Confucian Democracy and a Pluralistic Li-Ki Metaphysics
AbstractThis essay explores the possible constructive role of a Confucian metaphysics in the pluralistic Confucian-democratic context of South Korea. In his recent landmark study, Sungmoon Kim has argued that South Korean democracy is sustained by a public culture of civility that is grounded in Confucian habits and mores and yet is pluralistic in ethos. I appreciatively interrogate Kim’s thesis in order to advance a claim that a comprehensive Confucian doctrine such as Confucian metaphysics can contribute significantly to the flourishing of Confucian democratic public culture, provided that it affirm a pluralistic ontology. I contend that the tradition of Korean Neo-Confucian li-ki metaphysics, particularly one found in the works of Nongmun Im Seong-ju, offers rich resources for a pluralistic ontology despite its history of ethical monism. By putting Nongmun’s thought in conversation with some of the contemporary critiques of the Schmittian (mis-)appropriation of the notion of popular sovereignty, I outline a pluralized version of the Rousseauian general will—a kind of critically affectionate solidarity of diverse groups of people—that is Confucian in character. My claim is that such a critically affectionate solidarity finds its grounds in and draws its nourishment from a pluralistic Confucian ontology. View Full-Text
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Lee, H.-D. Confucian Democracy and a Pluralistic Li-Ki Metaphysics. Religions 2018, 9, 325.
Lee H-D. Confucian Democracy and a Pluralistic Li-Ki Metaphysics. Religions. 2018; 9(11):325.Chicago/Turabian Style
Lee, Hyo-Dong. 2018. "Confucian Democracy and a Pluralistic Li-Ki Metaphysics." Religions 9, no. 11: 325.
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