chapter  4
17 Pages

Family and well-being

ByRichard Kim

The reason for pursuing the familial good is direct and non-derivative: the flourishing of one’s family is constitutive of one’s own flourishing. Considerations of the good of one’s family is an intelligible good and a basic source of practical reason. Families can, of course, take on a variety of forms, and the sexist, patriarchal aspects of family structure endorsed by the early Confucians should be rejected. The chapter explains the Confucian view that family is constitutive of the self and identity and explores how these points are connected to human welfare. The concept of the self or identity, while morally significant, is difficult to pin down. A significant feature of the Confucian position on well-being is that how well one’s family or those that one cares about fare directly affects one’s own well-being. In other words, one’s own well-being is partially constituted by the well-being of others.