Confucius (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Confucius considered Ziyu (506-443 BC) well versed in cultureand learning, though once when he heard Ziyu singing and playinga string instrument, he said in jest that it was not necessaryto use an ox-cleaver to kill a chicken. Ziyu replied that a gentlemanlearns from the way to be kind, while an inferior person becomeseasier to command. When Ziyu was warden of the castle of Wu, Confuciusasked him if he had got hold of the right people there. LaterZiyu criticized the school of Zi Xia (507-425 BC) for practicingunimportant things like sprinkling and sweeping the ground, answeringsummons, replying to questions, and coming forward and retiring.

What Confucius Taught by Sanderson Beck

Confucius | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Analects of Confucius - Friesian School

Chapter 21 finds Confucius returning to the topic of the Divine Sage. Here, he describes Yu the Great, a figure from Chinese legend generally associated with a flood myth. Yu drained the land and tilled the fields, establishing agriculture. Confucius finds him to be flawless, living a humble life but still revering the sanctity of rituals. Yu is believed to have been celebrated as the ideal ruler by the Mohists, early adversaries of the Confucian school. Mohists valued selfless sacrifice as an ideal and viewed ritual as a somewhat extravagant and Confucian ideal. In this passage, Confucius seems to adopt Yu, praising these qualities. Thus some scholars feel this passage may have been added at a later date.

Key Passages in the Analects of Confucius

Book IX continues in much the same fashion as Book VIII, without a central theme or idea. There is a mix of statements concerning the character of Confucius as well as observations on goodness and ritual propriety. Chapter 2 finds a villager lamenting that Confucius, though being a great man, does nothing to further his reputation. Confucius's response is a bit unusual and has been interpreted in various ways by scholars. Confucius asks his disciples if he should take up charioteering or archery. He states he will take up charioteering. One of the characteristics of a gentleman is to not be known as a specialist in any line of work.

A good expression of the ideal of Confucius to rule by good example, since the virtue and propriety are characteristics of the ruler himself.
Confucius (551?-479? BCE), according to Chinese tradition, was a thinker, political figure, educator, and founder of the Ru School of Chinese thought. [] His teachings, preserved in the Lunyu or Analects, form the foundation of much of subsequent Chinese speculation on the education and comportment of the ideal man, how such an …

Compare Beliefs of Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism

Lau [1979] restricts this, saying, "In one's household, it is the women and the small men..."; and Legge [1893] makes that even clearer, with "Of all people, girls and servants..."Now, Confucius generally uses , "small, mean person," to represent the moral opposite to the , "gentleman," "superior man," or morally mature person.

Feb 27, 2008 · A Series of Footnotes to Confucius, Laozi–or to Me

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Subjecting oneself to ritual does not, however, mean suppressingone's desires but instead learning how to reconcile one's own desireswith the needs of one's family and community. Confucius and many of hisfollowers teach that it is by experiencing desires that we learn thevalue of social strictures that make an ordered society possible(See Lunyu 2.4.). And at least for Confucius'follower Zi Xia, renowned in the later tradition for his knowledge ofthe Book of Songs, one's natural desires for sex andother physical pleasures were a foundation for cultivating a passionfor worthiness and other lofty ideals (Lunyu 1.7).[]

Can cultural norms reduce conflicts


We can see from Book VIII, Chapter 4 in particular that Master Tseng's school of Confucian thought stressed the principles of inner sincerity over those of ritual. This is of particular interest when considering how much of The Analects is devoted specifically to the understanding and accordance of ritual. However, Master Tseng seems to make a distinction between matters of personal etiquette and matters of actual rituals. He states that a gentleman should never employ arrogance or incite violence, must express good faith, and must be true to propriety in every word. The matter of ritual vessels, he says, is the business of the others. Accountability seems to be the best word to describe Master Tseng's message in Book VIII, Chapter 4.