Der 16. Weltkongress für Philosophie

Volume 3, 1983

Sektions-Vorträge II - Résumés des sections II - Section Papers II

Yuk Wong
Pages 619-622

The Impact of Modern Science on Traditional Chinese Ethics

Early Confucians thought that man, co-creator of the universe organized a trio or triad with Heaven and Earth. Astronomy tends to reduce human importance. Mencius the second Confucian sage characterized man with inherent, transcendental moral reason in absolute contrast with animal devoid of autonomous conscience with categorical imperative. But Darwin stressed the continuity between man and animal. Dependence on transcendental affection is regarded as stupid; religious piety, overwhelmed by rationalized filial devotion. Psychoanalysis resolves generation-struggles, medicine justifies birth-control and humanitarian killing.