What is this moral freedom business?

Part 3 – How freedom and identification fail

 

The two models - agency through freedom and agency through identification - are culturally determined.  A child must be acculturated to use freedom in decision-making or defer to an exemplar. No society adopt one or the other completely, but the social tendencies run deep, particularly in China and in the US.  Think of “freedom” in the US, and perhaps “harmony” in China.  Those words might well describe the political and social culture of each country. 

What is this moral freedom business?

 Part 2  Agency through identification

 

Moral philosophers – Ci Jiwei, Joseph Chan, and many others, probably beginning with Kant – define several kinds of freedom - personal freedom, economic freedom, political freedom and moral freedom.  For my purposes here – and as Ci and Chan do as well – I merge personal and economic freedom, and political and moral freedom.  That seems to me a reasonable change that does no harm to the discussion. 

Every society necessarily allows for some personal freedom – traveling to work, some form of leisure, some choices about buying personal items. 

Not so for moral freedom.

What is this moral freedom business?

Some notes, in four parts

 

Part 1

I referred to moral freedom in the recent post on Ai Fen, the Wuhan doctor who first told her colleagues about the coronavirus.  She was threatened severely for releasing information.  Under threat, she said no more, until her moral sense overcame her decades of prior training to do as she was told by leaders. See Moral Freedom.

Several people have asked for clarification on moral freedom. The term means what?

Performative declamation        people talking without speaking …

 

note: I am reminded that this needs more than a little editing and a bit of shortening.  Ok.  You may skim rather than read.  Editing to come in a couple of weeks after 10-01-18

At Gettysburg,  the featured speaker Edward Everett talked for two hours, and Lincoln for three minutes.  Some thought Lincoln’s remarks were foolish and inappropriate.  Chinese leaders never want to look foolish.  I have sat through the one and two hour speeches that might have been delivered  in ten minutes - if content were what mattered, rather than performance. 

                                                            Contents

 PREFACE 

CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION - WHAT IS CHINESENESS  

CHAPTER 2 - WHAT LIES BEHIND – CHINESENESS – THE EARLY YEARS  

CHAPTER 3 - WHAT LIES BENEATH – LANGUAGE AND CULTURE 

CHAPTER 4 -  WE ARE ALL FAMILY

CHAPTER 5 -  WE ARE ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS… 

CHAPTER 6 -  WHAT MANIFESTS ITSELF

CHAPTER 7 - CONFUCIAN VALUES AND CIVIL SOCIETY 

CHAPTER 8 -  ANOTHER CHINA METAPHOR

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