Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary, by Roger T. Ames, is an exploration of what constitutes and how one becomes an authentic, moral human being as conceived in the Confucian tradition. The book establishes an interpretive context by exploring some of the cosmological foundations of Confucian philosophy through discussion of commentary on the Yijing (The Book of Changes), Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Chinese cosmology. The author proceeds to delineate the morals and ideals of a Confucian life and its foundation in feelings of familial intimacy and its human-centered religiousness. These ideas are contrasted with the principle and virtue based traditions of the Abrahamic religions as well as of the individualistic tradition beginning in ancient Greece. Lastly, Ames attempts to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of Confucian role ethics as articulated in the early canonical texts, discussing both its return to prominence and feasibility as a system of ethical conduct for the present day.
April 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3576-7 / $31.00 (PAPER)