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

Professor / Faculty of Languages and Cultures

1. Jiang Dongxian and Shaun O'Dwyer, Jiang Dongxian and Shaun O'Dwyer (book chapter: "Universalizing 'Kingly Way Confucianism': A Japanese Legacy and a Chinese Future?"), Published in Shaun O'Dwyer (ed) 2022, "Handbook of Confucianism in Modern Japan". Tokyo: Japan Documents/Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp.184-203., 2022.03, [URL], "Universalizing 'Kingly Way'Confucianism: A Japanese Legacy and a Chinese Future?" In this chapter we explore the concept of a modular “exemplary nationalism” originating in early 19th century Germany which combines—unstably—an affirmation of particularistic national values with a national mission to exemplify and propagate those values universally. We show that the characteristics of such a nationalism can be found in 1930s era Japanese Kingly Way and Imperial Way Confucianism promoted by the Japanese Confucian organization "Shibunkai", which became complicit with wartime imperialism and militarism. We then survey Chinese Confucian thought today to warn that a similar “Kingly Way” Confucian nationalism may be on the rise in authoritarian China, testifying to its “modularity” between Japan and China. We conclude our chapter with a normative argument for a conscientious Confucianism in the 21st century, uncoupled from nationalist and “national mission” ideologies..
2. Shaun O'Dwyer (editor and author), Song Qi, Han Shuting, Lee Yu-Ting, Mizuno Hirota, Yamamura Sho, Masako Racel, Chang Kun-chiang, Kang Haesoo, Park Junhyun, Kyle Shuttleworth, Alexandra Mustatea, Eddy Dufourmont, Jiang Dongxian., Shaun O'Dwyer (Handbook of Confucianism in Modern Japan: editor), Japan Documents (East Asia), Amsterdam University Press (Europe and North America), 2022.04, [URL], In mainstream assessments of Confucianism’s modern genealogy there is a Sinocentric bias which is, in part, the result of a general neglect of modern Japanese Confucianism by political and moral philosophers and intellectual historians during the post-war era.

The essays in this volume can be read for the insight they provide into the intellectual and ideological proclivities of reformers, educators and philosophers explicitly reconstructing Confucian thought, or more tacitly influenced by it, during critical phases in Japan’s modernization, imperialist expansionism and post-1945 reconstitution as a liberal democratic polity. They can be read as introductions to the ideas of modern Japanese Confucian thinkers and reformers whose work is little known outside Japan—and sometimes barely remembered inside Japan. They can also be read as a needful corrective to the above-mentioned Sinocentric bias in the 20th century intellectual history of Confucianism. For those Confucian scholars currently exploring how Confucianism is, or can be made compatible with democracy, at least some of the studies in this volume serve as a warning. They enjoin readers to consider how Confucianism was also rendered compatible with the authoritarian ultranationalism and militarism that captured Japan’s political system in the 1930s, and brought war to the Asia-Pacific region.



3. Shaun O'Dwyer, Shaun O'Dwyer (Book chapter: "Paternalistic Knowers and Erroneous Belief"), London, Book chapter in G. Axtell and A Bernal (eds) "Epistemic Paternalism: Conceptions, Justifications and Implications" (London: Rowman and Littlefield), pp.279-293, 2020.06, Paternalistic Knowers and Erroneous Belief

Discussions on epistemic justice sometimes coalesces around two epistemic rights that people marginalized by gender status, race and class should possess. One is their “right to know”: the right to have informed, evidentially supported true beliefs about matters of concern, through access to education and high quality information, and the right to not be burdened by false beliefs about those matters, such as are formed in conditions of income inequality and educational deprivation. The other right is their “right to be taken seriously” as competent epistemic agents, to not have their beliefs and testimony dismissed as untrue or as unintelligible on the basis of unjust a priori discriminatory judgements, or because of unreasonably biased, discriminatory criteria for what counts as truthful, intelligible belief or testimony. This paper explores resolutions to a tension already highlighted by some epistemologists between promoting the “right to know” and promoting “the right to be taken seriously”..
4. O'Dwyer, Shaun, O'Dwyer, Shaun ("Confucianism's Prospects: A Reassessment", author), New Paltz: State University of New York Press, N/A, 352 pages, 2019.08, [URL], "Confucianism's Prospects: A Reassessment"

This book challenges descriptions of East Asian societies as Confucian cultures and critically evaluates communitarian Confucian alternatives to liberal democracy.In Confucianism’s Prospects, Shaun O’Dwyer offers a rare critical engagement with English language scholarship on Confucianism. Against the background of historical and sociological research into the rapid modernization of East Asian societies, O’Dwyer reviews several key Confucian ethical ideas and proposals for East Asian alternatives to liberal democracy that have emerged from this scholarship. He also puts the following question to Confucian scholars: what prospects do those ideas and proposals have in East Asian societies in which liberal democracy and pluralism are well established, and individualization and declining fertility are impacting deeply upon family life? In making his case, O’Dwyer draws upon the neglected work of Japanese philosophers and intellectuals who were witnesses to Japan’s pioneering East Asian modernization, and protagonists in the rise and disastrous wartime fall of its own modernized Confucianism. He contests a sometimes Sinocentric and ahistorical conception of East Asian societies as “Confucian societies,” while also recognizing that Confucian traditions can contribute importantly to global philosophical dialogue, and to civic and religious life..