Roger Ames's newest book, Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary, seeks to understand Confucian ethics, quite literally, on its own terms. Ames explores in detail central concepts in Confucian ethics, building through this vocabulary a rich and nuanced understanding of Confucianism. In the opening chapter, which provides a discussion of Chinese and Western philosophy in a comparative context, Ames states what I initially took to be his central thesis:
[W]e are entering upon a transitional period of enormous proportions with the imminent emergence of a new cultural order, and. . . Confucianism offers us philosophical assets that can be. . . applied to serve not only the renaissance of a revitalized Chinese culture, but also the interests of world culture more broadly (p. 2).