Was Confucius a behavioural scientist?

Was Confucius a behavioural scientist?

If John Stuart Mill would feel at home with neo-liberal economics, Confucius would love behavioural economics and the new "nanny state" schools of libertarian paternalism and coercive paternalism it has inspired.

Monday, 18 March, 2013, 1:41am 1 comment

China's political reform must combine modern ideals and tradition

New members of the Politburo Standing Committee, from left, Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yunshan, Zhang Dejiang, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Yu Zhengsheng and Wang Qishan. Photo: AP

The way a party presents itself can either enhance or undermine a regime's legitimacy, and China is no exception. The regime currently faces a legitimacy crisis, partly because the Communist Party presents itself in such an ugly way that it has eroded the traditional Confucian moral basis of the state.

21 Nov 2012 - 3:05pm

Legacy of distrust through the ages

Confucian theory cites trust as the key to good society and governance.

A China editor once remarked that it makes perfect sense for the Communist Party to go big on Confucianism. "When it comes to control, communism and Confucianism have a lot in common," he said.

29 Oct 2012 - 1:41am 1 comment

Sceptics mock professor's mother-hugging display

Flamboyant Peking University president Zhou Qifeng has sparked a public debate over filial piety after returning to his ancestral home in Hunan province for his mother's 90th birthday.

17 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Daring to keep it real in PR

Contrary to what some might think about public relations (PR) executives, Clara Shek has never been one to sugarcoat or gloss over things. Instead, she advocates a policy of candour and authenticity, which, as MD at Ogilvy PR, she employs in both internal and external dealings.

Why emphasise authenticity?

7 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Clampdown on Li Wangyang's friends goes on

Two weeks after veteran pro-democracy activist Li Wangyang died under suspicious circumstances, some of his friends who have spoken out about his case remained detained by police or were still under house arrest yesterday, according to people familiar with them.

20 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Believer in classics for the young

In 2003, Meng Danmei started an old-fashioned private school that focused on reading and studying classic works of literature. Established in Shenzhen, the school - called a sishu - is Meng's answer to what she and other like-minded people believe is a problem with education on the mainland.

10 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Classically framed

Teachers at Luming School in eastern Shenzhen start every class with the same instruction: 'Children, read after me.'

24 May 2012 - 12:00am

Close encounters with Confucian values

A holiday is an opportunity to take a break from the daily routine and nurture family relationships. At Easter, I went to Thailand with my husband, to give our children a break from our supervision, as well as to enjoy each other's company. To save time and energy, we joined a tour group of 19 people.

6 May 2012 - 12:00am

We should strive to be ourselves

Recently, I read a book about the need to be yourself. Yet I have to admit I don't find it easy.

We also behave differently towards different people.

We often get along with our family without pretence. They can accept us the way we are. However, with friends, we may become more careful so as not to appear in a bad light in front of them.

24 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Retirement can be hard even for retired leaders

Apart from some rare appearances at public ceremonies, the retirement lives of most high-ranking officials on the mainland are kept off limits to the public.

19 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Confucius quotes mooted for banknotes

Maverick mainland philanthropist Chen Guangbiao is back in the headlines after proposing that public morale could be improved by the introduction of new banknotes bearing famous quotes from ancient philosophers such as Confucius.

10 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

The man and the myths

A thinker and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period (he is thought to have lived from 551BC to 479BC), Confucius is associated with values such family loyalty, children's respect for their elders, social justice and the moral uprightness of the individual and of government.

4 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

How to navigate the learning curve

'Learning for life, learning through life' is a much-touted slogan that accompanied Hong Kong's education reform launched in 2000 to cultivate talent for the 21st century. A decade later, local students are certainly exposed to diverse learning opportunities.

4 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Hey teacher, leave those kids alone

Whether by design or coincidence, the nanny state has been busy in the wake of national soul-searching over a decline in traditional standards of social morality.

14 Nov 2011 - 12:00am