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Confucian Ethics

  1. Kwong-loi Shun

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee128

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Shun, K.-l. 2013. Confucian Ethics. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


“Confucianism” is generally used as a translation of the Chinese expression rujia, or the school of ru, to refer to a school of thought that started with Confucius (sixth–fifth century bce) (see Confucius) and that continues to be influential in China, as well as in East and Southeast Asia. The character ru referred to a social group that had existed well before Confucius' time, a group that was well versed in ancient rituals and that earned its living as professional ritualists and educators. Confucius was a member of the group, but his influence was due largely to ideas he developed in response to the social and political problems of his time.


  • Chinese philosophy;
  • Confucianism