The Western Legal Spirit: An Observation from the Perspective of Confucianism

  • Zhangrun XuEmail author


Like the other Chinese intellectuals during the May Fourth period, in his seminal work Eastern and Western Cultures and Their Philosophies, Liang Shu-ming asserted that the “distinguishing unique features” of the modern Western civilisation as a whole, in general, lie in the “spirit of democracy” and the “spirit of science”, that is, in the words of that time, Mr. De (德先生) and Mr. Sai (赛先生). These were an expression of the universally accepted perceptions about the modern Western spiritual characteristics in China of that time. Subsequently, the mainstream of the Western polity which had developed up to the time when Eastern and Western Cultures and Their Philosophies was published also can be roughly characterized in terms of the spirit of both “democracy” and “science”, and so could “Western law”.

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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