Chinese Philosophy of Life, Relational Ethics and the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Jana S. ROŠKER University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia



COVID-19, pandemic, Chinese ethics, Confucian ethics, relational self, role ethics, relationalism


This paper investigates the relation between different models of ethics and their impact upon crises solution strategies. Because COVID-19 is a global-scale crisis, it has to be solved on the global level. In this framework, it is important to consider knowledge and ethical theories from different cultures. The paper outlines some theoretical groundworks for alternative models of social ethics from the perspective of traditional Chinese, particularly Confucian, philosophies. Among other issues, this perspective is meaningful because in the Sinitic areas the pandemic has so far been brought under control much quicker and more effectively than in other regions of the world. First, the paper introduces the Chinese philosophy of life and highlights its current relevance; then, it presents traditional Chinese models of relational and anti-essentialist concepts of the self and investigates their impact to the Confucian models of social ethics. On this basis, it illuminates some new ways of understanding interpersonal and intercultural interactions that might help us develop new strategies against current and future pandemics.


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10. 09. 2021

How to Cite

Rošker, Jana S. 2021. “Chinese Philosophy of Life, Relational Ethics and the COVID-19 Pandemic”. Asian Studies 9 (3): 323-40.

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