The Philosophy of Confucius Essay

For my essay I have decided to analyse the doctrine of Confucius as seen in The Analects or Lunyu ( ? ? ) . I will be concentrating chiefly on what I have found to be the cardinal constituents underlying Confucian moralss ; Filial Piety ( Xiao ) ( ? ) . Ritual Propriety ( Li ) ( ? ) and Authoritative Conduct ( Ren ) ( ? ) . These three moral constructs are built-in facets of Confucian function moralss ; they develop as a opposite number to western doctrine such as Immanuel Kant’s moralss of responsibility and have remained to this twenty-four hours sound and honorable political orientations that people should populate their lives in conformity with.

Hire a custom writer who has experience.
It's time for you to submit amazing papers!


order now

Confucianism has had the most the most prevailing influence on Chinese society for about two thousand old ages ( c100BC-1900AD ) . it affected all facets of Chinese life ; instruction. political relations and personal behavior in both one’s private and public personal businesss. It became the paramount school of idea and later important doctrines such as Daoism and Legalism would take their lead from Confucianism.

The Chinese authorities made Confucianism the official province doctrine but that is non to state didn’t fall out of favor over the last two thousand old ages ; from c. 200-600AD there was a terrible diminution in followings as a consequence of the outgrowth of Buddhism and Daoism but Confucianism was to the full revived by 700AD. In 1100s came Neo-Confucianism. innovated by Zhu-Xi. concentrating more on Li and facets of human nature and in the 1900s Confucianism fell out of favor with western beliefs such as communism.

However all authorities resistance to communism ended by 1977 and Confucianism is now being embraced once more in both eastern and western civilizations. Confucius is known to the Chinese as ‘Kung Fu-tzu’ ( ? ? ? ) which has been Latinized by Europeans to Confucius.

He was born in 551BC amidst the pandemonium of political instability and changeless warring of the Zhou epoch into a hapless household of the lower aristocracy. Throughout his life he made legion efforts to derive an office with a outstanding swayer willing to implement his constructs. after neglecting to make so he dedicated his life to instruction and accumulated an impressive sum of adherents. including Mencius and Xunzi. Confucius’ followings took it upon themselves to document and explicate their ain readings of his interactions and instructions as Confucius ne’er wrote anything down himself.

These records of Confucius’ doctrine can now be found in The Analects which has been translated into many linguistic communications and sold 1000000s of transcripts around the universe. Xiao or the impression of Filial Piety is likely the most unequivocal sentiment associated with Confucianism. Xiao is normally highlighted by western translators as it does non follow with western values and for this ground was non used as a starting point for advancing Confucianism in the western universe. Confucius discusses Xiao in the context of placing provinces of order and upset in society.

In a clip of changeless warfare Confucius conceded that this a societal behavior was due to a deficiency of Xiao. in The Analects Confucius tells us that a adult male with filial piousness is improbable to revolt in society or withstand the authorization of his higher-ups ; “A adult male filial to his parents. a good brother. yet disposed to travel against his higher-ups – few are like that! ” . Confucius gives legion definitions of Xiao to different pupils he explains that Xiao is the root of moral excellence.

Like a works. Xiao has to take topographic point at the beginning of one’s life in order for it to boom ; “The gentleman operates at the root. When the root is house. so the Way may proceed” . Confucius emphasized that it was imperative for people to develop this impression of Xiao in which younger coevalss were obliged develop emotional immediateness to their following of family. an component of devotedness was expected. Confucius put great importance in carry oning legion rites for changing occasions ; he found it indispensable to the wellbeing of society.

Religious activity was geared toward the worshipping of ascendants. When an senior died the kids of the deceased were expected to set about a three twelvemonth mourning period in which they completed altered their life conditions to bear minimal and did non partake in any societal conventions such as work or celebratory events ; “When a gentleman is mourning. he gets no pleasance from eating sweet nutrients. finds no joy in listening to music. and feels no comfort in his topographic point of home.

This is why he gives up these things” Many considered three old ages to be an inordinate period of clip as we see when Zai Wo asks Confucius if he can restrict the bereaved period to one twelvemonth and Confucius considers him perverse. he explains that merely after being to the full tended to for three old ages can one go forth their parents’ bosom. parents alter their lives to suit the birth and elevation of a kid regardless of societal convention. Similarly in Chinese civilization it is thought that when a individual dies they enter the spirit universe in which they are one time once more rendered “new-borns” and necessitate the attention and devotedness of their descendants to get down life at that place.

It is reciprocality between coevalss. an exchange of unconditioned trueness and love. Xiao is ab initio established in these projects. Ritual properness or Li involves honing the art of self-governing and restraint. it refers to the secular maps of mundane life such as all formal behavior. from table manners to forms of recognizing and leave-taking. to graduations. nuptialss. funerals. from gestures of respect to hereditary forfeits.

Li is the mechanism by which one conveys their regard and tip to their seniors and higher-ups ; it besides encompasses how one should move societal in order to gain regard and honor in return. It is appropriate behaviors in the sense that it promotes and enhances relationships in a community. This was indispensable as the societal context of the Chinese was focussed on communal life. hence Confucius attempts to teach people on how to populate harmoniously with their households.

Everything one says and does is brought into consideration under the construct of ritual properness ; “Look at nil in rebelliousness of ritual. listen to nil in rebelliousness of ritual. speak of nil in rebelliousness of ritual. ne’er stir manus or pes in rebelliousness of ritual” . The aesthetic facet of Confucius is non to understand morality and justice but instead go more adept in prosecuting the people around you in your enterprises. everyone has a function in society and they must continue it.

Giving yourself to ritual is non the same as eschewing your ain desires and emotions ; it’s the ability to accommodate one’s ain desires amicably within the societal context you are busying. In the Analects Confucius explains that by controling our ain personal agendas we can larn to appreciate the conventions of society which allows it to work harmoniously. he besides stresses that with age and see one can merely genuinely derive this grasp ; “When I attained the age of 15. I became set on survey. At 30 I was a confirmed pupil. At. zero could travel me from my class.

At 50. I comprehended the will and edicts of Eden. At 60. my ears were attuned ( to them ) . At 70. I could follow my Black Marias desires without transgressing the lines of rectitude” . Confucius besides stressed the importance of earnestness. he felt that without possessing a echt involvement in the wellbeing of others whatever ceremonial manners one undertook it would mean nil. He felt that rites should non be looked upon merely as conventions by which we did things but they should be practiced with complete fear and honestness ; “He sacrificed to the dead as if they were present.

He sacrificed to the liquors as if the liquors were present. The Master said. ‘I see my non being present at the forfeit as though there were no sacrifice’ In the 10th book of The Analects we are efficaciously given the portrayal of how one contending with Li should act. The illustrations are given under the pretension of Confucius as a individual himself and how he conducted himself. They give us way as how to move suitably and “how to function the liquors to convey approximately good fortune” .

Each transition gives shows us a different scenario and Confucius’ model behavior in that context. a few illustrations are ; “While feeding he would non discourse. and holding retired for the dark he would non talk” . “In inquiring after the wellbeing of a friend in another province. he would bow twice earlier directing the courier on his way” . “In kiping he did non presume the position of a cadaver. and when at place entirely. he did non kneel in a formal position as though entertaining guests” and “ On run intoing person in mourning frock. even those on intimate footings. he would constantly take on a grave visual aspect.

On run intoing person have oning a ceremonial cap or person who is blind. even though they were frequent familiarities. he would constantly pay his respects” . These transitions made Confucius the prototype of courtliness and personal decorousness for wining coevalss of Chinese functionaries. The concluding focal point of Confucianism is Ren or Authoritative behavior. mentions to Ren look over one hundred times in the Analects.

Ren is comprised of two elements. a individual and the figure two. stressing how our ain individual can merely be cultivated through interactions with other people as Herbert Fingarette provinces ; “For Confucius. unless there are at least two human existences. there can be no human beings” . Ren consists of five basic virtuousnesss ; earnestness. generousness. earnestness. diligence and kindness.

It is the footing of Confucian political theory. he felt that if a swayer lacked Ren it would efficaciously be impossible for his topics to move humanely. he believed that people who had this mastered moral excellence built-in to Ren should be put into places of political power ; “The Master said ; If people are proper in personal behavior. others will follow suit without demand of bid.

But if they are non proper. even when they command. others will non obey” . Confucius felt that the political intuitions in his epoch had wholly lost their legitimacy. he felt that this was due to oppressive behavior in the sense that those in control lacked certain properties such as Ren. vital to successfully governing and were non worthy of the places they held.

We can detect through Confucius the thought that a swayer. whether good or bad has an efficaciously contagious consequence on his topics and if he lacks the necessary qualities that deem him worthy to govern. his topics will likewise miss the qualities that enable them to function expeditiously. everyone most uphold their true function in society to accomplish harmonious operation ; “Good authorities consists of the swayer being a swayer. the curate being a curate. the male parent being a male parent. and the boy being a son” .

To cultivate one’s Ren 1 might look to Confucius’ moralss of reciprocality and possibly his most celebrated instruction of all clip. the aureate regulation which has been taken since the clip of Confucius been included as portion of legion different faiths and political orientations such as Christianity ; “Do non enforce on others what you do non wish for yourself.

” Interestingly. unlike Mencius and Xunzi. Confucius did non look excessively concerned about the root of human nature and whether we are innately good or bad but he did state “Human Beings are similar in their natural inclinations. but vary greatly by virtuousness of their habits” . connoting that Confucius perceived all work forces to be born with intrinsic value that can be shaped or moulded by survey and pattern.

After reading and analyzing The Analects of Confucius I think it’s clearly that it is the three constituents of Xiao. Li and Ren that are most prevailing in his doctrine but that is non to state there weren’t other valuable constructs that are important to Confucianism such as Xin ( ? ) and Yi ( ? ) but they are beyond the range of this essay. Confucius Bibliography -Watson. B ( 2007 ) . The Analects of Confucius. Columbia: Columbia University Press – Dawson. M. M ( 1915 ) . The moralss of Confucius: the expressions of the maestro and his adherents upon the behavior of “the superior man” .

United states: Putnam – Riegel. J. ( 2006 ) . Confucius. Available: hypertext transfer protocol: //plato. Stanford. edu/entries/confucius/ . Last accessed 5/12/11. – Ames. R. & A ; Hall. D. . ( 1987 ) . Thinking Through Confucius. Capital of new york: SUNY Press. . – Slingerland. E. G ( 2003 ) . Confucius analectas: with choices from traditional commentaries. Capital of indianas: Hackett Publishing -Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. 51 Name: Shauna O’Mahony Date: 07/11/11 Faculty: Chinese Philosophy ( PH2023 ) Essay rubric: Doctrine of Confucius.

Word Count: 2. 285 ——————————————– [ 1 ] . Watson. B ( 2007 ) . The Analects of Confucius. Columbia: Columbia University Press ( 1. 1 ) [ 2 ] . Watson. B ( 2007 ) . The Analects of Confucius. Columbia: Columbia University Press ( 1. 2 ) [ 3 ] . Watson. B ( 2007 ) . The Analects of Confucius. Columbia: Columbia University Press ( 17. 21 ) [ 4 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. pg51 [ 5 ] . Watson. B ( 2007 ) . The Analects of Confucius.

Columbia: Columbia University Press ( 12. 1 ) [ 6 ] . Watson. B ( 2007 ) . The Analects of Confucius. Columbia: Columbia University Press ( 2. 4 ) [ 7 ] . Watson. B ( 2007 ) . The Analects of Confucius. Columbia: Columbia University Press ( 3. 12 ) [ 8 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. Random House Publishing Group. pg51 [ 9 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. ( 10. 10 ) [ 10 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) .

The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. ( 10. 15 ) [ 11 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. ( 10. 24 ) [ 12 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. ( 10. 25 ) [ 13 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. Pg 48 [ 14 ] .

Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. ( 13. 6 ) [ 15 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. ( 12. 11 ) [ 16 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. ( 15. 24 ) [ 17 ] . Confucius. Ames. R. T. Rosemont. H ( 1999 ) . The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophic Translation. : Random House Publishing Group. ( 17. 2 ) .