Virtue Ethics, Confucian Tradition and the General Predicament of Modern Society

A Discussion of Chen Lai’s Confucian Theory of Virtue


  • Wenming TANG Tsinghua University



virtue, rules (laws), public virtue, private virtue, republicanism


This paper discusses the nature of Confucian ethics and its tense relations with modernity through analysing the arguments contained in Chen Lai’s 陈来 Confucian Theory of Virtue. The author points out that Confucian ethical theory is a kind of virtue ethics and that the distinction between public virtue and private virtue in modern moral projects necessarily leads to the elimination of the latter by the former. This is a general predicament of virtue ethics faced by modern societies.


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18. 01. 2024



Contemporary Confucian Philosophy in Mainland China

How to Cite

TANG, Wenming. 2024. “Virtue Ethics, Confucian Tradition and the General Predicament of Modern Society: A Discussion of Chen Lai’s Confucian Theory of Virtue”. Asian Studies 12 (1): 21-43.

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