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Abstract 摘要

This review essay is confined to two issues in Professor Ni Peimin’s paper: (1) the relationship between self-cultivation and family-regulation; and (2) the difference between family-based ethics and lunli. First, it is argued that self-cultivation is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for family regulation. Neither is family regulation a necessary condition for self-cultivation. Even with the emphasis on the role and importance of gongfu, self-cultivation is still not sufficient for family regulation. Second, it is argued that there is a big difference between family-based ethics and the Chinese concept of lunli, which is individual-centered and relation-based. The Chinese concept of lunli requires each individual to play his or her part, which can differ from person to person even within the family, rather than directing everyone to the same common goal, such as the well-being or harmony of the family.