Questions for Hierarchical Confucianism

Elena Ziliotti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


Through a new argumentative strategy, this article shows that the claims offered by some contemporary Confucian scholars in support of hierarchical social relations do not hold in contemporary societies. Exegetical disagreements that are arguably difficult to overcome are sidestepped and empirical claims in support of hierarchical Confucianism are assessed. Empirical evidence and recent developments in Western philosophy suggest that social hierarchies are detrimental to key factors for people's material well-being, ethical development, and the political order. Egalitarian social relations organized in a representative democratic system appear to be more suitable for the pursuit of the fundamental aims of a Confucian government which are accepted by the proponents of hierarchical Confucianism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-349
Number of pages21
JournalReview of Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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