Mayor in the Cambridge University Press.
Those five are the duties of universal obligation. Knowledge, magnanimity, and energy, these three, are the virtues universally binding. And the means by which they carry the duties into practice is singleness.
Some are born with the knowledge of those duties; some know them by study; and some acquire the knowledge after a painful feeling of their ignorance.
But the knowledge being possessed, it comes to the same thing. Some practice them with a natural ease; some from a desire for their advantages; and some by strenuous effort. But the achievement being made, it comes to the same thing.
Confucius If a Western person is not aware of the very different relational presumptions built into Confucian ideas of reciprocal duty, he or she is likely to presume that the independent pursuit of needs and wants is central to involvement in such relationships.
Robert Westwood does this when he sums up the Confucian position from a Western perspective. He assumes that all individuals are 'free actors' who 'lose freedom' when they are required to accept super-ordinate or subordinate hierarchical status.
It is this that allows him to speak about relative 'power' in hierarchical, interdependent relationships: Challenges to authority and the 'natural' order are not countenanced. This is encapsulated in the Confucian precepts of the so-called 'Five Cardinal Relationships' or wu lun, which delineate a hierarchical power structure over key societal relationships.
The wu lun are dyadic sets of unequal, mostly hierarchical relationships between emperor - minister, father - son, husband - wife, older brother - younger brother, friend - friend.
Although the power structure is differentiated and unequal except for the lattermutual obligations and reciprocities are inherent in the relationships.
The person in the dominant position expects and receives obedience, deference and compliance, but in return should respect the dignity of the lower party and provide appropriate care and concern. Chinese often view themselves interdependent with the surrounding social context, and it is the 'self in relation to other' that becomes the focal individual experience.
This view of an interdependent self is in sharp contrast to the Western view of an independent self. The latter sees each human being as an independent, self-contained, autonomous entity who a comprises a unique configuration of internal attributes e. This divergent view of self has implications for a variety of basic psychological processes e.
It is very easy for a researcher or commentator to apply his or her own understandings of the nature of relationships to those observed in other communities.
Westwood does this when he assumes that hierarchical relationships must involve dominance and subservience, relative power and powerlessness. These are features of relationships between individuals who define themselves as 'free actors'.
They see relationships of dependence in terms of costs and benefits and degrees of loss of independence The independent self is quintessentially Western.
The interdependent self, in one guise or another, is found in communities where individuals know who they are through the forms of relationship they recognize between themselves and other members of the community. They perceive rights and responsibilities as qualities of the interactants rather than inhering in the 'objects' of interaction as rules of acquisition.
In such communities the rights and obligations of individuals in exchange relationships remain with the interactants rather than being attached to the objects of exchange. So, the other party in an exchange is the focus, rather than the needs and wants of the interactants.
In one case, the process of exchange or interaction tends to emphasize the separate identities and, therefore, motivations of the exchangers leading to a stress on independence.
In the other, it tends to emphasize their relatedness and reciprocal responsibilities stressing interdependence. The qualities of the relationships invoked in exchange in the two orientations are very different. Such interactional orientations tend not only to 'flavor' recognized relationships between people but permeate relationships connecting both elements within categories and categories themselves throughout the primary ideological frames see 'Primary ideology' - below of the communities.
Not only are perceived relationships specific to communities, so too are the perceived qualities that inhere in relationships. By definition, two individuals living in different communities will, therefore, have quite distinctive 'understandings' from each other.Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing and Thinking (Financial Times Series) -- Hardback (3 Rev ed) [Hardcover] Applying the Pyramid Principle will enable you to present your thinking so clearly that the ideas move off the page and into the reader's mind with a minimum of effort and a maximum of effect.
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