Week 7 Aristotle vs Confucius Definition of Virtue Ethics Discussion

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Instructions:

In order to receive credit for these assignments (in general) you must do a number of things:

1. Have a post of at least 150 words on topic.

2. Contain one citation. (do not worry about this for the first assignment)

3. Include the password I drop in the audio lectures (do not worry about this for this first assignment

3. It must use one of the WRAITEC ( The goodthinker's toolkit) letters as a tool to prompt yourself.

How does one use WRAITEC? It is rather straightforward; pick one of the letters (such as R for reasons) and focus on the reasons for Aristotle making this or that claim. Any letter can be used, but be sure to be clear which it is you are using (at least for these first couple weeks of class).

Additionally, you owe your fellow inquirers two replies. This means you can either reply to two different classmate's responses, or respond to someone who has replied to you. These replies should actually attempt to engage with your eachother. Posts consisting of very basic sentiments (mere regurgitation of what your class mate has said in order to prove you read their post to me), will receive no credit. A good way to not make a mistake here is by asking questions of your fellows. Such questions will encourage further conversation. These replies should be about 50-100 words,

Ultimately, this means I want to see three things from you weekly: a response, and two replies.

A note on grading: these assignments are credit/no-credit (either 1 point or no points). You make ask the question "if there are two replies, and I only do one, do I get half credit?" The answer is no--Half points will not be awarded for these assignments. Also not that these weekly assignments total 30% of your overall grade (responses being 15% and replies being 15%). I mention this, because missing these assignments will quickly add up to hurt your grade with no way to really earn points back in this category.

Discussion Q: (Need 3 seperate answers)

Is philosophy always what we think it is? What types of cultural assumptions do we make when we engage with philosophic concepts? In looking at Confucius, particularly the Vocabulary, what assumptions did you make going in, and how were they reinforced, or subverted? In other words, is what Aristotle is doing in the Nicomachean Ethics the same as what Confucius is doing in the Analects?

Audio file here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-Vy5RR11vZlKsNBn-...

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1 The Analects of Confucius The Analects of Confucius R. Eno, revised 2015 Book I Notes 1.1 The Master said: To study and at due times practice what one has studied, is this not a pleasure? When friends come from distant places, is this not joy? To remain unsoured when his talents are unrecognized, is this not a junzi? 1.1 ‘The Master’ refers to Confucius: Kongzi 孔子, or ‘Master Kong.’ There are three precepts here; the ‘punch line’ is the last. As an example of the many different interpretive traditions that may attach to Analects passages, this last phrase is read, in one longstanding tradition: “To remain unsoured when others do not understand your teaching, is this not a junzi.” Junzi 君子: Originally ‘a prince’; used by the Analects to denote an ideal moral actor. The term is sometimes rendered ‘gentleman’, but has a more emphatic moral sense, and is left untranslated here. At times it merely denotes a ruler. NOTE: More detailed discussions of key terms may be found in the Glossary. 1.2 Master You said: It is rare to find a person who is filial to his parents and respectful of his elders, yet who likes to oppose his ruling superior. And never has there been one who does not like opposing his ruler who has raised a rebellion. The junzi works on the root – once the root is planted, the dao is born. Filiality and respect for elders, are these not the roots of ren? 1.3 The Master said: Those of crafty words and ingratiating expression are rarely ren. 1.4 Master Zeng said: Each day I examine myself upon three points. In planning for others, have I been loyal? In company with friends, have I been trustworthy? And have I practiced what has been passed on to me? 1.5 The Master said: To guide a state great enough to possess a thousand war chariots: be attentive to affairs and trustworthy; regulate expenditures and treat persons as valuable; employ the people according to the proper season. 1.6 The Master said: A young man should 1.2 Master You (You Ruo 有若) was a disciple. For a brief time after Confucius’s death, he took on the Master’s role for the group of disciples. Dao 道: The ‘Way’; the Confucian notion of the evolved moral & cultural pattern of past eras of sage governance. Dao is also a generic term for any fully conceived behavioral path. Ren 仁: The key moral term in the Analects. Rendered as ‘humanity,’ ‘goodness,’ etc., its rich meaning is a mystery to many in the text, and defies translation. 1.3 Duplicated at 17.17. (When passages are duplicated in different The Analects of Confucius be filial within his home and respectful of elders when outside, should be careful and trustworthy, broadly caring of people at large, and should cleave to those who are ren. If he has energy left over, he may study the refinements of culture (wen). 1.7 Zixia said: If a person treats worthy people as worthy and so alters his expression, exerts all his effort when serving his parents, exhausts himself when serving his lord, and is trustworthy in keeping his word when in the company of friends, though others may say he is not yet learned, I would call him learned. 1.8 The Master said: If a junzi is not serious he will not be held in awe. If you study you will not be crude. Take loyalty and trustworthiness as the pivot and have no friends who are not like yourself in this. If you err, do not be afraid to correct yourself. 1.9 Master Zeng said: Devote care to life’s end and pursue respect for the distant dead; in this way, the virtue of the people will return to fullness. 1.10 Ziqin asked Zigong, “When our Master travels to a state, he always learns the affairs of its government. Does he seek out the information, or do people give it to him of their own accord?” Zigong said, “Our Master obtains this information by being friendly, straightforward, reverential, frugal, and modest. The way our Master seeks things is different from the way others do!” 2 books, it may signal independent editorial origins.) 1.4 Master Zeng 曾子 is the disciple Zeng Shen 參, among the youngest of Confucius’s major disciples. The fact that he is referred to as ‘Master’ in the Analects indicates that his own later disciples had a hand in the text. (Zeng Shen’s death is described in Book VIII.) ‘Loyalty’ (zhong 忠) and ‘trustworthiness’ (xìn 信) are complex concepts in the Analects. Loyalty involves taking others’ interests as central in your conduct; trustworthiness means standing by one’s word, or, more deeply, being a dependable support for others. Both could be rendered in some contexts as ‘faithfulness’; occasionally, I have rendered xìn in that sense. 1.5 In Classical China, the size of feudal states was often expressed in terms of chariot forces. ‘One thousand chariots’ denotes a mid-size state. Certain political issues important to the Classical era recur in the Analects; employing people in the proper season contrasts with the practice of pulling peasants from the fields in summer to fight in war. 1.6 ‘Refinements of culture’ translates the term wen 文, which is a key term in the Analects. Its basic sense is ‘pattern’, and it is applied in a variety of important ways. NOTE: Elsewhere in this translation, wen is generally translated in its literal sense, ‘pattern’, most often referring to The Analects of Confucius 1.11 The Master said: When the father is alive, observe the son’s intent. When the father dies, observe the son’s conduct. One who does not alter his late father’s dao for three years may be called filial. 1.12 Master You said: In the practice of li, Harmony is the key. In the Dao of the kings of old, This was the beauty. In all affairs, great and small, follow this. Yet there is one respect in which one does not. To act in harmony simply because one understands what is harmonious, but not to regulate one’s conduct according to li: indeed, one cannot act in that way. 1.13 Master You said: Trustworthiness is close to righteousness: one’s words are tested true. Reverence is close to li: it keeps shame and disgrace at a distance. One who can accord with these and not depart from his father’s way – such a one may truly be revered. 1.14 The Master said: A junzi is not concerned that food fill his belly; he does not seek comfort in his residence. If a person is apt in conduct and cautious in speech, stays near those who keep to the dao and corrects himself thereby, he may be said to love learning. 1.15 Zigong said, “To be poor but never a flatterer; to be wealthy but never arrogant – what would you say to that?” The Master said, “That’s fine, but not so good as: To be poor but joyful; to be wealthy and love li.” 3 basic cultural norms of civilization that underlie li (on which, see 1.12). In many instances, use of the word ‘pattern’ will signal a range of possible connotations, from ‘civilization’ to ‘good breeding’ or ‘fine literature’. 1.7 Zixia was a junior disciple, noted for his abilities with texts. Note how this passage seems a gentle correction to the one before. The Analects was composed by many hands over several centuries. Some portions seem to bear the traces of a conversation among differing viewpoints within the Confucian school. 1.8 This passage seems to string a set of aphorisms together. Are they truly related? Should we read this as a single lesson, or a catalogue? (The latter portions are duplicated at 9.25.) 1.9 Many passages in the Analects seem directed at individual action, but suggest social or political consequences. On the term ‘virtue’, see passage 2.1. 1.10 Not much is known of the minor disciple Ziqin 子禽. Zigong 子貢 was a senior disciple. He is reported to have performed occasional diplomatic tasks in the state of Lu despite having no office, because of his skills in speech. He is said to have becoming a rich man in later life. See Appendix 1 for more on Zigong. 1.11 Duplicated at 4.20 (see the note there). Why keeping to one’s father’s way (dao) is criti- 4 The Analects of Confucius Zigong said, “In the Poetry it says, As though cut, as though chiseled, As though carved, as though polished. Is that what you mean?” The Master said, “Ah, Si! – I can finally begin to talk about the Poetry with him. I tell him what came before and he understands what is coming next.” 1.16 The Master said: Do not be concerned that no one recognizes your merits. Be concerned that you may not recognize others’. cal to filiality is unclear. Passage 19.18 may provide some insight into what it entailed. 1.12 Li 禮 refers to the body of religious, political, and common ceremonial forms that marked the Zhou cultural sphere as ‘patterned’ (wen), or civilized. Confucians believed that li had evolved, through sage trial and error, from the earliest leaders of previous dynasties to its apex in the initial centuries of the Zhou era. (‘Li’ may be singular or plural.) 1.13 See 1.11. 1.15 In this conversation Zigong shows his knowledge of the classical collection of songs, known as the Poetry (Shijing 詩經, see 2.2). Confucius refers to Zigong him by the name Si. In ancient China, most men possessed at least two personal names: a childhood name, by which their families addressed them, and a ‘style’ name, for public use, given to them at a puberty ceremony called ‘capping’. ‘Zigong’ is a style name; as a teacher, Confucius uses the intimate family name. Multiple names for people create a reading problem in the Analects. I will use notes to try to keep clear who is who. 1.15 may be modeled on 3.8, which is likely earlier. 1.16 Note how the themes of the opening and closing passages to this book serve as conceptual ‘book ends’ (this is one reason why this translation selects its reading of 1.1). 5 The Analects of Confucius Book II Notes 2.1 The Master said: When one rules by means of virtue it is like the North Star – it dwells in its place and the other stars pay reverence to it. 2.1 ‘Virtue’ translates de 德, a key ethical term with a range of meanings that shift with context. The vague term ‘virtue’ is an imperfect fit, but flexible enough to serve. 2.2 The Master said: There are three hundred songs in the Poetry, yet one phrase covers them all: “Thoughts unswerving.” 2.3 The Master said: Guide them with policies and align them with punishments and the people will evade them and have no shame. Guide them with virtue and align them with li and the people will have a sense of shame and fulfill their roles. 2.4 The Master said: When I was fifteen I set my heart on learning. At thirty I took my stand. At forty I was without confusion. At fifty I knew the command of Tian. At sixty I heard it with a compliant ear. At seventy I follow the desires of my heart and do not overstep the bounds. 2.5 Meng Yizi asked about filiality. The Master said, “Never disobey.” Fan Chi was driving the Master’s chariot, and the Master told him, “Meng Yizi asked me about filiality and I replied, ‘Never disobey.’” Fan Chi said, “What did you mean?” The Master said, “While they are alive, serve them according to li. When they are dead, bury them according to li; sacrifice to them according to li.” 2.6 Meng Wubo asked about filiality. The Master said, “Let your mother and father 2.2 ‘The Poetry’ refers to an anthology of popular and court songs largely compiled during the preClassical era (c. 1000-600). The Confucian school believed it had been compiled by sages, such as the founding Zhou Dynasty kings, and was thus a repository of wisdom. Confucius himself was seen as its final editor. (See 13.5.) 2.3 Note how this passage relates closely to the leadership model of 2.1. In the Analects, related passages have sometimes been separated through re-editing. 2.4 This famous ‘thumbnail autobiography’ is probably a later addition to the book, but captures Confucian school views of its founder. Tian 天 (‘sky’) refers to a concept of supreme deity: ‘Heaven’. Its conceptual range is flexible, and the term is left untranslated here. 2.5 Meng Yizi was one of two young patricians of the state of Lu who were entrusted by their father to a youthful Confucius for tutoring, thus beginning Confucius’s career as a teacher. Since the later (rather undistinguished) disciple, Fan Chi 樊遲, is present here as well, we are presumably to picture Meng Yizi now as a fully adult member of the Lu nobility. Meng Yizi’s son, Meng Wubo, appears in 2.6. With 2.5 we begin a string The Analects of Confucius need be concerned only for your health.” 2.7 Ziyou asked about filiality. The Master said, “What is meant by filiality today is nothing but being able to take care of your parents. But even hounds and horses can require care. Without respectful vigilance, what is the difference?” 2.8 Zixia asked about filiality. The Master said, “It is the expression on the face that is difficult. That the young should shoulder the hardest chores or that the eldest are served food and wine first at meals – whenever was that what filiality meant?” 2.9 The Master said: I can speak with Hui all day and he will never contradict me, like a dolt. But after he withdraws, when I survey his personal conduct, indeed he is ready to go forth. He’s no dolt! 2.10 The Master said: Look at the means he employs, observe the sources of his conduct, examine what gives him comfort – where can he hide? Where can he hide? 2.11 The Master said: A person who can bring new warmth to the old while understanding the new is worthy to take as a teacher. 2.12 The Master said: The junzi is not a vessel. 2.13 Zigong asked about the junzi. The Master said, “One who first tries out a precept and only after follows it.” 6 of four passages all related to ‘filiality’ (xiao 孝), which refers specifically to the way sons are to treat parents. Learning and accepting with devotion one’s duties as a son are keys to the Confucian dao. Filiality was a traditional value in Zhou era China; these passages attempt to pinpoint value beyond the tradition. References to filiality concern sons. Although early Confucianism reveals little or no active prejudice against women (see 17.23 for an exception), it seems to tacitly assume that its readers, and the only people who matter in public society, are men. In this sense, it fails to escape the social norms of its time. 2.7 Ziyou 子游 is a junior disciple of some importance, but his personal character is not developed in detail in the Analects. 2.9 ‘Hui’ is Yan Hui 顏回 (or Yan Yuan 淵), Confucius’s most celebrated disciple. He is pictured in the Analects in sagelike ways, but dies before Confucius, to the Master’s dismay (see 11.8-11). 2.10 Note the resemblance in thinking to 1.11 and 2.9. The Analects is concerned with the art of reading character from conduct. 2.12 ‘Vessel’ connotes limited capacity, fit for only designated uses. This passage is often taken to be the background of 5.4. The Analects of Confucius 2.14 The Master said: The junzi is inclusive and not a partisan; the small man is a partisan and not inclusive. 2.15 The Master said: If you study but don’t reflect you’ll be lost. If you reflect but don’t study you’ll get into trouble. 2.16 The Master said: One who sets to work on a different strand does damage. 2.17 The Master said: Shall I teach you about knowledge, Yóu? To know when you know something, and to know when you don’t know, that’s knowledge. 2.18 Zizhang wanted to learn how to seek a salaried appointment. The Master said, “If you listen to much, put aside what seems doubtful, and assert the remainder with care, your mistakes will be few. If you observe much, put aside what seems dangerous, and act upon the remainder with care, your regrets will be few. Few mistakes in speech, few regrets in action – a salary lies therein.” 2.19 Duke Ai asked, “What should I do so that the people will obey?” Confucius replied, “Raise up the straight and set them above the crooked and the people will obey. Raise up the crooked and set them above the straight and the people will not obey.” 2.20 Ji Kangzi asked, “How would it be to use persuasion to make the people respectful and loyal?” The Master said, “If you approach them with solemnity they will be respectful; if you are filial and caring they will be loyal; if you raise up the good and instruct 7 2.14 See 7.31 for an illustration of these issues. The term ‘small man’, sometimes rendered as ‘petty person’, denotes someone of narrow ethical vision. The connotation of the term is configured by contrast with the term junzi. 2.16 A vague but much cited passage that seems to give teamwork priority over individual initiative. 2.17 ‘Yóu’ is the personal name of the disciple Zilu 子路, the most senior of the longstanding disciples. Zilu is depicted as a man of military temper and self-assurance. 2.18 Zizhang 子張 was one of the junior disciples. This passage may be compared with 15.32. 2.19 Duke Ai (r. 494- 468 BCE) was the ruler of Confucius’s home state of Lu. A number of Analects passages picture Confucius advising or tutoring men of power. In many such passages, and always when these men are legitimate rulers, Confucius is referred to not as ‘the Master’, but more formally, by his family name, Kongzi, ‘Master Kong’. On raising the straight over the crooked, copare 12.22. 2.20 In the state of Lu, real political power had fallen from the duke’s house into the hands of three senior patrician clans, of which the most powerful was the Ji 季 family, whose leader is pictured in conversation with Confucius here. There are, in the great war- The Analects of Confucius those who lack ability they will be persuaded.” 2.21 Someone addressed Confucius, saying, “Why do you not engage in government?” The Master said, “The Documents says, ‘Filial, merely be filial, and friends to brothers young and old.’ To apply this as one’s governance is also to engage in government. Why must there be some purposeful effort to engage in governance?” 2.22 The Master said: A person without trustworthiness, who knows what he may do? A carriage without a yoke strap, a cart without a yoke hook: how can you drive them? 2.23 Zizhang asked, “May one foretell ten generations from now?” The Master said, “The Yin Dynasty adhered to the li of the Xia Dynasty; what they added and discarded can be known. The Zhou Dynasty adhered to the li of the Yin Dynasty; what they added and discarded can be known. As for those who may follow after the Zhou, though a hundred generations, we can foretell.” 2.24 The Master said: To sacrifice to spirits that do not belong to you is to be a toady. To see the right and not do it is to lack courage 8 lord families of this era, interesting similarities to outlaw networks of a later time in the West, such as mafia ‘families’, although the warlord families differed in deriving their basic status from hereditary rights granted by rulers, and they were not outlawed (indeed, they were held in awe). Warlord families like the Ji exercised informal control over regions, inducing obedience through the threat of force; they sustained gangs of armed retainers and high advisors with no lineage connection; their behavior mixed emulation of patrician ethical and ritual codes with ruthlessness. 2.21 The Documents (Shang shu 尚書) is a collection of political texts, supposedly recording the words of sage kings of the past, from the legendary emperors Yao, Shun, and Yu, to the founding rulers of the Zhou Dynasty. It was treated by Confucians as a wisdom text. 2.23 In traditional history, the third of the great sage kings, ‘Emperor Yu’, was said to have founded a dynasty, known as the Xia. After several centuries, it was displaced by the Yin ruling house, more commonly known as the Shang. The last Shang king was overthrown by the Zhou founding ruler, King Wu, in 1045 BCE. 2.24 People had the right and duty to sacrifice to their own ancestors only. Feudal lords had generally been granted the right and duty to sacrifice to regional natural spirits. Some lords aggrandized themselves by presuming to sacrificial rights they had not been granted. 9 The Analects of Confucius Book III Notes 3.1 The Ji family had eight ranks of dancers perform in the court of their family compound. Confucius said of this, “If one can tolerate this, one can tolerate anything!” 3.1 On the Ji family, see the note to 2.20. It was a great concern to Confucius that power in Lu 魯 (his home state) had devolved from the legitimate ruling duke into the hands of three warlord clans (the Ji, the Meng, and the Shusun), descendents of an earlier duke. The usurpation of power is linked to the matters of ritual usurpation discussed in 3.1-2. It should be understood that the ultimate problem concerns the loss of power by the Zhou kings themselves, whose control of the Zhou state passed into the hands of regional lords after 771 BCE. In 3.2, and elsewhere, “Son of Heaven” refers to the Zhou king. 3.2 The three great families of Lu had the ode Peace performed at the clearing of sacrificial dishes in their family temples. The Master said of this, “Just how does the lyric, The lords of the realm come to assist, The Son of Heaven stands all solemn pertain to the halls of the three families?” 3.3 The Master said: If a man is not ren, what can he do with li? If a man in not ren, what can he do with music? 3.4 Lin Fang asked about the root of li. The Master said, “An important question! In li it would be better to be frugal than to be extravagant. In funeral ritual it would be better to be guided by one’s grief than simply to attend to the ritual stipulations.” 3.4 Lin Fang 林放 was a disciple known for his rather slow wittedness. 3.5 The Master said: The nomad and forest peoples who have rulers do not come up to the people of the civilized realm who do not. 3.5 Some commentary takes the phrase rendered here as ‘do not come up to’ simply to mean ‘unlike’, and read the message as censorious of the Zhou cultural realm. 3.6 The Ji family performed the great Lü sacrifice to mountains and rivers at Mt. Tai. The Master said to Ran Yǒu, “You were unable to prevent this?” Ran Yǒu replied, “I was unable.” The Master said, “Alas! Do they think Mt. Tai less perceptive than Lin Fang?” 3.6 The senior disciple Ran Yǒu (often referred to as Ran Qiu 冉求) was a court minister to the Ji family. Mt. Tai, the most prominent mountain in Northeast China, was a sacred place; only the Zhou kings and their deputies, the dukes of Lu, had the right to perform sacrificial rituals there. For Lin Fang, see 3.4. The Analects of Confucius 3.7 The Master said: The junzi does not compete. Yet there is always archery, is there not? They mount the dais bowing and yielding, they descend and toast one another. They compete at being junzis!” 3.8 Zixia asked, “What is the meaning of the lines from the Poetry, The fine smile dimpled, The lovely eyes flashing, The plain ground brings out the color?” The Master said, “Painting follows after plain silk.” Zixia said, “Then is it that li comes after?” The Master said, “How Shang lifts me up! At last I have someone to discuss the Poetry with!” 3.9 The Master said: I can describe the li of the Xia Dynasty, but my description can’t be verified by its descendants in the state of Qĭ. I can describe the li of the Yin Dynasty, but my description can’t be verified by its descendants in the state of Song. Not enough documents survive; if they did, I could verify what I say. 3.10 The Master said: The way the great disacrifice is performed, from the point of the libation on I can’t bear to watch! 3.11 Someone asked about the explanation of the di-sacrifice. The Master said, “I don’t know. A person who knew that could manage the world as though it was open to his view right here.” And he pointed to his open palm. 10 NOTE: There is an unfortunate overlap of names between two major senior disciples who are frequently discussed together. One is most often called Ran Qiu, the other Zilu. Ran Qiu’s personal name was Qiu, but his public style name was Yǒu 有, and he is frequently referred to as Ran Yǒu. The family name of Zilu (a public style name) was Zhong and his personal name was Yóu 由. At times, the text speaks together of Ran Yǒu, whom Confucius addresses as Qiu, and Zilu, whom Confucius addresses as Yóu. I have added the modern Mandarin tonal diacritics to the otherwise indistinguishable names of these two disciples (Yŏu / Yóu) to try to minimize confusion. 3.7 This refers to the ceremonial archery competition, a common patrician ritual occasion. 3.8 Zixia’s personal name was Shang 商. This passage can be compared to 1.15. 3.9 The descendants of the ruling clans of the Xia and Yin (Shang) dynasties were settled on lands that provided enough income for them to continue sacrifices to their royal ancestors. These lands became the states of Qĭ and Song. Qĭ 杞 was a minor state, different from Qi 齊, Lu’s powerful neighbor to the north. 3.10-11 The nature of the di 禘sacrifice is unclear, but it appears to have been connected to worship of the deity Di 帝, sometimes pictured as a high god, or alternative term for Tian (on which, see 2.4). The Analects of Confucius 3.12 “Sacrifice as though present” – sacrifice to the spirits as though the spirits were present. The Master said: If I don’t participate in a sacrifice, it is as though there were no sacrifice. 3.13 Wangsun Jia asked, “What is the sense of that saying: ‘Better to appeal to the kitchen god than the god of the dark corner?’” The Master said, “Not so! If one offends against Tian, one will have no place at which to pray.” 3.14 The Master said: The Zhou could view itself in the mirror of the two previous ruling dynasties. How splendid was its pattern! And we follow the Zhou. 3.15 The Master entered the Grand Temple and asked about every matter. Someone said, “Who says this son of a man from Zou knows about li? Entering the Grand Temple, he asked about every matter.” Hearing of this, the Master said, “That is li.” 3.16 The Master said: The rule, “In archery, penetrating the target is not the object,” reflects the fact that men’s physical strengths differ. 3.17 Zigong wished to dispense with the sacrificial lamb offered at the ritual report of the new moon. The Master said, “Si, you begrudge the lamb, I begrudge the li.” 3.18 The Master said: If one were to serve one’s lord according to the full extent of li, others would take one to be a toady. 11 3.12 The most basic form of religious practice in ancient China was the ceremonial offering of food and drink to the spirits of one’s ancestors, who were pictured in semi-corporeal form, descending to partake. Commentators sometimes stress the phrase “as though” in the first clause, taking it to imply skepticism that spirits actually are present. The first part of this passage seems to include both a cited maxim and a comment explaining it; it is unlear which, if any, portions are to be attributed to Confucius. The second part of the passage appears to be interpolated as commentary on the first part. 3.13 After failing to succeed in reforming the politics of his home state of Lu, Confucius journeyed from state to state in search of a worthy ruler. Here he is in the state of Wei, and the powerful minister of war is suggesting, by means of analogy with customary ideas of household gods, that he, rather than the duke of Wei, is the key to political access in Wei. (See 6.28.) 3.14 The translation here takes the final sentence as implying that the present may supersede the Zhou and improve upon it. Most translators read, “I follow the Zhou,” meaning that Confucius has chosen to accord with Zhou culture. 3.15 Confucius’s father was from the town of Zou, just south of Lu. Lu was viewed as a repository of authoritative knowledge of Zhou customs, while Zou had, until recently, been a non-Zhou cultural region, the former center of a state called Zhu, which was viewed as backward by the Zhou population in Lu. (See maps on pp. x-xi.) Here The Analects of Confucius 3.19 Duke Ding asked, “How should a lord direct his minister and the minister serve his lord?” Confucius replied, “If the lord directs his minister with li, the minister will serve his lord with loyalty.” 3.20 The Master said: The poem Ospreys: happiness without license, anguish without injury. 3.21 Duke Ai questioned Zai Wo about the earthen alter of state. Zai Wo replied, “The lords of the Xia Dynasty planted a pine tree beside it; the people of the Yin Dynasty planted a cypress. The people of the Chou planted a chestnut (lì) tree, saying, ‘Let the people be fearful (lì).’” When the Master heard of this he said, “One does not plead against actions already done; one does not remonstrate about affairs that have concluded. One does not assign blame concerning matters of the past.” 3.22 The Master said, “Guan Zhong was a man of small capacities.” Someone said, “But wasn’t Guan Zhong frugal?” The Master said, “Guan Zhong maintained three residences and allowed no consolidation of responsibilities among state officers. Wherein was this frugal?” “Well, but did he not know li?” The Master said, “When the lord of his state set up a screen at court, Guan Zhong gated his family courtyard with a screen. Because an earthen drinking platform is built when lords of states meet together to enhance their congeniality, Guan Zhong also built an earthen drinking platform. If Guan 12 we see Confucius’s cultural authority being questioned on the basis of his family background. (See also 10.18.) 3.19 Duke Ding (r. 509-495 BCE) was the ruler of Lu prior to Duke Ai, whom we encountered in 2.19 and again below in 3.21. Some commentators read Confucius’s reply here simply as two positive prescriptions, without any conditional relation. 3.20 The Poetry opens with the song Ospreys, which links the image of those birds to a lover’s longing for an ideal woman. 3.21 Zai Wo 宰我 was a disciple. He plays a minor role in the Analects, but is unique in that his role is unremittingly negative. He died in abortive coup attempt in his native state of Qi, and his treatment in the text may be connected to that. The name of the chestnut tree (lì 栗), happens to be part of a compound word that means ‘fearful’ (lì 慄). 3.22 Guan Zhong was the prime minister of the state of Qi during the seventh century BCE. His wise counsel was said to have made his ruler the first of the great ‘hegemons’ of the chaotic ‘Spring and Autumn’ period of history (722-481 BCE). He was a hero to later generations in Northeast China, but Confucians were ambivalent about him, because they viewed the hegemonic power of the Duke of Qi and others like him as depriving the Zhou king of his rightful authority as Tian’s designated ruler. Guan Zhong’s historical The Analects of Confucius Zhong knew li, who does not know li?” 3.23 The Master instructed the Music Master of Lu: “The pattern of music is something we can understand. Music commences with unison, and then follows with harmony, each line clearly heard, moving in sequence towards the coda.” 3.24 The keeper of the pass at Yi requested an interview. “I have never been denied an interview by any gentleman coming to this place.” The followers presented him. When he emerged he said, “Gentlemen, what need have you to be anxious over your Master’s failure? The world has long been without the dao. Tian means to employ your Master as a wooden bell.” 3.25 The Master said of the Shao music, “It is thoroughly beautiful and thoroughly good.” Of the Wu music he said, “It is thoroughly beautiful, but not thoroughly good.” 3.26 The Master said: One who dwells in the ruler’s seat and is not tolerant, one who performs li and is not reverent, one who joins a funeral and does not mourn – what have I to learn from any of these? 13 status and the intellectual importance of evaluating that role may be analogized to an American figure like Jefferson (although only in the sense that both were touchstones of political interpretation and controversy). The Analects presents alternative perspectives on Guan Zhong. For a view of Guan Zhong very different from 3.22, see 14.16-17. 3.23 Early Confucians were well versed in music and trained in performance; the particulars of this passage would have been of importance to them. For us, the primary interest may be that Confucius is pictured instructing the court music master. 3.24 The pass at Yi lay on the border of the state of Wei, where Confucius traveled but failed to find a welcome at court for his teaching. Here, as he leaves, the lowly keeper of the pass, clearly pictured as wise beyond his station, conveys to the disciples what he discerns as the true meaning of Confucius’s failure. A “wooden bell” was carried by night watchmen to arouse townsmen when danger was present. 3.25 The Shao music was an orchestral ballet said to have been composed by the legendary Emperor Shun, who was raised to the throne because of his virtue. The Wu music was a dance of the conquest in war of the evil last king of the Shang by the Zhou founder, King Wu. (‘Wu’, in both the name of the king and the name of the music, means ‘martial’.) 14 The Analects of Confucius Book IV Notes 4.1 The Master said, To settle in ren is the fairest course. If one chooses not to dwell amidst ren, whence will come knowledge? 4.1 The passage employs the metaphor of choosing a neighborhood, which is explicit in the Chinese text. See 4.25. 4.2 The Master said, Those who are not ren cannot long dwell in straitened circumstances, and cannot long dwell in joy. The ren person is at peace with ren. The wise person makes use of ren. 4.2 The final phrases here have led some commentators to see the ren and the wise as very different types of people; others see these as complementary facets of the sage person. 4.3 The Master said, Only the ren person can love others and hate others. 4.4 The Master said, If one sets one’s heart on ren, there will be none he hates. 4.3 / 4.4 These two passages seem contradictory, suggesting the Analects’ complex editorial process. The last part of 4.4 could also mean ‘there will be no bad aspect to him’. 4.5 The Master said, Wealth and high rank are what people desire; if they are attained by not following the dao, do not dwell in them. Poverty and mean rank are what people hate; if they are attained by not following the dao, do not depart from them. If one takes ren away from a junzi, wherein is he worthy of the name? There is no interval so short that the junzi deviates from ren. Though rushing full tilt, it is there; though head over heels, it is there. 4.5 There seem to be two different passages linked here. On the first, see also 7.12 and 7.16. The second section is justly famous as a vivid illustration of what it means to be fully ren, and thus truly worthy of the name ‘junzi’. 4.6 The Master said, I have never seen one who loves ren and hates what is not ren. One who loves ren puts nothing above it. One who hates what is not ren will never allow that which is not ren to be part of his person. Is there any person who can direct his strength to ren for an entire day? I have never seen anyone whose strength is not sufficient – most likely there is such a one, but I 4.6 Sarcasm is a device that appears regularly in the Analects, suggesting that it may indeed have been a feature of Confucius’s speech. The Analects of Confucius 15 have yet to see him. 4.7 The Master said, People make errors according to the type of person they are. By observing their errors, you can understand ren. 4.8 The Master said, In the morning hear the dao, in the evening die content. 4.9 The Master said, If a gentleman sets his heart on the dao but is ashamed to wear poor clothes and eat poor food, he is not worth engaging in serious discussion. 4.10 The Master said, The junzi’s stance towards the world is this: there is nothing he insists on, nothing he refuses, he simply aligns himself beside right. 4.11 The Master said, The junzi cherishes virtue, the small man cherishes land. The junzi cherishes the examples men set, the small man cherishes the bounty they bestow. 4.12 The Master said, If one allows oneself to follow profit in one’s behavior, there will be many with cause for complaint. 4.13 The Master said, Can li and deference be employed to manage a state. What is there to this? If one cannot use li and deference to manage a state, what can one do with li? 4.14 The Master said, Do not be concerned that you have no position, be concerned that you have what it takes to merit a position. Do not be concerned that no one recognizes you, seek that which is worthy of recogni- 4.7 Sometimes the sense here is taken to be that by observing the pattern of a person’s errors, one can understand his distance from ren. 4.8 A famous passage, puzzling because the Confucian stress on the dao as an instrument for political action runs counter to the passive tone of the beautiful rhetoric here. 4.9 ‘Gentleman’ translates shi 士, a term applied to all well-born men, from rulers to lower aristocrats. It came to point more towards the lower levels, and then as a normative term, came to signify a person of basic moral attainments and culture, worthy of being treated as an aristocrat, regardless of birth. Confucians were among the earliest champions of treating people on the basis of their attainments of morality and culture, rather than on the basis of birth. 4.10 Beginning here, we encounter a string of passages aiming to portray the character of the junzi, often in terms of very specific attitudes delineated in contrast to his opposite, the ‘small man’. Right (yi 義) is a traditional concept, stressed by Confucians (particularly the second great Confucian, Mencius [fourth century BCE]). It is, in some ways, a complement to ren. At some points, yi is rendered here as ‘righteousness’. 4.11 On ‘virtue’ (de), see 2.1 and the Glossary. 4.14 This passage resonates with The Analects of Confucius tion. 4.15 The Master said, “Shen, a single thread runs through my dao.” Master Zeng said, “Yes.” The Master went out, and the other disciples asked, “What did he mean?” Master Zeng said, “The Master’s dao is nothing other than loyalty and reciprocity.” 4.16 The Master said, The junzi comprehends according to right, the small man comprehends according to profit. 4.17 The Master said, When you see a worthy, think of becoming equal to him; when you see an unworthy person, survey yourself within. 4.18 The Master said, When one has several times urged one’s parents, observe their intentions; if they are not inclined to follow your urgings, maintain respectfulness and do not disobey; labor on their behalf and bear no complaint. 16 1.1 and 1.16. There are many other instances in the text where this idea is central. 4.15 Many have noted that it would be odd if Zeng Shen (see 1.4), a very junior disciple, possessed the sort of esoteric understanding this passage suggests. Moreover, reference to this young follower as “Zengzi,” that is, “Master Zeng,” increases the probability that Zeng Shen’s role in the text has been crafted by his own disciples after his death in 436 BCE (see especially 8.3-7). His apparent wisdom here is probably due to their reverence. The passage can be compared with 15.3, which likely reflects more closely the earliest model of this exchange. ‘Loyalty’ is an imperfect translation. Later writers gloss it as ‘exhausting oneself’ in devoted effort. For ‘reciprocity’, see 15.24. 4.16 More literally, the sense is that the junzi will grasp points framed in terms of morals; to convey a point to a small man, talk in terms of profit. 4.18-21 A set of four passages on filiality. 4.19 The Master said, When one’s parents are alive, make no distant journeys; when you travel, have a set destination. 4.20 The Master said, One who does not alter his late father’s dao for three years may be called filial. 4.21 The Master said, One cannot fail to know the ages of one’s parents: on one hand, these are a source of happiness, on the other hand of fear. 4.20 Duplicated at 1.11 (see the discussion there). Three years was the ritual mourning period for one’s parents, during which a son was to withdraw from all social roles and entertainments (see 17.19). 17 The Analects of Confucius 4.22 The Master said, The ancients were wary of speaking because they were ashamed if their conduct did not match up. 4.22 and 4.24 appear originally to have been side by side. 4.23 The Master said, Rarely has anyone missed the mark through self-constraint. 4.24 The Master said, The junzi wishes to be slow of speech and quick in action. 4.25 The Master said, Virtue is never alone; it always has neighbors. 4.26 Ziyou said, If one is insistent in serving one’s ruler, one will be disgraced. If one is insistent with friends, they will become distant. 4.25 Book IV is more consistent in form than any of the other books. All passages except 4.15 and 4.26 are simple aphorisms stated by the Master. Most interpreters believe the two exceptions represent late additions to the book. If this is the case, 4.25 was originally the end of Book IV, and it is in this light that we must note how closely it resonates with 4.1. 4.26 See also 12.23. The Analects of Confucius One book among the final five appears different from the rest: Book XIX – Recording the sayings of disciples after Confucius’s death This book may well be much earlier than the others in the “lower text” – it was likely at one time the final book, and the bulk of it may actually have been composed in association with Books III-VII, viewed as the oldest portion of the book. All of the books bear the traces of rearrangements and later insertions, to a degree that makes it difficult to see any common thematic threads at all. If a full account of these alterations in the text could be made, it would likely provide a clear and valuable reflection of the way that the Confucian school and its various branches developed over the first two or three centuries of the school’s existence. Recent finds of early manuscripts dating from c. 300 BCE have thrown additional light on these processes of text development. For a fuller discussion, see Appendix 3. Key Terms and Translation Issues The philosophy conveyed through the Analects is basically an ethical perspective, and the text has always been understood as structured on a group of key ethical terms. These (along with some terms key to other early streams of Chinese thought) are discussed in more detail in the Glossary (Appendix 2). Notes in the text also touch on all these issues, but a brief overview here may be useful. There is a group of key terms whose meaning seems to be so flexible, subtle, and disputed that it seems best to leave them untranslated, simply using transcription for them. These include: Ren 仁 – a comprehensive ethical virtue: benevolence, humaneness, goodness; the term is so problematic that many Analects passages show disciples trying to pin Confucius down on its meaning (he escapes being pinned). Junzi 君子 – often used to denote an ideally ethical and capable person; sometimes simply meaning a power holder, which is its original sense. Dao 道 – a teaching or skill formula that is a key to some arena of action: an art, self-perfection, world transformation. Li 禮 – the ritual institutions of the Zhou, of which Confucius was master; the range of behavior subject to the broad category denoted by this term ranges from political protocol to court ceremony, religious rite to village festival, daily etiquette to disciplines of personal conduct when alone. vi The Analects of Confucius Tian – carrying the basic meaning of “sky,” Tian becomes a concept of supreme deity, often translated as “Heaven,” sometimes possessing clear anthropomorphic features, sometimes appearing more a natural force. In addition to these items, other complex key terms are rendered by very vague English words, the meaning of which can only emerge as contextual usage is noted. Virtue (de 德) – a very complex concept, initially related to the notion of charisma derived from power and gift-giving, developing into an ethical term denoting self-possession and orientation towards moral action. Pattern (wen 文) – denoting a relation to features of civilization that are distinctive to Zhou culture, or to traditions ancestral to the Zhou; wen can refer to decoration, written texts, and personal conduct, but most importantly, it points to the behavioral matrix underlying Zhou li. Finally, a set of important terms can be translated with some accuracy into English, but only with the understanding that the conceptual range of the Chinese term may not match English perfectly; in some cases, alternate English translations are used. Right / Righteousness (yi 義) – often a complement to ren, denoting morally correct action choices, or the moral vision that allows one to make them. Loyalty (zhong 忠) – denoting not only loyalty to one’s superiors or peers, or to individuals, but also to office; an alignment of self with the interests of others, or of the social group as a whole. Trustworthiness / Faithfulness (xin 信) – derived from the concept of promise keeping, meaning reliability for others, but also unwavering devotion to principle. Respectfulness / Attentiveness (jing 敬) – derived from the notion of alertness, and fusing the attentiveness to task characteristic of a subordinate and the respect for superiors that such attentiveness reflects. Filiality (xiao 孝) – a traditional cultural imperative, obedience to parents, raised to a subtle level of fundamental self-discipline and character building. Valor (yong 勇) – in a feudal era marked by incessant warfare, bold warriors and adventurers were common; for Confucians, valor concerns risk taking on behalf of ethical principle. Personal Names Although this is not clear on initial reading, the ideas of the Analects are importantly influenced by the literary character of the text, and the fact that it is presented chiefly as conversational interplay among a relatively limited cast of characters: Confucius (“the Master”), his disciples, and a group of power holders with whom Confucius interacts. The Analects was almost certainly used as a teaching text for later generations of discivii The Analects of Confucius 116 Appendix 2: Glossary of Key Terms in the Analects The following terms are considered in this Glossary Dao de (virtue) heart/mind (xin) junzi (True prince) li (ritual) ming (fate) ren (humanity) the sage (sheng) Tian timeliness (shí) wen (pattern) yi (right) Dao 道 This term is often translated as “the Way,” but the increasing use of the Chinese term in contemporary English makes it better to leave the term untranslated. In ancient texts, the word Dao actually possesses a wide range of meanings. The earliest known forms of the graph for Dao include elements showing a foot, a crossroads, and an eye decorated with an elaborate eyebrow, an element that represents the word shou 首: head. The head element may have served only to denote the phonetic value of the word dao (the two words were related phonetically in Old Chinese), but the graph may also have been designed to convey semantic information, indicating an early use connected with magical incantations and dances performed by a shaman (a person able to communicate with the world of spirits) as he or she purified a pathway to be used in a religious procession. If so, then from this pathway connection, the word Dao derives its modern meaning of a path or way; from the formula of the dance, the word derives a meaning of “formula,” “method”; from the spoken element of the incantation, the word derives the meaning of “a teaching,” and also serves as a verb “to speak.” All ancient schools of philosophy referred to their teachings as daos. Confucius and his followers claimed that they were merely transmitting a Dao — the social methods practiced by the sage kings of the past: “the Dao of the former kings.” Texts in the tradition of early thought that came later to be called “Daoist” used the word in a special sense, which is why the Daoist tradition takes its name from this term. Daoists claimed that the cosmos itself followed a certain natural “way” in its spontaneous action. They called this the “Great Dao,” and contrasted it to the daos of other schools, which were human-created teachings, and which they did not believe merited the name Dao in their special sense. The Analects of Confucius De 117 德 (character, power, virtue) De is a difficult word to translate; its meaning varies considerably with context. Its early graph shows an upward looking eye next to a half-crossroad, and the significance of this form has been much debated without much result. In its early uses, de seems to refer to the prestige that well-born and powerful aristocrats possessed as a result of the many gifts they dispensed to loyal followers, family members, and political allies (rather like the prestige associated with a Mafia godfather). Later, the term came to be associated with important attributes of character. Although it can be used to refer to both positive or negative features of person, it usually refers to some form of personal “excellence,” and to say that someone has much de is to praise him. The concrete meaning of this term varies among different schools. Confucians use it most often to refer to a person’s moral dispositions (moral according to Confucians, at any rate), and in this sense, the word is often best rendered as “character” or “virtue.” Daoists, however, speak of de as an attribute of both human and non-human participants in the cosmos, and they often describe it as a type of charismatic power or leverage over the limits of nature that the Daoist sage is able to acquire through self-cultivation. As such, it may be best rendered as “power.” The title of the famous book, Dao de jing (attributed to an equally famous though probably mythical author named Laozi) means “The Classic of the Dao and De,” and in this title, de is best understood as a type of power derived from transcending (going beyond) the limits of the human ethical world. Heart/Mind (xin 心) In Chinese, a single word was use to refer both to the function of our minds as a cognitive, reasoning organ and its function as an affective, or emotionally responsive organ. The word, xin, was originally represented in written form by a sketch of the heart. Whenever you see the word “mind” or “heart” referred to (the translation will vary according to the context), it’s important to understand that there are really four aspects fused in that term. The heart/mind thinks rationally, feels emotionally, passes value judgments on all object of thought and feeling, and initiates active responses in line with these judgments. Sometimes, the heart/mind is contrasted with “unthinking” aspects of people, such as basic desires and instinctual responses, but other times, these are pictured as part of the heart/mind. Junzi 君子 (True Prince) This is a compound word composed of two written characters which separately mean “ruler’s son.” The ancient character for “ruler” (jun) showed a hand grasping a writing brush with a mouth placed by the side, illustrating the modes by which a ruler issued orders (the word zi basically meant “child/son,” the written character being simply a picture of a child; it also served as an honorific suffix meaning “master” in names like Kongzi, that is, Confucius, or Master Kong). In pre-philosophical writings, the word junzi was used to refer to someone who was heir to a ruling position by virtue of his birth. Under the changing social conditions of the Warring States period, the concept of birthright was replaced by the notion of an “aristocracy of merit,” and in the Confucian school, the term The Analects of Confucius 118 junzi came to denote an “ethical aristocrat” rather than a future king. Because in this sense of the term, there is an underlying sense that “real” princeliness lies in moral accomplishments rather than the chance circumstances of family position, the term might be translated not as “prince,” but as True Prince. For Confucians, the hallmark of the junzi was his complete internalization of the virtue of ren and associated qualities, such as righteousness (yi) and full socialization through ritual skills. A parallel normative term, shi 士 (gentleman), is frequent in Confucian texts as a type of prefiguration of the junzi ideal in a man of aspiration. Originally probably denoting a man of good birth, in the Warring States era the term shi comes to denote a man whose character exemplifies the social accomplishments once associated with birth – a change of meaning paralleling the evolution of the term junzi. In general, the term Li 禮 (Ritual) Commitment to ritual was the distinguishing characteristic of the Confucian School. By “ritual,” or li, the Confucians meant not only ceremonies of grand religious or social occasions, but also the institutions of Zhou Dynasty political culture and the norms of proper everyday conduct. Although accordance with ritual was, in some senses, a matter of knowing the codes of aristocratic behavior (and knowing them better than the debased aristocrats of the later Zhou era), it was more importantly a manner of attaining full mastery of the style or pattern (wen) of civilized behavior. Confucians viewed these patterns as the essence of civilization itself. The great sages of the past had labored era after era to transform China from brutishness to refinement through the elaboration of these artistic forms of social interaction, and in the Confucian view, the epitome of human virtue was expressed only through these forms. Mastery of the outer forms was the path to inner sagehood. The ancient character for li shows a ceremonial vessel filled with sacrificial goods on the right, with an altar stand on the left. Ming 命 (fate, destiny, command, lifespan) The root meaning of ming is a command or order, and early on it became associated with the term Tian in the phrase we translate as “the Mandate of Heaven.” The original graph shows an open mouth directed down over a kneeling figure (a second mouth element was added later and is reflected in the modern character). The notion of “what is ordained” was carried over into a meaning of ming that conveys a limited sense of one’s personal fate: “lifespan.” The notion of “lifespan” conveys an association of ming with human limits (one cannot exceed one’s ming/lifespan, regardless of one’s actions, although one may, through dangerous behavior, meet one’s end prematurely). The notion of the political mandate, however, carried a strong prescriptive dimension, derived from the original sense of a command — Tian’s mandate is a charge to act, and so expresses not limits but obligations and opportunities. The double-edged sense of ming as unavoidable “fate” (a negative, limiting sense) and as one’s social “destiny” (which conveys a positive, exhortatory sense) introduces complexity into certain debates in early Chinese thought, centered around a charge made by the Mohist school that Confucianism was “fatalistic.” The Analects of Confucius Ren 119 仁 (Humanity; Goodness) No term is more important in Confucianism than ren. Prior to the time of Confucius, the term Humanity does not seem to have been much used. In those pre-philosophical days, the word seems to have meant “manly,” an adjective of high praise in a warrior society. Confucius, however, changed the meaning of the term and gave it great ethical weight. He identified “manliness” (or, in non-sexist terms, the qualities associated with constructive social leadership) with the firm disposition to place the needs and feelings of others and of the community before one’s own. The written graph of this term is a simple one; it combines the form for “person” on the left with the number “two” on the right; a person of Humanity, or ren, is someone who is thoroughly relational in their thoughts, feelings, and actions. (The happily illustrative graphic etymology is, unfortunately, undercut by recently unearthed manuscript texts of the late fourth century BCE, which consistently render the term with the graph for “body” placed over the graph for “heart/mind”; this may, however, have been a local scribal tradition confined to the southerly region of Chu.) Confucians often pair this term with Righteousness, and it is very common for the two terms together to be used as a general expression for “morality.” Other schools also use the term ren, but they usually employ it either to criticize Confucians, or in a much reduced sense, pointing simply to people who are well-meaning. The term is closely linked in Confucian discourse with the ideal of the junzi (Analects 4.5: If one takes ren away from a junzi, wherein is he worthy of the name?). The Sage 聖 (sheng) All of the major schools of ancient Chinese thought, with the possible exception of the Legalists, were essentially prescriptions for human self-perfection. These schools envisioned the outcome of their teachings — the endpoint of their Daos — in terms of different models of human excellence. A variety of terms were used to describe these images of perfection, but the most common was sheng, or shengren 聖人, which we render in English as “sage person” or, more elegantly, “sage.” The original graph includes a picture of an ear and a mouth on top (the bottom part merely indicates the pronunciation, and was sometimes left out), and the early concept of the sage involved the notion of a person who could hear better than ordinary people. The word is closely related to the common word for “to listen” (ting 聽). What did the sage hear? Presumably the Dao. The word “sage” is one of a group of terms denoting excellence. In Confucian texts, the phrase True Prince often performs the same function as Sage, though sometimes the sage is pictured as a more complete term, incorporating not only ethical perfection but also success in politics. Daoist texts speak of the sage often, but also use other terms, such as “Perfect Man” to refer to their ultimate ideal. Tian 天 (Heaven) Tian was the name of a deity of the Zhou people which stood at the top of a supernatural hierarchy of spirits (ghosts, nature spirits, powerful ancestral leaders, Tian). Tian also means “the sky,” and for that reason, it is well translated as “Heaven.” The early graph is an anthropomorphic image (a picture of a deity in terms of human attributes) that shows a The Analects of Confucius 120 human form with an enlarged head. Heaven was an important concept for the early Zhou people; Heaven was viewed as an all-powerful and all-good deity, who took a special interest in protecting the welfare of China. When the Zhou founders overthrew the Shang Dynasty in 1045, they defended their actions by claiming that they were merely receiving the “mandate” of Heaven, who had wished to replace debased Shang rule with a new era of virtue in China. All early philosophers use this term and seem to accept that there existed some high deity that influenced human events. The Mohist school was particularly strident on the importance of believing that Tian was powerfully concerned with human activity. They claimed that the Confucians did not believe Tian existed, although Confucian texts do speak of Tian reverently and with regularity. In fact, Confucian texts also seem to move towards identifying Tian less with a conscious deity and more with the unmotivated regularities of Nature. When Daoist texts speak of Heaven, it is often unclear whether they are referring to a deity, to Nature as a whole, or to their image of the Great Dao. Timeliness (shí 時) Timeliness is the English rendering of shí, which basically means “time” or “season,” and which plays an important philosophical role in Confucianism. In the Analects, the term rarely appears, though the elements of the doctrine are clearly stated in passages such as 8.13, which reads, in part, “When the dao prevails in the world, appear; when it does not, hide.” The general idea is that for Confucians, the man of full ethical insight (the junzi) does not act according to rule alone, but always in light of the contextual possibilities presented by changing circumstances. A more practical instance, which uses the term shí explicitly, occurs in 17.1, where Confucius’s reluctance to take office under a usurper prompts the remark, “To be eager to engage in affairs but to repeatedly miss one’s proper time (shí), can this be called wisdom?” As the conditions denoted by the term shí always are in potential states of change, the term is intrinsically dynamic. In the intellectual arena of the era, the term was paired with a near homonym: shì: “configuration,” “strategic position.” (These terms are transcribed with the same Latin letters, but their sounds are distinguished in Chinese by tonal intonation, indicated here by the diacritic marks.) The two terms are not related etymologically, but they play parallel conceptual roles in early thought (shì [strategic position], however, does not appear in the Analects). They were, in effect, temporal and spatial correlates of a single concept – the shifting circumstances of the experienced world which form the actual field for all applied learning. While certain concepts and values essential to right action can be learned through study, the skillful practitioner must develop the aesthetic sense that allows a perception of and responsiveness to the ever-emerging configurations of relationships in time, space, hierarchy, and so forth that create the field of objective constraints on successful application of learning in action. Wen 文 (pattern, style, culture) The word wen denoted the opposite of brutishness in appearance and behavior. A person of “pattern” was a person who had adopted the many cultivated forms that characterized Chinese culture at its best, in contrast to the “barbaric” nomadic peoples who surrounded China. Confucians believed that the pat- The Analects of Confucius 121 terns of Chinese civilization had been initially inspired by the patterns of the Heavens and the seasons, and that they represented a Heaven-destined order that human beings needed to fabricate within the sphere of their own activity, so that they could join with Heaven and earth in the process of creation and order. The original character appears to have pictured a costumed dancer, and music, sound, and dance were essential emblems of the Confucian portrait of the civilized society. Such patterns were the basis of ritual li. For Daoists, pattern symbolized the fall of the human species from its origins in the natural Dao. The Dao de jing attacks pattern and culture through its two most striking metaphors for the Dao: the uncarved block of wood and the undyed piece of cloth. Yi 義 (right, righteousness, appropriateness) In its earliest uses, yi refers to an aesthetic or artistic appropriateness of appearance (the early graph provides little clue of the word’s early meaning: it shows a sheep above – a graph form common in value-positive words – and “me” below, a graph element which here seems to serve only as a phonetic marker). Powerful leaders are sometimes said to possess “awesome yi,” meaning that their outward demeanor included some element of personal charisma or excellence. Later, the sense of “what is appropriate” came to carry a high ethical content – appropriateness, what fits, was seen as an essential element of correctness or moral rightness. For Confucians and Mohists in particular, yi was a central concept. It frequently denotes both propriety and ethical right in action, and those two schools argued pointedly about what the practical content of “righteousness” involved. For Confucians, yi was closely linked to ritual prescripts; for Mohists, the righteousness of an act was determined by its welfare consequences in the human world without regard for its aesthetic or ritual form.
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Hello buddy. Here are the three discussion posts. The password is purple. 1. _B

w7_B
by D J

Submission date: 02-Oct-2020 06:11AM (UTC-0400)
Submission ID: 1403182707
File name: Week_7_B.docx (18.15K)
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Running head: EASTERN VS. WESTERN VIRTUE ETHICISTS

Week 7 Discussion: Eastern vs. Western Virtue Ethicists
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation

1

EASTERN VS. WESTERN VIRTUE ETHICISTS

2

Week 7 Discussion: Eastern vs. Western Virtue Ethicists
I think that we all have the same general idea of what philosophy is, but our specific
understanding differs significantly across our different cultures. As the issue of virtues, I remember
that we learned that different social groups such as religions and cultures might understand virtue
ethics differently. Knowing that there are eastern and westerns schools of ethics made me realize
that it goes beyond ethics. That even our understanding of what philosophy is could also be
significantly different. We may agree on the general information like virtue is essential, or the
color purple is actually purple, but the core concepts may be defined and understood differently
across our different cultures. However, this week has helped me realize that we consciously or
unconsciously often make the cultural assumption that people will see it our way or worse, we may
be tempted to think more highly of our definition of philosophical concepts while undermining the
how others understand the same concept.
For example, when I looked at Confucius and read some of the vocabularies he define...


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