This paper consists of two parts. The first deals with the issue of whether it is possible to coherently employ the term ‘critical Confucian’ in general, i.e. whether it is a paradox or oxymoron. It will be argued that Confucianism should not be identified with any particular ideology and, therefore, can be critical. This critical potential, in turn, can be developed by bringing it into dialogue with Critical Theory. As such, the second part indicates, in an introductory way, some possible overlaps between Confucianism and Critical Theory by comparing Heiner Roetz’s and Axel Honneth’s respective interpretations of these traditions.