Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

Analects 2.13

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.

2.13

子貢問君子。子曰:「先行其言,而後從之。」(ctext.org)

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)

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December 15, 2018 Posted by | Analects, Confucius, Self-Cultivation, Translation | 3 comments

Slingerland Reviews Hunter, Confucius Beyond the Analects

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:

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December 13, 2018 Posted by | Analects, Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Chinese Texts, Confucius | no comments

Analects 5.22

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.

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December 12, 2018 Posted by | Analects, Confucius | 4 comments

Confucius is Philosopher of the Month

Confucius is OUP’s Philosopher of the Month — which means that certain chapters and articles are available for free. More info is available here.

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucius | no comments

Paperback of Ni, Understanding the Analects

SUNY Press recently published the paperback version of Peimin Ni’s Understanding the Analects of Confucius: A New Translation of the Lunyu with Annotations.

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Analects, Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucius, Translation | 10 comments

Body and Cosmos in China: An Interdisciplinary Symposium in Honor of Nathan Sivin

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:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/body-and-cosmos-in-china-an-interdisciplinary-symposium-in-honor-of-nathan-sivin-tickets-37455848451.

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September 5, 2017 Posted by | Academia, Asian Philosophy, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Chinese Texts, Comparative philosophy, Conference, Confucianism, Confucius, Cosmology, Daoism, Events, Han Dynasty, History, History of Philosophy, Huainanzi, Human nature, Medicine, Metaphysics, Methodology, Mysticism, Nature, Philosophy in China, Religion, Taoism | one comment

New Book: Hunter, Confucius Beyond the Analects

Michael (“Mick”) Hunter’s new book, Confucius Beyond the Analects (Brill 2017) has now been published. Congratulations, Mick! More information is here and below.

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February 18, 2017 Posted by | Analects, Books of Interest, China, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucius | no comments

Columbia Neo-Confucian Seminar: Hagop Sarkissian “Experimental Philosophy and the Confucian Philosophical Tradition: A Brief History and Comparison.” Friday, September 30 @ 3:30pm

The next session of the Columbia University Seminar on Neo-Confucian Studies (University Seminar #567) will convene Friday, September 30, 2016 from 3:30 to 5:30pm in the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.

Hagop Sarkissian (City University of New York, Baruch College | Graduate Center) will present his paper

“Experimental Philosophy and the Confucian Philosophical Tradition: A Brief History and Comparison.”

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September 9, 2016 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Confucius, Mencius, Neo-Confucianism, Wang Yangming, Xunzi, Zhu Xi | no comments

APA Op-Ed Winners Include Van Norden, “Confucius on Gay Marriage”

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!

August 25, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucius, Contemporary Confucianism | no comments

The Roots of a Reading

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?

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August 5, 2016 Posted by | Analects, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucius, Filial piety, Roger Ames | 6 comments

Analects 1.6, and how Confucius envisioned moral progress

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.

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July 29, 2016 Posted by | Analects, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Confucius, Education Models, Filial piety, Moral Psychology, Ritual, Roger Ames, Self-Cultivation, Virtue | 4 comments

Confucius on the family as model

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.

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June 17, 2016 Posted by | Analects, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Confucius, Filial piety, Roger Ames, Role Ethics | 22 comments

The meaning of Analects 2.21

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’?”

或謂孔子曰:「子奚不為政?」子曰:「《》云:『孝乎惟孝、友于兄弟,施於有政。』是亦為政,奚其為為政?」

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.

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May 27, 2016 Posted by | Analects, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Chinese Texts, Confucianism, Confucius, Filial piety, Politics, Roger Ames, Role Ethics | 7 comments

Is Analects 1.2 about family?

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.

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May 16, 2016 Posted by | Analects, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Chinese Texts, Confucianism, Confucius, Education Models, Filial piety, Moral Psychology, Roger Ames, Role Ethics, Ruism, Self-Cultivation | 22 comments

Did Confucius think our virtues are contagious?

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.)

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May 9, 2016 Posted by | Analects, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Chinese Texts, Confucianism, Confucius, Filial piety, Moral Psychology, Political Theory, Virtue | 23 comments

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