Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
List of Presentations
ODwyer Richard Shaun Last modified date:2023.11.22

Professor / Faculty of Languages and Cultures

1. Shaun O'Dwyer, "Confucianism’s Prospects, Perfectionism and Liberalism", Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy, 2020.09, [URL], In this presentation, I recapitulate the main arguments of my book “Confucianism’s
Prospects: a Reassessment” in response to commentators on the book. I elaborate on
its capabilities approach normative perspective, its evaluation of Confucian cultural
attributions to contemporary East Asian societies, its criticisms of communitarian and
political perfectionist arguments for Confucian democracy, and its alternative, modest
vision for Confucianism as one of many comprehensive doctrines that can find a safe
home within the civil societies of East Asia’s representative democracies..
2. Shaun O'Dwyer, Meritocracy and Resentment, Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy, 2019.03, [URL], Lately it has become fashionable to speak of a “political meritocracy” that is distinctive to Chinese political culture, in contrast to the “electoral democracy” of western liberal societies. This distinction underestimates the entrenchment of meritocratic credential norms in the political elites of liberal democracies themselves. Here I consider the moral psychology of an emotion that arguably shadows the history of meritocratic practices in China and in liberal democracies: the emotion of resentment, expressed by agents who fail in, or who consider themselves excluded from and wronged by, the high stakes competition for and elite capture of status, income and power inherent in these practices. I examine the unstable nexus between this emotion and these practices, and draw on Confucian and Qing era vernacular literature and modern sociological studies of educational credentialism for insights into how the socially destabilizing, destructive manifestations of resentment can be mitigated, or channeled into less destructive, dissenting political and cultural expression against the excesses of meritocracy..