Why Confucianism Matters for the Ethics of Technology

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


There are a number of recent attempts to introduce Confucian values to ethical analysis of technology. These works have not, however, attended sufficiently to one central aspect of Confucianism, namely ritual (“Li”). Li is central to Confucian ethics, and it has been suggested that the emphasis on Li in Confucian ethics is what distinguishes Confusion ethics from other ethical traditions. Any discussion of Confucian ethics for technology, therefore, remains incomplete without accounting for Li. This chapter aims to elaborate on the concept of Confucian Li and discuss its relevance to ethics of technology. Particularly, by referring to Li’s communicative, formative, and aesthetic functions, this chapter formulates an approach to ethics of technology with an emphasis on community, performance, and the aesthetic, and it demonstrates how this approach proceeds with the ethical analysis of technology. In doing so, the chapter attempts to answer the question of why Confucianism matters in ethics of technology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Technology
EditorsShannon Vallor
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780190851217
ISBN (Print)9780190851187
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • aesthetics
  • body
  • community
  • Confucian ethics
  • ethics of technology
  • rites
  • ritual


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