts (Vol. I) (pp. 1–30) (in Chinese). Taipei: Li-ming Cultural Pub. Co.Google Scholar
  19. King, A. Y. S., & Myers, J. T. (1977). Shame as an incomplete conception of Chinese culture: A study of face. Hong Kong: Social Research Center, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  20. Lao, S. G. (1968). The history of Chinese philosophy, 1 (pp. 66–79) (in Chinese). Hong Kong: Chung-chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  21. Lee, I. Y. (1994a). Cultural China: The perspective of folk culture (in Chinese). Chinese Studies, 12(1), 1–6.Google Scholar
  22. Lee, I. Y. (1994b). Traditional Chinese worldview and modern business behaviors. Paper presented at the International Symposium on The Cultural China: Theory and practice (in Chinese), The Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  23. Lee, M. H. (1990). Confucianism and Kant (in Chinese). Taipei: Linking Pub. Co.Google Scholar
  24. Lei, T. (1991). Chinese “ego” and “self”: Metaphysics and physics. In C. F. Yang & H. S. R. Kao (Eds.), Chinese people and Chinese mind: Personality and society (pp. 147–197). Taipei: Yuan-Liou Publishing Co (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  25. Leventhal, G. S. (1976). Fairness in social relationships. In J. Thibaut, J. T. Spence, & R. T. Carson (Eds.), Contemporary topies in social psychology (pp. 211–239). Morristown: General Learning Press.Google Scholar
  26. Leventhal, G. S. (1980). What should be done with equity theory? In K. J. Gergen, M. S. Greenberg, & R. H. Willis (Eds.), Social exchange: Advances in theory and research (pp. 27–55). New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Levy-Bruhl, L. (1910/1966). How natives think (A. C. Lillian, Trans.). New York: Washington Square Press (內文未引用).Google Scholar
  28. Li, Y. Y. (1988). Ancestor worship and the psychological stability of family members in Taiwan. In K. Yoshimatsu & W. S. Tseng (Eds.), Asian family mental health (pp. 26–33). Psychiatric Research Institute of Tokyo: Tokyo.Google Scholar
  29. Li, Y. Y. (1992). In search of equilibrium and harmony: On the basic value orientation of traditional Chinese peasants. In C. Nakane & C. Chiao (Eds.), Home Bound: Studies in East Asian Society (pp. 127–148). The Center for East Asain Cultural Studies: Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  30. Li, Z. H. (1985). The reappraisal of Confucius. Essays on the history of ancient Chinese thoughts (pp. 7–58) (in Chinese). Taipei: Gu-Feng pub. Co.Google Scholar
  31. Liu, S. X. (1989/1992). A perspective on the relationship between humans and nature: A new explanation of the unification of heaven and human beings. Confucianism and modernization (in Chinese). Beijing: Chinese Radio and Television Pub. Co.Google Scholar
  32. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1994). The cultural shaping of emotion: A conceptual framework. In S. Kitayama & H. Markus (Eds.), Emotion and culture. Washington: APA Books.Google Scholar
  33. Metzgar, T. A. (1977). Escape from predicament: Neo-Confucianism and China’s evolving political culture. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Metzgar, T. A. (1981). Selfhood and authority in Neo-Confucian political culture. In A. Kleinman & T. Y. Lin (Eds.), Normal and abnormal behavior in Chinese culture (pp. 7–27). Dordrecht: Reidel.Google Scholar
  35. Mou, Z. S. (1975). Phenomenon and thing-in-itself (in Chinese). Taipei: Student Bookstore.Google Scholar
  36. Mou, Z. S. (1985). Moral idealism (in Chinese). Taipei: Student Bookstore.Google Scholar
  37. Redfield, R. (1956). Peasant society and culture. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Schutz, A. (1962). Common-sense and scientific interpretation of human action, Vol 1: The problem of social reality. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Collected papers.Google Scholar
  39. Shweder, R. A., Goodnow, J., Hatano, G., LeVine, R., Markus, H., & Miller, P. (1998). The cultural psychology of development: One mind, many mentalities. In W. Damon (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (Vol. I): Theoretical models of human development (pp. 865-937). NY: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  40. Tang, C. I. (1986). A theory of Chinese philosophy: Original Dao, 1 (pp. 112–113) (in Chinese). Taipei: Student Bookstore.Google Scholar
  41. Tsai, S. S. (1984). System of Confucian thoughts. Shanghai People’s Publisher.Google Scholar
  42. Tu, W. M. (1985). Confucian thought: Selfhood as creative transformation. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  43. Tu, W. M. (1987). On Confucian knowing by experiencing: The implication of moral knowledge. In S. X. Liu (Ed.), Symposium on Confucian ethics. Singapore: Institute of East Asian Philosophy.Google Scholar
  44. Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).Google Scholar
  45. Walsh, B. J., & Middleton, J. R. (1984). The transforming vision: Shaping a Christian world view. Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press.Google Scholar
  46. Wei, Z. T. (1968). A look for the origin of Chinese philosophy. In I. Chou (Ed.), A critique of Chinese philosophical thoughts (pp. 31–70). Taipei: The Buffalo Book Co (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  47. Yang, C. F. (1991). A tentative theory on the moral development of Chinese people from the perspective of self development. In K. S. Yang & K. K. Hwang (Eds.), Chinese psychology and behavior (pp. 1–47). Taipei: Laureate Pub Co (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  48. Yang, L. G. (1983). A study on the Confucian concepts of learning in the Analects. Four essays on Confucianism (in Chinese). Taipei: Linking Publisher.Google Scholar
  49. Yu, Y. S. (1987). The Confucian ideal of a true gentleman. In A modern interpretation of traditional Chinese thought (in Chinese) (pp. 145–165). Taipei: Linking Publisher.Google Scholar
  50. Yu, Y. S. (1987). The modern meanings of Chinese culture in view of its values system (pp. 145–165) (in Chinese). Taipei, China Time Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  51. Zai, S. W. (1995). Chinese views of lian and mian (in Chinese). Taipei: Laureate Book Co.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

Personalised recommendations