Confucian Ethics: Prof. Yao Xinzhong

This project aims to combine Confucian ethics with contemporary Chinese business ethics and develop specialized knowledge with universal value.

First is to study Confucian ethics in itself. This requires understanding of the core values of Confucianism and reflection on its major concerns and fundamental ideas. This forms the basis of the project. The Ma Yifu Research Center soon to be established by WEIB will be able to provide related research results.

Second is to study contemporary Chinese business ethics. The distinguishing feature of WEIB consists in the fact that WEIB seeks no abstract universalism or reduction to the lowest common denominator; instead, WEIB seeks to uncover the values that individual activities add to the mankind at large, under the framework of comparative culture, in order to develop specialized knowledge with universal value. With this goal in mind, we study contemporary Chinese business ethics to analyze its value for the society.

Finally, we combine the two aspects, hoping to arrive at a Confucian ethics in view of the world ethics, while taking contemporary Chinese business ethics into consideration as well. The result will incorporate central characteristics of Confucian ethics, such as Ren. Moreover, Confucianism emphasizes putting knowledge into practice, the practice being a continuum of Dao, academics, and politics. Therefore, Confucianism should enter the realm of business and spread throughout the world, realizing the idea of a world ethics.