Lian Yu

Abstract 摘要

“Ruling the world with filial piety” was an effective management model in traditional Chinese society, particularly during the Confucian era. However, this commitment to filial piety was powerfully challenged by China’s New Culture Movement at the beginning of the twentieth century, and disintegrated almost entirely during the Cultural Revolution approximately 50 years later. However, filial piety has recently re-emerged as a topic of debate due to the problems created by China’s aging society. In this paper, the possibility of reconstructing a culture of filial piety is investigated in relation to the rule of law, as discussed by public-policy makers. On the one hand, long-term care policies must be tailored to modern Chinese society, which has been transformed in the last few decades by changes to family structure and the relationship between family and society. On the other hand, policy makers responsible for long-term care policies must acknowledge the traditional value system that has shaped the Chinese way of thinking and moral logic.

In the West, the concept of the rule of law is intrinsically connected with that of human rights. Moving away from the traditional perception of filial piety as a moral duty, it is proposed in this paper that the Confucian ideal of filial piety can be interpreted in terms of human rights. The author combines the Western principle of the rule of law with the Confucian concept of filial piety—that is, legality with morality—to show that filial piety should not be regarded merely as a virtue or a moral sentiment, but as a legally protected and promoted entity. The author argues that adherence to the principle of filial piety, although decreasing in modern China, remains the most important means of regulating the treatment of elderly people by their adult children, and cultivating awareness of the moral responsibility to provide elderly care.

“孝治天下”是中國傳統社會的治理模式,從而形成了具有中國特色的“孝文化”,但是這個文化卻在現代化的過程中遇到了質疑和批判。然而,在老齡化和養老問題突出的今天,“孝文化”重新成為社會討論的話題,由此帶來一系列的問題:我們如何回應五四新文化以來學者對所謂儒家“封建壓迫”的批判?我們如何重新構建當今時代的“孝文化”?本文探討和“孝治天下” 與“法治天下”之間的衝突與融合,提出二者互動的辯證關係。筆者認為,傳統的孝道必須與社會結構的轉型聯繫起來,從而形成一個符合現代社會的、新型的“孝文化”。