The Relationship Between a Good Government and Elite Ruling: A Comparative Study on Mencius and John Stuart Mill’s Political Philosophy


Political philosophy is a popular area in contemporary comparative philosophy research. The concern about how to construct an ideal government is crucial in this area. The author chooses two philosophers from the east and the west to conduct this comparative study. Mencius is an important Confucian philosopher, whose thoughts about the policy of benevolence and ruling by virtue has strong impact in Chinese philosophical development and political history. While John Stuart Mill, the representative philosopher of Utilitarianism and Liberalism, argues the importance of democracy and elite ruling in running a good government.In this paper, the author adopts the method of literature comparison and an analytical philosophy approach to find out the similarities and differences in the two philosophers' political thoughts. They have both claimed that the moral and mental superiority of elites make them the best candidate to run a good government. She assumes both philosophers believe the political order, the small size of a government and a certain degree of democracy play significant roles in maintaining a good balance of running a government . At last, the author suggests that the implement of edification, the election of elites, and the protection of the civilians are three main methods for elite democracy to succeed in good governance. In addition, the opinions of the mass should also be represented properly.

Author Information
Yan Deng, Reading Academy, Nanjing University of Information, Science and Technology, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2019
Stream: Philosophy - Comparative Philosophy

This paper is part of the ACERP2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon