Is Political Confucianism a Universalism? An Analysis of Jiang Qing’s Philosophical Tendency

  • Xianglong ZhangEmail author
Part of the Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture book series (PSCC, volume 20)


This is an age of universalism. The term “universalism” refers to the following mode of thought and action: It believes that the most valuable things can be directly expressed as theses that always should and can be universally applied, and thus form “standards” that are generally applicable to all related phenomena, without regard for differences in time and space. These most valuable things are alternatively called “truth” or “the ultimate good.” Within this kind of viewpoint, a formalistic mathematical proposition that has only one answer is “most true,” because it can always (and should) be universalized without modification, whereas its antithesis is impossible to universalize: 7+5 will always equal 12, for example. The more “certain” a natural science thesis is, the more it can be universalized, and the “truer” it becomes. When we have to take “possibility” or “special cases” into consideration, this universalism is weakened.


Human Nature Western Culture Ming Dynasty Political Legitimacy Confucian Ethic 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Institute of Foreign PhilosophyPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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