At different times in Chinese history, Confucius trad. This means that the philosophy of Confucius is historically underdetermined, and it is possible to trace multiple sets of coherent doctrines back to the early period, each grounded in different sets of classical sources and schools of interpretation linked to his name. After introducing key texts and interpreters, then, this entry explores three principal interconnected areas of concern: a psychology of ritual that describes how ideal social forms regulate individuals, an ethics rooted in the cultivation of a set of personal virtues, and a theory of society and politics based on normative views of the family and the state. Because of the wide range of texts and traditions identified with him, choices about which version of Confucius is authoritative have changed over time, reflecting particular political and social priorities. The portrait of Confucius as philosopher is, in part, the product of a series of modern cross-cultural interactions. In Imperial China, Confucius was identified with interpretations of the classics and moral guidelines for administrators, and therefore also with training the scholar-officials that populated the bureaucracy.
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This text was written in order to provide people with the teachings of the master. His disciples did this by writing down their questions along with the answers that Confucius gave them. In this series of questions and answers various terms that Confucius believed people should live according to are continuously referred to.
What is the Dao the master was pursuing? How to become a junzi or superior man? Are the Confucian values such as filial piety and trustworthiness still relevant today? Hongjie Wang at Armstrong in the spring semester of These authors try to answer the aforementioned questions from their respective perspectives based on their reading of the ancient text. When considering the principles upon which many Chinese people conduct the basis of their life, the philosophy and teachings of Confucius play a large role.
Confucius believed that through teaching one could change the manner in which civilizations and governing bodies conducted themselves. He prophesized these ideals throughout the text in a manner of ways including junzi superior man , filial piety, and trustworthiness. This term is often used to denote an ideal moral actor. This word encompassed a lifestyle based upon ethics, morals, virtues, and the ability to be humble.
Filial respect has always been a large part in Eastern Asian culture. But even hounds and horses can require care. Without respectful vigilance, what is the difference? Trustworthiness, although prevalent in families, is not limited to them. It also expands throughout government and daily life. In company with friends, have I been trustworthy? Confucius continues to be a guiding entity in the modern era.
Once you do your best in the moral humanitarian way, then others can follow in the path set forth. The book lays out several teachings for both commoners and rulers to follow in the pursuit of morality. While some of his teachings rely on idealism, others are very practical.
One of the most important morals that Confucius teaches is filial piety. According to Confucius, being filial is more than simply taking care of ones parents. This is a value that I believe is still important today.
I was taught to respect my parents and elders, and although Western and Eastern methods may differ the intent is still the same. A kind leader is preferable to a tyrant, but kindness does not necessarily guarantee loyalty, as a filial leader could be more inefficient than a non-filial one. It is important to note that Confucius lived in a time of war and strife, and this viewpoint may stem from the environment that he lived in.
Humility is another moral trait taught by the Analects. All people desire to be recognized in some way, be it for their abilities or accomplishments. What is important is to try to not let it keep getting in the way of giving recognition to someone else.
Confucius, however, shows great wisdom by simply replying that he does not know if a person is ren or not each time he is asked. My understanding is that it is not within his power to decide who is and is not ren. The ultimate goal of following the morals of Confucianism is to become a gentleman, or junzi.
People are bombarded with advertisements for products and profit is held in high regard, especially in Western society. There are few who could argue against bettering oneself, and Confucian teachings are by no means incompatible with a contemporary worldview.
Disagreeing with an aspect or two does not make the entire message any less valid. Respect for parents and elders, benevolence, and humility are character traits that anyone can benefit from. The philosophies and teachings of the Chinese sages have mystified and attracted many westerners looking for new perspectives on the world. Among Chinese philosophers in history, none stand as tall as Confucius. Confucius is a fascinating figure whose impact on history is cemented by his ubiquitous teachings on Chinese life and culture.
What I find most fascinating about him are his political ideals, not because he offers something radically different from the West, but because he is extremely similar to various western schools of thought, far more so than many in the western or eastern intelligentsia care to admit. It is a very idealistic outlook and one I greatly sympathize with.
I myself am a classically liberal conservative and I agree with Confucius that a nation that emphasizes strong moral character will stand above those that allow their ethics, values, and morals to decay as can currently be seen in the United States. However, I must admit that in a perfect world, a dictatorship or rather, any form of government that is ruled by one individual would be the best system if and only if the dictator is supremely competent, moral, and most of all, benevolent.
The dictator would essentially have to be the perfect man, but there can never be such a person. History has shown that a nation controlled by a great ruler can prosper supremely, as demonstrated by the likes of Napoleon, Frederick the Great, Suleiman the Magnificent, and many others.
But none of these men were perfect. Thus, rule by one can never be realistically applied with any sort of consistent results. Classical leftists believe that all people are equal in totality and any difference in station or wealth is due to circumstances out of the control of the person in question. Classical rightists believe that all people have varying skills and abilities. Some people are smart, others are dumb, some are competent, others are lazy.
These traits create the hierarchies we witness in society. If I had to place Confucius on this scale, I believe he would lean right. Confucius believed that all people in society had a role to play and that for the good of the society, they must all accept their roles and fulfill them to the best of their abilities.
I generally concur with this sentiment, although I believe that while acceptance of your place in life can be good, one should still seek to better themselves and rise above their station. Where I disagree with Confucius largely has to do with his view of the role government plays in the lives of the people. Confucius believes that the government should be a shining star for the people, an institution that can improve the lives of the people and inspire them to be moral.
He also holds that the best and brightest should seek employment in the government to better serve society. I completely disagree with this view. In my opinion, the government has one role: to protect the rights of the people. I am not an anarchist but I do believe in small government. While Confucius can perhaps be said to lean right in regards to hierarchy in society, he is firmly left when it comes to government.
I say this because, in modern leftism not classical , the government is the most important entity in society. Even more intriguing is how difficult it is to place him on either the modern or classical left-right dichotomy.
This shows the importance of diversity of opinion. It is better to have many different ideas in conflict than it is to have the same idea shared by an insular group. Confucius still has much to teach us and can easily be counted among the greatest thinkers, East or West. Katherine E. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. During her studies, Katie found that she enjoyed learning about other cultures and various aspects of history, so she decided to obtain a minor in History, which she finds to be an exciting compliment to the scientific world.
Brian Lee is a junior History major at Armstrong. He enjoys studying Mediterranean empires of Antiquity and midth Century America. He has plans to enter the graduate program after completing his undergraduate degree. Juan Rojelio is a history major and will graduate in Eno, Robert.
The Analects of Confucius
The Analects of Confucius The Analects are a collection of the teachings and thoughts of Confucius; they also contain fragments of dialogues between the great Chinese philosopher and his disciples. The name in English derived from the word "analect" which means a fragment or extract of literature, or a collection of teachings. In Chinese, the book is literally called "discussion on the words [of Confucius]. The Analects were probably written over a period of years. Started during the Spring and Autumn Period, the work of collection and organization of Confucian teachings was probably completed during the Warring States Period, although the precise date of publication of the complete work is unknown. In China, the work has been by many attributed to Confucius himself, but the philological investigations to date do not allow to go back to a reliable source, partly because of the devastating book burning of BC by the First Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The chapters are grouped by themes of the Analects, but do not develop a structured discussion.
The Master’s Teachings Are Not Far:
This text was written in order to provide people with the teachings of the master. His disciples did this by writing down their questions along with the answers that Confucius gave them. In this series of questions and answers various terms that Confucius believed people should live according to are continuously referred to. What is the Dao the master was pursuing? How to become a junzi or superior man? Are the Confucian values such as filial piety and trustworthiness still relevant today?
The Analects Quotes
Add to Cart. Compiled by disciples of Confucius in the centuries following his death in B. Reflecting the model eras of Chinese antiquity, the Analects offers valuable insights into successful governance and the ideal organization of society. Filled with humor and sarcasm, it reads like a casual conversation between teacher and student, emphasizing the role of the individual in the attainment of knowledge and the value of using historical events and people to illuminate moral and political concepts.