Unformatted text preview: Confucianism
East Asian Civilizations September 15, 2010 Major Confucian thinkers
Major Confucian thinkers Confucius (551479 BCE) Mencius (c. 371289 BCE) Zhu Xi (11301200 CE) Confucius – Confucius – or Kongzi 孔孔 (551479 BCE) From the shi 士 class – minor class – minor aristocracy in the state of Lu. Political insignificance. The period one of many states and frequent warfare.
At most, gave advice to rulers. Fame as teacher – important disciples.
Moral philosophy – ordering of family and the state through morality. Mencius or Mengzi 孔 孔 Mencius or Mengzi (c. 371289) From the state of Zou (southern Shandong)
Disciple of Confucius’s grandson, Zi Si 士 士 .
Like Confucius, teacher & advisor.
Philosophical core – innate goodness of human nature Zhu Xi 孔 孔 (11301200)
Zhu Xi (11301200) Modest political career despite passing civil service examinations at 18
Prolific writer and famed teacher
Li 士 (principle field) and qi (principle field) and 士 (material force or (material force
energy) Centrality of principle in understanding all human activities. His thought – represented orthodoxy in late imperial China. Confucian readings
Confucian readings Great Learning (Daxue 士士 )
Doctrine of the Mean (Zhongyong 士士 )
Both from Book of Rites (Liji 士士 ) – purporting to relate the ritual codes of antiquity, though compiled in 1st2nd c. BCE. Importance for later Confucianism. Five Forms of Conduct – recently discovered text. Revealing but not influential in later times. Core concepts
Core concepts Centrality of family and state – values of filiality (xiao 士 ) and loyalty (zhong 士 )
) and loyalty (
Five Relations – wulun 士士
Notion of cheng 士 – perfectibility or – completion (of people and things)
Equilbrium – he 士
Rites or rituals li 士 Values of family and state Values of family and state Families –fundamental unit of ancient Chinese society. Authority of (male) family head.
States – multiple & contending states in Confucius’s time. Rulers as father’s of their subjects..
Related values of filiality (xiao 士 ) and ) and loyalty (zhong 士 ) Social positions – Social positions – Five Relationships (wulun 孔孔 ) Father/son
Older/younger brother Notion of cheng 士 – – Common meaning – sincerity. In Confucianism, perfectibility or completion (of people and things). Assumes the perfectible potential of people and things. Equilbrium – he 士 Avoidance of extremes Natural balance – akin to Role of ritual (li 孔 ) Role of ritual ( Rites, rituals, customary forms of behavior. Underlying all social interactions.
Confucius’s belief: if all people acted according to their proper roles using proper li, the world would be at peace. ...
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