Normalization, Universality, Harmony: The Three-Layer Implications of the Golden Rule



The Golden Rule has long been well-known and echo across the centuries. We can find the similar expressions in many civilizations and religions. Viewing from the various interpretations of and debates on the Golden Rule, it is obvious that the discussion is carried out from three perspectives: firstly, the “law” aspect of the Golden Rule, which functions in forms of moral laws, principles and norms; secondly, the “golden” aspect of the Golden Rule, namely, how to understand its priority and universal significance in moral rules and principles; thirdly, the harmony in the relationships of self-other, individual-individual, human-object and human-nature. The different interpretations from above three perspectives of the Golden Rule in classic theories of moral philosophy facilitate us with rich theoretical resources from , but cause the dilemma, including Christian theology, Kant’s practical reason, empiricism (such as egoism, utilitarianism, sympathetic ethics) and analytic ethics. From the perspectives of practical philosophy, virtue ethics and the Confucian “loyalty and forgiveness” thought, the harmonious relationships of norms and inherent spirit, particularity and universality, self and other, manifested in the Golden Rule could be more justifiably explained.


The golden rule; Normalization; Universality; Harmony

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