A Confucian Lesson in Development

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationResearch

50 Downloads (Pure)


Development may be regarded as a form of change and change is suggestive of a future state. Such a future may be considered a transformation into a higher order of existence, even if such a higher order is modelled on a perceived Golden Age of the past, as occurred with the teachings of Confucius. This paper argues that to achieve development in accordance with the moral teachings of Confucius is a nearly impossible task. It represents the pursuit of the ‘hopeless’, and yet such an undertaking has all the hallmarks of a Confucian endeavour. The teaching of high ideals in a world mired in greed and destructive tendencies is both necessary and transformative. It is necessary because, as Confucius said, “If the Way prevailed in the world, I would not be trying to change it.” It is transformative in that morality is being cultivated at different levels and stages, whether between the self and community, or between humans and the planet. Such a process cannot leave society or the world system untouched. Morality is the message and the means for transformative development in the Confucian outlook.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
EventThe First International Seminar on Development in Action: Lessons for Development - Kolkata, India
Duration: 5 Jun 20188 Jun 2018


ConferenceThe First International Seminar on Development in Action
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'A Confucian Lesson in Development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • A Confucian Lesson in Development

    Dellios, R., 2019, A Discourse on Economic Development. Roy, K. & Clark, C. (eds.). New York: Nova Science Publishers, p. 43-60 17 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

    Open Access

Cite this