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).

This is a fascinating claim. Might we really be entering an era in which “a creative fusion of Confucianism with other narratives will follow behind the...

You do not currently have access to this content.