Reinterpreting Confucius’ Ideas on Law, Justice and Society

Dr Ying Yu, Wolfson and Oxford Law Faculty
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Wolfson College
Wolfson College
Linton Rd
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Leonard Wolfson Auditorium

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Lectures and seminars
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It is generally thought that China and the West have developed historically along different lines, each with its own understanding of society and the ideas and concepts on which society is founded.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the legal and jurisprudential context, where it is conventionally assumed that the two major civilizations proceeded according to wholly different understandings of society, relations among its members, and between the people and government.

The writings of Confucius seem to confirm this sense of separation. While we have all heard of Confucius; have probably at some time quoted from him, nevertheless he epitomizes the Chinese way of thought, which is taken to be a matter of curiosity but of no special interest.

In this lecture, Dr Ying Yu, Research Fellow of Wolfson College Oxford, will challenge these assumptions and offer the basis for a wholly new approach.

Through a close analysis of Confucius’ ideas, based on the original script, Dr Yu will show how similar they are to the jurisprudential foundations of western societies. In doing so, Dr Yu will pay particular attention to understandings of justice, both substantive and procedural.

Dr Ying Yu is a Research Fellow in Law Justice and Society at Wolfson College, Oxford, and a member of the Faculty of Law in the University of Oxford.

Ying’s main research interest is the rights of consumers and their legal protection, building on her former work on international trade, maritime law and private international law.