A while back, in the now-vanished Discussions section, I proposed a new idea about Analects 2.13. Here I’m putting it back on the record.
On Tzŭ Kung asking about the nobler type of man the Master said: “He first practices what he preaches and afterwards preaches according to his practice.” (Soothill)
Continue reading “Analects 2.13”
The latest issue of Early China contains a review by Edward Slingerland of Michael Hunter, Confucius Beyond the Analects (Leiden: Brill, 2017). Slingerland’s concluding paragraph:
Continue reading “Slingerland Reviews Hunter, Confucius Beyond the Analects”
Recently I noticed that the way I have always read Analects 5.22 is out of line with the wide consensus. So maybe I’m just missing something.
Continue reading “Analects 5.22”
Confucius is OUP’s Philosopher of the Month — which means that certain chapters and articles are available for free. More info is available here.
The Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania is delighted to announce an interdisciplinary symposium in honor of Nathan Sivin at Perry World House, 3803 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, on Oct. 14-15, 2017.
The symposium is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Just click here if you’d like to attend:
Continue reading “Body and Cosmos in China: An Interdisciplinary Symposium in Honor of Nathan Sivin”
Michael (“Mick”) Hunter’s new book, Confucius Beyond the Analects (Brill 2017) has now been published. Congratulations, Mick! More information is here and below.
Continue reading “New Book: Hunter, Confucius Beyond the Analects”
The APA has announced the winners of its 2016 Op-Ed Contest — see here — and among them is Bryan Van Norden, writing on “Confucius on Gay Marriage.” Congratulations, Bryan!
Here and there I have argued that Confucius did not think family virtue is the root of ren 仁; far from it. In defense of that claim I’ll now try to answer the question: how then do so many scholars think he did?
Continue reading “The Roots of a Reading”
Confucius’ remark at Analects 1.6 is often cited to show that he thought proper moral development begins with filial piety and then extends that attitude to ever-larger groups of people (ever less intensely). I shall argue that the remark does not display such a view. Confucius did not in general envision moral progress as extension.
Continue reading “Analects 1.6, and how Confucius envisioned moral progress”
Many hold that for Confucius the family is the model for organized political society in some sense; that Confucius regarded the norms for relations beyond the family as largely based on the norms for relations with kin. Here I follow Joseph Chan in challenging that view.
Continue reading “Confucius on the family as model”
Someone said to Confucius, “Master, why don’t you engage in government?” The Master said, “The Book of Documents says, ‘Filial! But be filial, and a friend to your brothers, thus contributing to government.’ Why then do that other kind of ‘engaging in government’?”
I’ll suppose for the sake of argument that the reported exchange is authentic, and argue that it is not significant evidence of Confucius’ views. Confucius is not aiming to communicate his views here.
Continue reading “The meaning of Analects 2.21”
Here are some reasons to think that Youzi did not regard family as the root of humanity or of the Way. (I used to think he did.)
Most of my argument focuses on defending a view held by Soothill, Leys, Chin, and maybe Lau and Slingerland: that by 弟 in Analects 1.2, Youzi meant elder-respect, a virtue commonly associated specifically with life outside the family. It would follow that according to 1.2, only one of the two parts of the root of humanity is specifically a family virtue. If 孝 and 弟 have something relevantly in common for Youzi, family isn’t it.
Continue reading “Is Analects 1.2 about family?”
Did Confucius think that if one of us has general virtue, or some particular virtue such as courage or filial piety, that general or particular virtue will have a substantial tendency to spread directly to the people around her, even if she holds no government position?
Here I’ll survey Confucius’ statements in the Analects and conclude that the answer is No. Confucius probably did not hold that view. (I gave the opposite reading in both my published papers on Chinese philosophy.)
Continue reading “Did Confucius think our virtues are contagious?”