Confucius endorses a balance between generalism and particularism in ethics and aesthetics. Rather than standards, his rules are defeasible guides for perception, thought, and action balanced by particularizing capacities of judgment. These rules have opaque and open-ended hedges that strengthen a generalization by restricting its application. A similar architecture for ethical and aesthetic rules reflects a broad view of ethics and aesthetics as intertwined and continuous. Hence, whether one chooses a generalist or particularist ethics depends on one's corresponding choices in aesthetics, and vice versa. This fundamental finding about value theory invites philosophers everywhere to investigate the teachings of Confucius.
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