Political Science 113A
8 December 2012
The impact of Confucianism in East Asia continues to mold and shape individuals’ actions so they can lead better lives that will have a positive effect on society. This can be achieved once the individual reaches a better understanding about their mutual obligations – that a proper society is revolved around give and take. It is the individuals who keep the lasting legacies of Confucianism through their patterns of knowledge and belief by understanding how the world actually works. The lasting legacies of Asian political thought and practice are also seen through moral reasoning and moral values, political thought and action, the economy and the self.
Patterns of knowledge and belief are critical in explaining ontological independence, rationality as balance, sacred reasoning, and human nature. Ontological interdependence illustrates how events are linked with other events and people with other people. Everything that exists is interdependent and nothing is separate. In general, it means the theory of reality. The concept of yang and yin shows interdependence because they are forces in the cosmos that only gain reality through interdependence. Although there are misconceptions that yin and yang contradict each other, but instead, they are complimentary. Complementarity, then, implies mutuality and reciprocity, “therefore exerting some constraints on the degree of hierarchy” (Yee, 316). Anything that is real can only be understood through its interdependence. Nothing can develop or exist alone, such as the government and society. This idea can pose a challenge because it is dealt with accountability. An example of this is accountability in governance and how it should act in order to properly lead a society knowing that their decisions will have an impact on their people because every event and action are linked to each other. In terms of institutions, accountability describes a relationship between accountable and accounting parties so that “accountable” parties are accountable to accounting parties (Mo, 57). Political theorists have thought that good government is one that is kept under control and that accountability indicates the degree to which power is domesticated or subject to the rule of law (Mo, 57). This idea remains as the basic framework of the lasting legacies of Asian political thought and action. Another contributing idea that contributes to how people understand how the world actually works is through rationality as balance. According to East Asian philosophy, human beings are rational and that rationality involves balance. Being rational means having the ability to balance interests and time as well as finding balance between others and ourselves. Knowing how to balance between our own interests to the interests of others. Balance is a characteristic that is extremely important in a political leader. They need to know the balance in short term and long term needs of society. They also need to know how to balance the interests of self and others because they will fail if they don’t think of self and others. It is the key to have the ability to make public policy. Balancing of interest places high value on harmony and cooperation. Furthermore, sacred reasoning also helps to explain the patterns of knowledge and belief. It has been understood in East Asian terms of synergism and interpenetrating boundaries. This means that we combine different religious ideas to be powerful. Synergism means interaction, and the East Asian tradition has been a tradition trying to reconcile doctrines even if it may be illogical to do so. Interpenetrating boundaries can also be observed in East Asia because one will find that people who are deeply religious tend to move from one religion to another and this would not be a violation of principles. The boundaries of different religions are fluid. An...
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